Win-loss analysis program: Results and refresh

This six-part series explores how a win-loss analysis program can help you improve close rates, better serve your customers and keep a pulse on competitors. We look at how to build a win-loss program, institute best practices and leverage the results.

Arguably, the most anticipated phase in a win-loss analysis program is gathering the results! It’s time to synthesize all your qualitative and quantitative data, report on the key themes, and identify and prioritize action items.

Here are a few key steps to help you make the most of your win-loss results:

1. Identify key qualitative interview themes

With the goal of creating more structured data, conduct a thorough analysis of your interview text. Search for common keywords, compelling quotes and themes across your interviews, and capture that data so it can be visualized or expressed in a way your stakeholders can more easily digest. Recurrent win-loss update emails and/or a quarterly presentation would work well.

2. Surface and visualize quantitative data

If an online survey is part of your program, generate an aggregate view of the content and summarize any data trends. Take it a step further by filtering the data by outcome, industry, solution, region, competitor and other areas.

3. Share a summary of findings and prioritize action items

Build an executive summary presentation. Whether deep in detail or higher-level in nature, group presentations are designed to drive discussion and debate. They result in a set of consensus-based, prioritized, measurable action items that align with short- and long-term improvement opportunities.

Once you’ve conducted interviews and done your analysis, how do you use your win-loss data?

4. Motivate your sales team using direct feedback from win-loss analysis

At its most positive, data from win-loss analysis can empower salespeople and sales engineers. Letting individual sales staff know how they are succeeding, in specific terms, can demonstrate their impact on the company’s effectiveness, even when a deal is lost.

5. Provide feedback to sales

Don’t forget: Your sales team should also receive specific feedback on their performance. Are their presentation skills strong? Are they matching vision to solution? Are their materials and activities customer-focused or is there misalignment? Could the onboarding process be smoother or clearer?

Consider using your win-loss data to identify where you can strengthen the sales enablement team’s delivery and resources.

6. Use win-loss analysis data for quarterly business reviews and key stakeholder committees

Senior executives often want to know how the company is competing, and win-loss data can be powerful here. Consider sharing your findings in investor and board meetings, because what they reveal about your company’s market knowledge and impact—not to mention competitive pressures—may encourage additional business dollars.

7. Draw on win-loss analysis data to inform your marketing investment strategy

Are your investments in analyst research firms paying off? How about your efforts with events? Where are potential customers hearing about you? Is your company’s messaging effective? The answers to these questions should inform your marketing spend. Think strategically and proactively.

The cycle: Win-loss research, results and refresh

Win-loss data can provide valuable insight in the now, but the best practice includes a cycle of research and refresh. Once you’ve completed your first round of win-loss research, consider a refresh, which means conducting period-over-period comparisons to measure the results of actions you’ve undertaken.

As recommended actions are taken, the impact can be seen by comparing data from an earlier period with data from a current period. 

Pro tip

Keep collecting information: A refresh not only allows you to conduct your own period-over-period comparisons but also keeps you abreast of what your competitors are up to as you implement your changes. 

Read more in this series