What is Win Loss Analysis?
Win-Loss Analysis is a specific market research practice which focuses on de-constructing how various companies market and sell their services or products from the perspective of their prospects. A Win Loss program generally involves conducting detailed telephone interviews either with lost prospects or new clients. The objective of these interviews is to gather as much actionable and usable information as possible. The process helps to synthesize the information accurately, promptly and quickly, and utilize it to encourage continuous improvement across the company.
Why should my company implement a Win-Loss Analysis Program?
A well-designed Win Loss Analysis program is the best way to learn the real reasons why some customers buy, and why others don’t. Once we have participants on the phone, there is literally no limit to the kinds of questions we can ask them. So the practice of win-loss analysis becomes a gold mine of competitive insight and primary market intelligence. For example, it gives you insights into what perception customers have of your company, compared to your competitors. You get a better idea of which sales processes are less impactful and need strengthening and how you need to train and organize your team.
Studies have shown that over 60% of sales professionals don’t have an accurate understanding of how and why they lost a deal. The stats are even worse if you consider the limitations and data accuracy issues of a typical CRM implementation. In many cases the loss reasons recorded in the CRM are wrong 70% of the time. Companies cannot possibly make good decisions based on that kind of data. This is where a Win-Loss program comes in, as it helps to close the intelligence gap.
What should I consider before implementing a Win-Loss Analysis Program?
In an ideal world, a Win-Loss program will have complete support from the company’s executive team. Their buy-in in the program can help spur adoption internally. Those that advocate this program need to be very clear and concise while presenting the cost-benefit analysis. It’s the only way they would be able to garner executive support. An analysis needs to highlight the merits of the program. It needs to show how implementing it can have a positive impact on almost all aspects of service and/or product development and the delivery method.
However, in practical reality, benefits need to be proven and not just projected in order to get such buy-in. For that reason, a pragmatic approach is to start with a pilot project.
What are the benefits of a Win-Loss Analysis program?
A well-planned and implemented Win Loss Analysis program will help:
- Identify areas that need improvement within the critical stages of your sales process such as needs identification, solution demonstrations, sales presentations as well as simply closing the business.
- Improve the effectiveness and productivity of your sales staff and their presentations by assimilating insights that help you package and position as well as deliver and differentiate your message.
- Uncover unmet client needs as well as identify new development opportunities and product ideas.
Infuse your competitive intelligence program with primary market intelligence about their solution strengths, weaknesses, and sales tactics.
- Identify and triangulate how to help sales overcome the dreaded “no-decision” or status quo loss reason.
How long does a Win-Loss Analysis program take?
In most cases, a Win-Loss Analysis program is run annually. However, we can tailor it to your needs and the required timeframe. With annual programs, we recommend clients sends us a hit list of accounts every month or quarter. These include details of all the recent sales opportunities they have won, the ones they have lost, as well as the ones that are stuck in “no-decision.” We conduct all of the outreach and interview logistics. The completed interview reports will then be sent to you within 48 hours. In addition to the individual reports, summary findings will be provided at the end of a pilot project, on a quarterly basis, or as needed throughout the engagement.
What other studies does Thirdside conduct?
In addition to classic Win Loss Analysis, we regularly conduct interviews with churned/former accounts, mid-implementation accounts, and even net new prospect accounts for primary market validation. If you could ask your potential future customers any question, what would you want to know? We can do it for you.
What industries does Thirdside conduct Win Loss Analysis for?
Thirdside conducts research interviews across a range of industries, including financial services, management consulting, software and technology, healthcare, and others. Because we’ve run marketing departments and carried sales quotas, our line of questioning is positively influenced by this in-the-trenches experience. The operational experience makes us better at this kind of research than other researchers who are too theoretical, or academic in their thinking.
Who are Thirdside’s current clients?
We have clients across a range of industries, but more notably in management consulting, finance, healthcare, greentech, and software. Technology areas have included artificial intelligence, machine learning, ERP, purchasing, electronic health records, cloud infrastructure, networking, data analytics & visualization, robotic process automation, and others.
Why Thirdside for Win Loss Analysis?
We are a disruptive force of change in Win-Loss Analysis based on two main principles. First, we need to make it easy for our clients by surfacing the most relevant and actionable insights in the fastest manner possible. To do that we have to be flexible, offering the ability to calibrate research questions based on emerging needs, and to accept client target lists in the format that is easiest for them to provide. (You’re not considering a win-loss project because you have extra time to kill. You’re considering it because you want to use the time you have to solve problems and win more. Let us spend the time,
Second, our reporting is tailored to the way your organization prefers to consume data. Some clients prefer the detailed interview reports. Better than a transcript, they are structured, formatted documents that provide deep insight into individual sales opportunities. Other clients prefer to have us present periodic research findings to their management team. (Yes, even in a world of cloud computing, software-as-a-service solutions, and secure client portals, PowerPoint is often the preferred format for data consumption.)
Our executive leadership team has been in this industry for decades and has vast experience in Win-Loss and Client Satisfaction experience. Skilled analysts and an expert executive interviewing team with tremendous skill and industry-specific knowledge & experience support them.
Unlike other companies that offer Win-Loss Analysis solutions, we adopt a consultative approach to the market research aspect. We emphasize customized interview guides, program design, as well as the synthesis and dissemination of our findings. Also, our clients can expect detailed account reports throughout the study. You have the flexibility to make changes to the interview guide as both insights and your business evolve.
Who conducts the interviews and analysis?
We have a team of seasoned Executive Interviewers with tenure in specific industries. These experts have an excellent understanding of the particular study needs of each client. They also recognize how important it is to value the client’s time while conducting an interview. The analysts synthesize the information and use it report broader trends as well as ones within the particular segments of people they have interviewed.
Does Thirdside have international capabilities?
Yes, Thirdside conducts interviews for clients throughout North America, Latin America, Europe, and Asia.
Who at the prospect is interviewed?
Our clients provide a list of contacts that need to be interviewed. We want these people to have been one of the primary contacts in the account, or the “champion.” Typically there are one or two people who have had enough knowledge of the deal/opportunity to answer all of our exploratory questions. These individuals will have had a say in the decision-making process.
How are the results presented?
We deliver a comprehensive report of the overall results, which help our clients identify current trends among their customers and prospects. More than just segmentation based on relevant aspects such as demographic variables, and potential deal size, we apply thematic analysis to identify the issues, trends, and blindspots that are impacting your ability to win more deals. Know some customers buy from you, why others don’t, and what you can do to improve your results. …not because we said so, but because your customers said so.
Who from my firm should be involved in the Win-Loss process?
The program will be successful when it has the complete support of the executive-level team. It can produce optimal results only when your senior management team backs the program. The project advocates need to present the cost-benefit analysis compellingly, concisely and clearly.
They need to show how the program can have a positive effect on all aspects of service and product development, as well as the delivery process. Every industry is different, and that means the parties involved in a Win-Loss study also vary. We recommend that you have an upper-level employee who would be an unbiased contact for day-to-day communication.
However, every department that’s involved in the Win-Loss Project needs to be kept in the loop. It’s important to take inputs from them and share the results with them too. Involving them in the sales process is the only way to ensure you make the most of the study.
What is needed from my firm to conduct a successful Win-Loss Study?
Although we will compose a custom interview guide based on your specific situation, you need to provide your inputs on the questions asked. That’s the only way to get the most from your study. You would also need to provide us with valid contacts either from new clients or former prospects. This input from you will help our team contact them on time.
What have been the results from other Thirdside Win-Loss Analyses?
Most clients are surprised with the results of their Win Loss studies. You can make the most of the analysis by implementing an action plan based on an internal discussion at the end of the study. Check here for some examples of how our clients have used prospect feedback to garner positive results.
How will Win-Loss help me gain a competitive advantage?
Yes! We’ll show you how your customers and prospects perceive your strengths and weaknesses. We’ll document their reasons for why you won and why you lost. We’ll document the same customer-perceived strengths and weaknesses of your competitors. Note that these are not vague brand characteristics. These are actionable insights from the market battlefield that your sales, product, and marketing teams can use immediately.
Why conduct analysis on Wins and not just Losses?
You need to understand why your firm lost prospective business or a client. However, it’s equally crucial to know why and how you acquired new business. The analysis gives you a better look at what you did differently with the prospects or clients that you won compared to the ones you lost. The insights can help your team learn more about what they should to for better results.
You will also get an analysis of what the ‘Bids Won’ clients considered to be weaknesses of your company. You will learn who they believed were stronger competitors of your business in specific aspects. While these factors may not have impacted your business at that point, you need to look at them as areas of improvement. They can be the red flags and help you look out for sensitivities while dealing with the new client.
Questions are the root of all answers.