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The Primary Goals of Your Win-Loss Analysis Research

So you’ve decided you want to launch win-loss analysis within your business, but don’t know where to start?

Once you’ve decided who will run the initiative, your starting point will be the discovery process. This is where you’ll engage your internal stakeholders — the people that will benefit most from your sweet, sweet win-loss insights — and figure out what they want, and need, most from win-loss analysis.

This initial discovery process sets the foundation for your research. In this article, we’ll dive into the questions to ask your internal stakeholders and the areas you should cover in your initial research.

Ready to start conducting win-loss interviews? Check out our interview guide, including questions to ask and tactical tips below 👇

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What does leadership want to learn from win-loss analysis?

When starting your discovery process, of course, refresh yourself on your organization’s core value proposition.

This means reviewing existing marketing materials, product demos, sales processes and analyst coverage, along with gathering any relevant competitive intelligence. It’s critical that you understand exactly how your business wants buyers to perceive your solution today.

Your win-loss research is all for nothing if it doesn’t answer the questions and uncertainties that are keeping your leadership team up at night. Rather than guess what they are, ask leadership! This dictates the key learning objectives of your research.

Here are some initial survey questions you need to bring to your leadership team:

  • What are you hoping to learn through a win-loss program? 
  • How do you personally plan on using the program findings?
  • What do you believe are the biggest barriers to the company’s greater success? 
  • What are the primary benefits (or perceived benefits) buyers seek to gain through our offering? 
  • What are the top sales and product-related questions you would like answered? 
  • What are your high-level assumptions about our competitors? 

These questions are a starting point. The most important thing to after this is dig. The more clarity you can get leadership, the more specific you can be with your research. Here are a few examples of what good, and not so good, would look like here:

Win-Loss Learning Objective Example #1

  • Meh: Look into what is happening with customer churn in the past year.
  • Better: Understand the core churn reasons that are occurring in a specific segment and the use cases of this customer base.

Win-Loss Learning Objective Example #2

  • Meh: Understand why you’re losing deals to Competitor X.
  • Better: Analyze what areas of the sales cycle we’re performing worse than Competitor X, and the main three reasons that buyers in the Pharma industry are choosing them over us.

These are hypothetical objectives, but the more granular you can get with understanding what leadership is looking to learn, the more usable your insights will be. This is the launch point for building the win-loss questions you’ll ask.

The four areas to begin your win-loss analysis research

Win-loss research coverage aligns well with some traditional research areas, including persona development and the buyer journey.

As such, mapping your discovery findings within the four buying-process research areas is a great starting point. Use these core components to guide conversations with internal stakeholders and your win-loss team to better understand what questions and topic areas the research should focus on.

1. Persona

  • What are the responsibilities and personal goals of your buyers?
  • What challenges do they face?
  • What kind of reporting structure do they work within?

2. Awareness stage

  • What internal and external business drivers are pushing your buyers to consider you?

3. Consideration stage

  • What type of visions do your buyers have and what would be their primary use case?
  • What are your buyers’ business and/or technical criteria?
  • What resources are they using to learn more about your marketplace, and what is their standard evaluation process?

4. Decision stage

  • What are your competitors offering that you are not?
  • What is your differentiated value proposition and how is your brand perceived?
  • How do buyers feel about your capabilities and roadmap, and how well do those align with customer needs?
  • How did your buyers feel about the sales process, and price and contract negotiations?

Following a program launch, and throughout the life cycle of a program, discovery continues to play an important role. As things shift in the marketplace, it is necessary to stay on top of changes that may impact your buyers’ perspectives.

Get your stakeholders on board so you can deliver winning win-loss analysis

The discovery phase sets the tone for the success of your win-loss program. Organizational alignment is easier said than done, so here are a few more resources to help you out below.

  • Create a survey for stakeholders: Use this stakeholder survey that uses a scoring system to help teams share what’s important to them
  • Use a win-loss program reference: Leverage DoubleCheck’s program coverage map (below) to help guide your internal stakeholder discussions.

Once you start collecting win-loss insights from your interviews, use our win-loss analysis template to analyze and present the findings to your leadership team.

win loss analysis template

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