Your team just landed that big deal. The one that has been out there for weeks. You feel great. Your rep is figuring out how to spend their commission. Your sales manager has that swagger.  All is good; you made the quarter. Guess what? Today is a new day, with a new number. How do you replicate last quarter’s success going forward?


The answer is by conducting a win/loss analysis. You want to replicate what’s working and eliminate what’s not. Conducting this type of analysis gives you fact-based feedback. This is vital for continuing to hit your number. It’s even more important if you aren’t.


Win/loss analysis is just one input into replicating success. Tap into the “How to Make Your Number in 2018” Workbook to review the complete list of emerging best practices outlined in the Sales Strategy section.


What is a Win/Loss Analysis (WLA)?

A WLA is an assessment through the eyes of your customer.  It provides transparency and explanations into the reasons why opportunities are won or lost.  Interviews are conducted by phone, by survey or in person.  My recommendation is to do it in person or over the phone.  When you conduct it through surveys, you miss the opportunity to dig deeper.  Some companies may choose to outsource their win/loss analysis to a third party.  Some may have non-sales individuals conduct the interview.  Either is acceptable, but as a sales leader you need to conduct some personally.  By doing so, you capture the following firsthand:


  • It gives you the opportunity to dig deeper into responses during the interview.
  • Your sales team often makes the first impression and represents the company.  This is a key insight every sales leader must learn firsthand.
  • Helps you build internal credibility.  You aren’t afraid to “roll up your sleeves.”


What are the Benefits?

A win/loss analysis reveals the strengths and weaknesses of your organization.  It provides actionable data to modify processes and improve win rates.


If you want to make your number, you need a strong sales strategy.  The information gathered during the interview is priceless.  There is no better way to understand your buyer than to talk live.  The first step in any good sales strategy is segmentation.  Segmentation includes understanding your buyer (persona).  A key component of building personas is win/loss interviews.  Here are some other benefits of conducting a WLA:


  1. Sales coaching for your team as you uncover gaps and find successes.
  2. Feedback for product management on pricing, competitors and future releases.
  3. Validation for marketing on messaging, content and go-to-market activities.
  4. Real-time data points to better align your resources, people and processes.
  5. Better customer relationships and retention.


How to conduct one?

So you know you need to conduct a win/loss analysis.  The question now is how to get started.  The diagram below is an overview of the steps that should be followed.


Win Loss Analysis

Download the Win/Loss Interview Guide to get started.  It will give you a list of questions to ask your customer or prospect.  Set aside time this week to start the process.  Then add it to your management cadence going forward.


If hitting the number is your goal, you better have the right sales strategy.  Use the feedback in your interviews to find out where you stand.  If there’s doubt, I encourage you to rate your Sales Strategy against SBI’s emerging best practices with this interactive tool.  Find out what the top 10% of sales teams are doing differently.




Josh Horstmann

Brings a deep level of experience and insight in helping organizations develop and execute their corporate, sales and marketing strategies.

Josh specializes in helping clients solve demanding sales and marketing challenges through aligning functional strategies within an organization. He has worked with clients in manufacturing, ecommerce, software, financial services and technology sectors.


Recently he helped transform an international services company ‘go to market’ strategy, which included assessing talent, re-organizing the sales force, increasing team productivity, reducing the cost of sale and aligning the marketing and sales strategies.


Josh continues to provide thought leadership to his clients advising them on how to build inside sales teams, develop compensation programs, share best practices on social selling, transform sales organizations, drive demand generation programs and acquire and cultivate talent. Along with this he helps organizations align functional strategies.


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