A Win-Loss call is a means for collecting market feedback. It helps organizations better understand their market. Daniel Korten, Engagement Manager at SBI, dives in to how one call will help you better serve your customer's needs.

Jeff Bezos is famous for his “customers come first” philosophy. In a world where choices are ample, and the customer rules, Bezos has done amazingly well putting the customer first. He has developed a systematic way to understand and anticipate the customer needs.


While not everyone is going to be Bezos, all of us can take a page from his book. Specifically with regard to putting the customers first. And this is applicable to organizations of all sizes and across all industries. Regardless of what “product” or “solution” you are selling.


As a Product Leader, it is paramount that you put the customer at the center of all your effort. Not doing so sets you up to create products and solutions that don’t solve a market problem. Or causes you to not make improvements to your product or solution that the market is asking for. It’s no excuse for Product to not have “the voice of the customer” as their primary driver. Without them, who is Product developing solutions for?


Given this all makes sense, the question then becomes – “what type of feedback should Product Leaders collect and how do they do that?”.


The answer lies in the Win-Loss call.


Download our  Win-Loss Interview Tool for help with outlining the questions that are most commonly asked in these Win-Loss Interview discussions.


What is a Win-Loss call?


A Win-Loss call is a means for collecting market feedback. It helps organizations better understand the market, the competitors and the primary buyers and key personas. Done shortly after a deal is won or lost (hence the name), these calls with the key client / prospect personas capture feedback on why a certain decision was made. Information on topics more broad than product is collected. Yet, for a Product Leader key questions are asked which give insight into the buyer’s needs. For example, common questions include:


  1. What was the main problem or need you were solving for?


  2. What were you looking for the product and/or solution to do for your need?


  3. What alternatives did you evaluate, and how did they more / less adequately solve your need?


It’s an important exercise to figure out which questions are the right ones to ask. Once they are figured out and incorporated into the process, the Product organization will immediately get “smarter” and more intelligent on what the buyer’s real needs are.


Why are Win-Loss calls important?


Other than the aforementioned new intelligence, there are a few quantifiable benefits from doing Win-Loss calls. In a report from the Aberdeen group, they noted the following improvements in organizations who do Win-Loss calls:


As evident, doing Win-Loss calls makes the business more effective. And for the Product organization, this means developing and improving products and solutions to better address the customer needs. And as a result, contributing more to top line revenue growth.




How does one execute Win-Loss calls?


It’s simple in nature – typically a 30 minute phone conversation where a standard set of questions are asked. Most organizations usually follow a process like this:


  1. Step 1 – Identify personas to interview and finalize question set


  2. Step 2 – Arrange interview with the appropriate personas


  3. Step 3 – Conduct interview


  4. Step 4 – Document results and insights


  5. Step 5 – Review and determine what action to take


Members from the Product organization are often responsible for conducting these Win-Loss interviews. There are two primary reasons for this. First, Product team members are less “biased” than Sales team members, particularly in situations where the deal was lost. Second, as noted in this article, Product is a major beneficiary from the information learned in these discussions. So it is critical they play a role in this process.


What to do next?


If your organization does not use Win-Loss calls today, consider the value of implementing this best practice. If your organization does, consider what improvements can be made to ensure the right feedback is collected. In either case, you may benefit from downloading the Win-Loss Interview Tool which outlines the questions that are most commonly asked in these discussions.


If you would like to participate in a custom workshop focused on the digital customer experience, bring your team to engage in Dallas at The Studio, SBI’s executive briefing center. 




Additional Resource


Learn more about how top companies use AI to win at the AI Growth Summit.


New call-to-action


Daniel Korten

Helps companies make their number and grow revenue by using a data-driven approach to solving problems.

Dan joined SBI in 2012 and has mastered many roles within the firm’s Consultant Team. Most recently he became Client Success Manager, where he oversees and ensures project quality, consultant team development and client satisfaction.


Dan is an expert problem solver, which he achieves through data-driven decision making. When advising clients, he incorporates market segmentation, account segmentation, revenue & budget planning, sales organizational strategy and sales operations strategy.


Dan has also deep experience solving multi-functional organizational alignment issues impacting revenue growth. Expertise in private equity due diligence & screening, product strategy, buyer segmentation, demand generation strategy, sales territory optimization and talent strategy round out his broad base of knowledge in problem solving.

Read full bio >