Elements of an Effective Win-Loss Report

Brittany Moreland

Most of the day-to-day interactions clients have with their Clozd consultants take place throughout the interview process: we work together to build the right sample, determine the relevant areas of focus, and deliver the interviews. However, the most important aspect of a win-loss program is the key takeaways — the comments and themes from across interviews that answer the question, “So what? Why are we winning and losing business?”

In addition to delivering high-quality interviews, Clozd consultants spend significant time reviewing, analyzing, and organizing win-loss feedback to ensure that it’s presented in the most effective way. There are many factors to consider when determining what high-level takeaways are the most important and where it makes sense to dig into the details.

So, what makes an effective win-loss report? As we often say, the answer is it depends. That being said, we’ve identified some effective ways to organize, examine, and present findings from a win-loss program. Here are a few strategies to consider:

Executive Summary

Let’s face it — asking your C-suite to read several pages of in-depth analysis is a tall order. Executives have a lot of influence in making changes in the organization (and are also probably signing the check for your win-loss program), but reading and digesting a lengthy report is hardly the best method to get key findings from win-loss on their radar. For each report, we provide an attention-grabbing executive summary that outlines key findings, provides impactful supporting quotes, highlights strengths and opportunities, and suggests short- and long-term action items so clients can act quickly to make the most of what Clozd uncovers.

As this blog post explains, executive sponsorship can be one of the most important things for ensuring a successful ongoing win-loss program, so you’ll want an executive summary that has a big impact without taking much time.

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Who are Your Buyers?

Clozd consultants work with each client to develop a sampling strategy and include any relevant filters through which to analyze the feedback data points, but we usually find interesting ways to filter and break down the data as we go through the process. Final reports will typically include breakdowns like wins vs. losses, primary competitors, and industries, but we’ll also highlight interesting (and sometimes unexpected) breakdowns like segment, deal size, changes over time, geographic location, and many more.

Key takeaways can change significantly based on which group you examine. For instance, an enterprise-level client may need much more hands-on support and subject matter expertise than a mid-market client that values self-service options. In addition to exploring the client’s own metadata fields and areas of interest, Clozd Consultants examine the feedback carefully to identify findings based on groups the client may not yet have considered.

Areas of Strength and Opportunity

It’s vital for clients to understand what they can do differently to avoid losing business (why else would they be doing win-loss?), but we also think it’s important for our clients to know what their strengths are so they know what they can keep doing well. Clozd Consultants analyze the frequency and sentiment of each of the recurring themes across all of the interviews to determine where a client’s specific strengths and opportunities are, identify where these strengths and opportunities interact or influence one another, and suggest action items to ensure their clients’ strengths only grow stronger and that any weaknesses can be addressed.

Contrast Between Why Deals are Won vs. Lost

Even when clients are more interested in feedback from losses, we almost always recommend including interviews from wins in order to explore contextual differences between each outcome. We find that the reasons why deals are won are rarely ever the exact inverse of why deals are lost. Decreasing your loss rate and improving your win rate are often two separate processes with their own considerations and challenges. When we have more than one outcome to examine, we can pinpoint the unique factors that lead to each outcome.

Theme Deep-dives

As this post explains, win-loss becomes particularly powerful when we start to identify themes that occur repeatedly across several interviews. Some common themes appear in many interviews with different buyers, particularly when they’re in the same or similar industries. The ultimate goal in tagging and presenting themes is to paint a clear picture of strengths and weaknesses, so flexibility is key in conducting early interviews, as some themes may be collapsed or split out as more feedback is gathered.

A win-loss report should highlight the frequency and sentiment of each theme and sub-theme in a way that clearly demonstrates where the clients’ prospects and customers seem to be satisfied and where there is room to grow. They’ll also provide strong, illustrative quotes that provide context for each theme and sub-theme.

Competitor Deep-dives

One of the areas clients are most interested in exploring is how they stack up against their key competitors. The feedback gathered through these interviews can help boost their sales reps’ messaging to help them win future deals against those competitors. Win-loss reports should detail a client’s relative strengths and weaknesses against their competitors and provide useful information to build and strengthen their competitor battle cards.

In Conclusion

Each Clozd win-loss report is unique and is developed through consultation with clients to determine how to drive the highest level of adoption.

Clozd’s primary objective is to help our clients learn why they win and lose and to help them win more. Expert analysis and effective presentation of win-loss feedback is a big part of achieving these objectives, and Clozd has a proven track record of delivering quality interview programs and attention-grabbing reports for every client.

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