We recommend building an operational, ongoing win-loss analysis program so you have constant access to customer feedback. Embedding win-loss analysis into your processes and operations will make the program more efficient and valuable. Some companies are hesitant to commit to doing win-loss analysis long-term, either for budget reasons or because they think they'll get the info they need from a short-term or pilot program. We encourage you to build a program that will work for you long-term. Again, incorporating feedback into your organization's processes will keep you ahead of the game in your specific industry.
The neat thing about win-loss programs is that the feedback and insights uncovered aren't just backward-looking. We also learn a lot about what potential customers are looking for, paying attention to, and strategizing about for their own companies, which gives us insight into what our clients can do to make sure they stay ahead of customer needs. We also provide feedback that can drive product development and company strategy.
One example of this is a churn interview I recently conducted for a client. The client initially thought their customer churned because of steady price increases over time—after all, they had been a customer for many years. However, during my interview with the customer, we learned that it wasn't price at all but rather a disconnect in my client's business direction. The end customer needed a much more expansive solution that could integrate with different products based on where they saw the industry going in the next ten years. The customer mentioned that if my client didn't start offering more integrations with related systems, they'd likely fall behind in the years to come. That feedback was a starting point for my client to start thinking about their strategic product roadmap and potential acquisitions they could consider. I suspect that as we continue conducting win-loss and churn interviews for them, we'll get even more feedback about the market and the role they can play in it.
While a short-term win-loss analysis program can help, the feedback gathered is stuck at a specific point in time and may become outdated or stale in just a few months.
An ongoing program's value is fresh feedback, real-time insights, and even the opportunity to step in and fix issues as they occur.
Capturing win-loss data and monitoring trends over time allows companies to be proactive rather than reactive. They can gain a better real-time pulse of their customers and their position, enabling them to stay ahead of the trends and be market leaders in their space. Remember that the ultimate goal of win-loss analysis is to help you win more deals and grow your business. The more you know about what customers want on an ongoing basis, the more you can provide it to them and win their business and loyalty.
Kjersten is a consultant at Clozd and currently manages win-loss interview programs for companies like ADP, Armor, Pluralsight, Skyward, Invicti Security, WebMD Health Services, and more. Before Clozd, Kjersten worked as a management consultant, specializing in market research. Kjersten carried out complex research projects using methodologies like conjoint analysis, segmentation analysis, and in-depth qualitative studies for clients in a broad range of industries, such as healthcare, finance, telecommunications, database technology, higher education, and state and local government. Kjersten holds an MPP from the University of Chicago and a bachelor's degree in Economics from Utah State University. She has also completed the Principles of Marketing Research certification from the University of Georgia.
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