Marketing teams must continually stand out in a sea of competitors to generate new customers and retain existing clients. With markets becoming more competitive than ever and more of the buyer’s journey taking place prior to sales engagement, the marketing department is responsible for winning and maintaining business.
A win/loss analysis provides critical visibility into what resonates with your target audience and exposes why clients chose a brand — or why they didn’t. When companies execute on these findings, they see a 12% higher retention rate and double year-over-year (YoY) revenue.
Product marketers serve as the key liaison between product, sales and marketing teams. This puts them in the perfect position to work directly with these functional teams to ensure win/loss insights are acted upon.
A win/loss analysis will help your organization:
1. Understand why buyers made certain decisions by pulling together customer data to show how the company performs across different markets. Win/loss analyses combine this internal customer data with external analyst research (i.e., user interviews or surveys) to determine what your buyers value by segment. Pairing research and analytics allows for data-backed refinements to be made in the product, marketing and sales efforts to help focus on the target segment.
3. Improve marketing messaging and spend with insights across the entire buyer’s journey. This offers a goldmine of insights for marketing teams. Understanding how you capture customers' attention, the effectiveness of the sales process and product differentiation will allow your team to create messaging that resonates and choose the right channels for it.
4. Identify areas for improvement in your sales, marketing and product teams:
- Sales: At its core, a win/loss analysis aims to improve sales results. Regular win/loss analyses help refine customer segmentation, outreach and sales presentations with differentiated insights. To help the sales team execute, battle cards should be made against key competitors that provide quick objection-handling blurbs for sales to use.
- Marketing: Sticky marketing stems from understanding what drives buyers to make a decision. Through the win/loss interviews and surveys, marketing teams can see the effectiveness of brand awareness, channel efficiency and messaging.
- Product: Win/loss provides critical product feedback on both strengths and gaps. It highlights valued features from the client’s perspective and can help you refine customer success, pricing and partnership strategy.
5. Understanding competitive movements can help you understand how your business stacks up against the competition. Competitive intelligence can also unveil new strategies being tested and new sales tactics, product features and roadmaps, customer onboarding, partners and pricing changes. Competitive intelligence allows companies to react to changes in their market much faster than if they waited for a public announcement.
6. Improving sales training and onboarding data based on win/loss analyses helps new sales representatives learn during onboarding. It helps them understand questions such as:
- “Who do you target & why?”
- “What positioning works for that audience?”
- “How do you distinguish from competitors?”
Those are just a few questions that are answered through win/loss analyses. After the win/loss is performed, takeaways should be built into onboarding decks and battle cards so reps can learn and stay up-to-date on the most effective ways to win deals.
7. Increase close rates and win more business. A good win/loss analysis aggregates customer and market data to provide a holistic view of what’s working. Segmenting your data and applying takeaways within your product, sales and marketing teams will make a dramatic difference in growing your business sustainably.
Despite the immense benefits, less than half of companies regularly perform win/loss analyses. Make sure you’re using these valuable reports to your advantage. It's likely your competitors are not consistently performing such analyses, giving you extra incentive to start today.
As VP of Marketing at Evalueserve, Erin Pearson is responsible for both the strategic and tactical sides of entering a new market, understanding competition, and growing demand. She works with cross-functional teams across sales, marketing, customer success, and product. Prior to Evalueserve, she has worked in sales to break into new markets and led customer success teams helping build adoption in a new category.