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Win-loss analysis - getting beyond the obvious so you can win more often



Many organizations claim to do an excellent job of analyzing why they won a particular contract with a customer, and why they lost another. All too often, the conclusions from sales teams in particular get as far as these statements:

  • Why we won: my excellent relationship with our customer.
  • Why we lost: our prices were too high.

In other words, we win because of things in my control, and we lose because of things outside my control. This type of win-loss analysis has little to no value. The main thing missing is the customer’s views on the reasons.

The most interesting analysis technique I have seen over the years compares the company and customer reasons for a win or a loss. The most instructive points are the ones where our sales team’s views oppose the customer views. Naturally, I operate on the premise that the customer’s views are correct. The dagram at the top of this blog shows the dimensions I find most useful. This example is from a situation where we lost a deal. The graph represents the customer’s answers to seven questions about how we performed relative to how the winner performed, where 5 is the best possible score. A second diagram (not included)  provides the sales team’s answers to the same questions.

The questions should be pretty obvious from the diagram, so I won’t include them here. The entertainment happens when you discuss the customer views with the sales teams. It is both fun and educational. As one of my former managers (Jan Zadak) says, "The purpose of win-loss analysis is to win more." I could not have said it better myself.

As always, the views expressed here are mine, and do not necessarily reflect those of my employer, Hewlett Packard Enterprise.

Maurice FitzGerald - Customer Experience and Strategy consultant
About the Author


Maurice FitzGerald ecently retired from his position as VP of Customer Experience for HPE Software after a career in hardware, software and services at DEC, Compaq and HP.


Was very satisfy to find this site.I wanted to thank you for this very good read!!


Thanks for your kind words.

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