Winning and Losing – At the Same Time

Stu Perlmeter

Why buying insights fuel profitability

Usually we think of win-loss analysis as something we do to put losses under the microscope. That way, the common thinking goes, you will see what you did wrong and fix that, in order to win more often in the future. A worthwhile motivation to begin the exercise if you’re not engaged in it already.

But what about the wins? Aren’t they equally useful? I would say resoundingly, YES! For starters, they represent a template for success. This is what it looks like when you properly engage a prospect, who gravitates to you for all the right reasons: Your brand, your messaging stream, your sales engagement and importantly, your alignment with the stated or interpreted needs of the buying organization. Double or triple that benefit, if the customer engaged in a disciplined process to compare you and your offering to several comparable providers and solutions.

If that were all there was to it, examining wins would be a worthwhile enterprise, side-by-side with recent losses. But wait, there’s more! – as they shout in late-night TV infomercials. What about profitability?

How often is there a price concession to win the deal? It’s common for a seller to go to his or her manager to get a concession, in order to close and assure that monthly or quarterly quotas are met.

What we have seen over thousands of win-loss interviews would scare any CFO more than binging on old Freddy Kreuger movies. Quite often we find that a deal that was won with a price concession could have easily been won without it. But wait, there’s even more!

Even without a price concession there was clearly an opportunity to win at a higher price point. The customer was buying value, as is almost always the case. And more yet!

We have seen instances where a deal was lost because an otherwise qualified firm priced their proposal so much lower than the competitive field that their SOW was rejected out of hand, because the customer concluded that they just didn’t understand the delivery or performance requirements. A much higher priced, but no more qualified provider won it. Ouch!

It’s no surprise that any serious inquiry into wins and losses will disclose value perceptions that are highly relevant. Focusing on value shines a bright light on every marketing element that matters. You will be well served by elevating the merit of examining the wins, as well as the losses, in your win-loss analysis program.

About the Author

Stu Perlmeter

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Stu brings 30 years of marketing and research experience to 1st Resource, which he founded in 1996. Stu’s primary expertise is in understanding the market insights that tie to success formulas for companies seeking to grow their business in strategic ways.