Companies across all industries can improve their products and solutions by leveraging insights from Win/Loss programs. The most effective strategic Win/Loss programs incorporate data from all business functions across an organization. These strategic programs also evaluate key decision factors to understand why companies win or lose deals. The decision factors include sales, marketing, service and delivery, product function, vendor, economics, and references.
While having a strategic program in place is the first step, the Win/Loss report format is actually the key element that allows companies to put the analyzed data into action. Win/Loss reports should be clear, concise, and contain actionable insights so executives can make timely decisions.
Over the years, we have experimented with packaging our Win/Loss data in different report formats. While we focus on customized Win/Loss solutions, most of our programs provide both qualitative and quantitative insights. Reporting on both types of data is laborious when single interviews contain dozens of questions. In the past, we tried using a report format that offered detailed answers for each question. However, we realized that it took clients too long to sift through the information and take action.
Individual Deal Reports
Now, we focus on distilling individual deal reports into two-to-three page summaries. These reports are concise and easy to digest. Each report provides background on the company and opportunity, and a short executive summary. The reports also contain a few sentences about each of the key decision factors that summarize the individual questions, and rich interview quotes. We also include a simple table that summarizes the quantitative data. The table shows how the interviewee rates the importance of the decision factors, and how the client compares to its competitors. Our clients find that it is more effective to read a summary of questions about an individual decision factor, versus each individual answer. This is the case, especially if there are 20 or more individual deal reports to evaluate.
We also deliver 15-20 page roll-up reports. The roll-ups synthesize findings from multiple individual reports on a quarterly, bi-annual, or annual basis. Roll-ups also boil up the data from the individual deal reports. This allows us to make high level recommendations to clients after they review their programs for significant time. Our clients believe it is valuable to look at trends across both won and lost deals. They also want to see if they hear similar answers across the decision factors over time. After reading a roll-up report, clients can focus on a few key findings that stand out about their products and solutions. This gives them a quick snapshot of the tactics and strategies that they are effectively executing. Simultaneously, they learn about the areas that need immediate improvement.
Some executives might want to immerse themselves in every single question pertaining to a Win/Loss deal. However, most stakeholders will pay closer attention to the findings if they receive a manageable amount of information in a user-friendly Win/Loss report format. Would you rather read 100 pages of raw, detailed answers for 10 deals, or 20 pages of analyzed insights that provide strategic direction?
– Holly McClelland, Director of Marketing, Fletcher/CSI