Resources > Articles

Win/Loss Analysis Checklist for Product Managers

marketing analytics, analysis

We have all seen it written that product managers should get out of the office and visit customers, or, at the very least, telephone one customer a week. This is important not only for customer retention reasons, but also for competitive analysis and product performance reasons as well. With the state of the economy, and everything product managers have on their plates these days, that is a task easier said than done. What if product managers started participating in the back-end of a sales win or loss? If a win, the product manager would be helping to develop the new relationship, resulting in retention and obtaining valuable customer feedback or, in the event of a loss, finding out the reasons for the loss, be it a product issue, sales issue or support issue, possibly resulting in the prospect using the company as a backup vendor or placing the company on the ‘short list’ for future proposals.

Regardless, the product manager becomes the objective third party who helps the company and customers/prospects have better success in converting sales. Product Management can easily sell the Sales team on performing this task by stating the benefits of doing so:

  • Product Management can perform the function, thus saving the sales team valuable time.
  • Product Management acts as an objective third party, which will result in a prospect or customer’s ability to be more open about the sales win or loss.
  • Product Management obtains feedback on how to make products more robust, thus resulting in more sales down the road.

So, now that you are conducting win/loss analysis, what is the next step? Use the following handy checklist and you will be on your way to performing effective win/loss analyses.

Before the Win/Loss Analysis Interview

  • Sit down with the sales team involved in the win or loss. Be sure to include the highest-ranking Salesperson in the discussion. Get the Sales team’s input as to the background such as how the company got involved in the proposal, the type of relationship they had/have with the customer/prospect, sales processes involved, products or solutions used to close the sale, the result, and whether they anticipated this result.
  • Schedule the interview with the customer/prospect. Let them know in advance the topics you plan to discuss.

During the Win/Loss Analysis Interview

  • Introduce yourself and thank the prospect/customer for their time.
  • Explain upfront that the purpose of the interview is to learn as much as possible about the customer or prospect’s perceptions and experience during the recent sales process so your organization can continually improve.
  • Discuss confidentiality. State that you want to communicate feedback throughout your organization, but if the customer/prospect feels there are certain aspects that are too sensitive, they should be identified during the conversation.

Ascertain the Following

  • Confirm the opportunity, product/solutions, and get customer/prospect to expound on it. What did/didn’t we solve and what are customer/prospect’s expectations in our ability to solve that pain?
  • Find out the other firms that were competing for the business. Why was your firm included in the mix? How and why did the customer/prospect make it a competitive process?
  • Overall, why did/didn’t your company win the business?
  • Explain the decision-making process. Who was involved in the decision? What were the key selection criteria?
  • What was the customer/prospect’s perception of the quality of the Sales team’s management of the relationship? Did the customer/prospect meet other personnel from your organization? What was the customer/prospect’s perception of them?
  • What were the customer/prospect’s thoughts about your proposal and presentation?
  • Was the customer/prospect comfortable with your capabilities? Which capabilities were most important to them?
  • What were the customer/prospect’s thoughts about your pricing? Was the customer/prospect able to determine true value from your pricing?
  • How did you stack up against the competition? What did the customer/prospect view as your strengths and weaknesses? What did the customer/prospect view as your competitors? strengths and weaknesses?
  • Did the customer/prospect call your references? If so, were they helpful?
  • What was the customer/prospect’s perception of your organization before entering the buying cycle? Did the perception change? If so, how did it change?
  • What advice would the customer/prospect give you for working with them in the future?
  • Would the customer/prospect feel comfortable in recommending your solutions to others?
  • If a win, would customer feel comfortable in participating in a case study, testimonial, joint press release, or beta test (for a future solution)?
  • Does customer/prospect have any additional comments or suggestions?

Post- Win/Loss Analysis Interview

  • Send a thank you note to the customer/prospect.
  • Summarize in writing the notes from the interview and distribute them to appropriate internal personnel.
  • Conduct the debriefing meeting and list any action items that came out of the meeting.

Win/Loss Analysis should be conducted regardless of whether business was won or lost. Consistently implementing the process of win/loss analysis will make your solutions and your company more valuable, and build more credibility in the eyes of your customers and prospects.

Related Links

Author
  • Sue Duris

    Sue Duris is President of M4 Communications, Inc. The Pittsburgh, PA-based firm helps high-tech companies implement product and marketing strategies to reach the right target segments. She may be reached at [email protected].

Author:

Other Resources in this Series

Most Recent

Is Your Training Budget Going to Waste?
Article

Is Your Training Budget Going to Waste? How to Calculate Training ROI 

The latest report from Training magazine has some news – U.S. companies have, for the first time, spent over $100 billion on training.  So, why the big spend? In the fast-paced, competitive business world, companies...
: OpenAI's ChatGPT Enterprise Takes Center Stage
Article

How ChatGPT Enterprise Addresses Key Concerns in Generative AI

OpenAI just released ChatGPT Enterprise, a business-oriented upgrade of its popular AI chatbot—make no mistake, this is a big deal. 
AI and Product Management
Article

AI and Product Management: Navigating Ethical Considerations 

Explore the critical aspects of AI product management, its challenges, and strategies for ensuring responsible and successful implementation.
How to learn AI for Product Managers
Article

How to Learn AI as a Product Manager: Start Here 

As a product manager, harnessing the power of AI can be a game-changer for your product. Whether automating mundane tasks, providing personalized experiences or making data-driven decisions, AI has many applications that can propel your...
Category: AI
Article

Beyond SEO: Driving Customer Attraction, Retention and Top-Line Growth

Does your website speak to your customers and fulfill your business objectives?

OTHER ArticleS

Is Your Training Budget Going to Waste?
Article

Is Your Training Budget Going to Waste? How to Calculate Training ROI 

The latest report from Training magazine has some news – U.S. companies have, for the first time, spent over $100 billion on training.  So, why the big spend? In the fast-paced, competitive business world, companies...
: OpenAI's ChatGPT Enterprise Takes Center Stage
Article

How ChatGPT Enterprise Addresses Key Concerns in Generative AI

OpenAI just released ChatGPT Enterprise, a business-oriented upgrade of its popular AI chatbot—make no mistake, this is a big deal. 

Sign up to stay up to date on the latest industry best practices.

Sign up to received invites to upcoming webinars, updates on our recent podcast episodes and the latest on industry best practices.

Subscribe

Subscribe

Training on Your Schedule

Fill out the form today and our sales team will help you schedule your private Pragmatic training today.