Making the Qualitative Case for Win/Loss Programs

Summary / TL;DR: The qualitative case for a Win / Loss program can be expressed by using the SCIPAB model, laying out, on one page, a compelling argument for action.

Some might argue the case for a Win / Loss program makes itself. Why wouldn’t we – if we can get them in a meeting – take the time to speak to our Won customers and our Loss prospects to understand where we did well and where we could do better? 

But, sometimes a more formal ROI case has to be made. Well, in the case of the Win / Loss program, that ROI argument comes in two parts: a qualitative part and a quantitative part. Here, we’ll talk about the qualitative case and how to make it. 

We’ve seen great results from using a framework called SCIPAB, which comes from an organization called Mandell Research, for communicating the qualitative ROI. 

SCIPAB stands for:

SituationWhat is the current state of affairs Complication- what is undesirable about that state of affairs.
ComplicationWhat is undesirable about that state of affairs.
ImplicationWhy we should change how we do things today.
PositionWhy we should change how we do things today.
ActionWhat we should do about it and when and when.
BenefitWhat is the favorable outcome we expect if we carry out this course of action

It’s a very powerful tool, and it fits on one page of a PowerPoint, if done right. So, let’s apply this to Win / Loss. Of course, this will change depending on your unique circumstances, but here’s the general layout. 


We have to make decisions every day about how we go to market, construct our offer, develop our products or services and develop our brand and pedigree in the marketplace. 


Today, the data we’re using to do this comes from sporadic, inconsistent sources relying on one-word Win / Loss codes from our CRM system and/or anecdotal, unstructured insight from our market-facing teams. We not only don’t know if we’re making the best decisions, we don’t even know if we’re making the right decisions at all.


Left unchecked and without a formal routinized feedback mechanism – not only from customers that we have won, but from potential customers that we have lost – this decision-making framework will continue to suffer. 


We need to adopt a mindset of formally questioning our true end customers and prospects directly and independently, getting that candid insight and opinion about where we’re doing well and where we could do better across our whole offer. 


We should implement a formal Win / Loss program that consists of three phases: discovery and diagnosis, testing and validation, and implementation and governance. And, this needs to be structured across our whole offer, including how we engage the market, how we construct our offers, what we offer in our products and services, and how we present ourselves to the market. Additionally, it needs to have formal executive sponsorship for it to have any chance of success. 


By doing this well, we will have an invaluable, direct and candid feedback mechanism, not just from won and lost Unicorn’s, but from the market at large. And through this, we will increase our win rates and reduce the instances of no-value producing or unnecessary sales, marketing and product development expenditures. 

it’s a lot to remember, so you can access a white label PowerPoint slide here that contains all of this. Please use it as you see fit. And remember, our offer to you is to be the first part of the Win / Loss program – that independent discovery and diagnosis. We do it every day for all manner of different companies, both large and small, across a range of industries. And we do it all on demand. 

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