The Quantitative Case for Win/Loss

Summary / TL;DR: Win / Loss programs are like a diagnostic and treatment plan you get from your doctor. In diagnosis, they probe to reveal areas of strength and weakness. Just like in the medical word, we must act on that diagnosis and implement the treatment plan to realize the full benefit of the “cure” and achieve that ROI.

In a previous entry, we talked about making the qualitative case for the Win / Loss. Now, let’s talk about the quantitative case. 

First, let’s remind ourselves of what makes up a great Win / Loss program. Any successful Win / Loss program typically consists of three elements: 

  • Discovery and Diagnosis, 
  • Testing and Validation, and
  • Implementation and Remediation.

You can learn more about each of these phases here. 

So, what is the ROI of a Win / Loss program? If you only do steps one and two, then the ROI is nil, and don’t let anyone tell you any differently. 

Let’s use an analogy we can all understand. Suppose, we go to the doctor and get bloodwork done, and then the doctor does further testing and validation and comes up with the root cause of your ailment. If we don’t act on those treatment recommendations, then the benefit – the ROI – is nil. 

Unless there is a program place to act on the findings of that initial phase of a Win / Loss program, then there is no material return. But, if you do act on those findings – if you build that routinized implementation and governance program – then, the returns can be immediate and significant: 

  • Reduction in loss rates, 
  • Increase in sales velocity,
  • Increase in average sales price, 
  • Increase in total contract value, 
  • Reduction in wasted development costs, and
  • Increase in lead flow and RFP wins. 

Win / Loss is not a panacea.  However, a well-run Win / Loss program doesn’t just look at one-dimensional aspects of your offer, lik product features and price points, but rather looks at your whole offer: sales and marketing engagement; offer construction; product features; roadmaps, and brand; market reputation; and pedigree development.  As a result, it can illuminate the unexpected and reveal both long AND short term wins that can affect your top and bottom lines.

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