The Structure of a Great Win/Loss Program

Summary / TL;DR: Great win-loss programs are made of three parts: Discovery and Diagnosis, Testing and Validation, and Implementation and Remediation. Each phase feeds into the next and all are necessary.

Over the years, we’ve seen many Win / Loss programs – from programs that consist of nothing but sales anecdotes, heard at quarterly pipeline reviews – to those based on CRM codes coming out of a report from the CRM system – to full-blown independent teams that operate independently from the sales, product and marketing functions.

However, any successful Win / Loss program typically consists of three elements:

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

Discovery and Diagnosis

With discovery and diagnosis, we’re taking an initial scan of the sentiment of the Won customer or the Loss prospects as it relates to the vendor’s whole offer. And, we use this phrase whole offer with purpose – we’re not just asking them to assess product features or price points. we’re asking them to review the entire offer from sales and marketing engagement, offer construction and pricing, product features and roadmap and the brand of the vendor. It’s only by asking the customer to make that broad assessment of ALL the elements that make up an offer that we can start to see if there are interesting areas to probe in the next phase.

Testing and Validation

In this phase, we’re looking to pull on the threads we have identified during the discovery and diagnosis phase and then bring in subject matter experts, such as the marketing and sales engagement team, the finance and pricing structure team, or the product management team. What we want to do is more deeply understand the customer’s views and opinions on whatever it is we might have learned during the discovery and diagnosis phase. 

It is during this phase that – if the issues we have identified during discovery and diagnosis have been identified as worth solving – we start to formulate what remediation and solutions might look like. This can include changing how we go to market, adjusting offer constructs, placing new items on our products or services development roadmaps, or taking steps to develop thought leadership and brand positioning in the marketplace.

Implementation and Remediation

This is without a doubt the most important phase. We need to put in steps to rank and prioritize the remediation steps that we have designed, determine what success looks like, and then put in place programs to implement those remediation steps and monitor poor performance.

And what we do at SteelPoint Research is the first phase: discovery and diagnosis. We help bring an independent view of what your Won customers and Loss prospects are saying about your whole offer. 

And we do this all on demand.

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