Using a neutral third party for my win-loss analysis : pros and cons

5 min read
Share this post
Table of contents


All best B2B companies that implemented win-loss analysis have wondered if they should use an external neutral third party or perform this analysis internally. In this article, we analyze the pros and cons of making use of an independent third party. Apart from the obvious time saving, using a third party allows you to benefit from an open & reliable buyer feedback. This gives you impactful insights. You also benefit from the expertise of specialized companies. Last but not least, this unbiased and objective external analysis assures you one single source of irrefutable truth that aligns every team. Of course, using a third party has a price.

Why you should use an external & neutral third party

Using a third party comes with lots of advantages. If you want this process gives you a huge ROI (as Gartner said, you can increase your win rate up to 50%”), here is 6 reasons why you need to ask for a external provider : 

1. A neutral third party makes sure you get candid and open buyer feedback

Your prospect will be more comfortable sharing their opinion about their recent buying experience with a third party that has no links with you. If you try to ask your prospects about why they decided not to go with you, they are not going to tell you 100% of the full picture. 

Also, they won’t be disposed to share full transparency as they don’t want to have endless conversations with your sales team handling objections !

In addition, we can understand their reticence about sharing honest opinions. The reason lies in social psychology. People tend to avoid conflict and they don’t want to hurt feelings. 

Another reason is that the win-loss process is managed by one person involved in the company asking for the feedback. Buyer’s honesty will decrease even more as the buyer will see this process as less objective. On the contrary, if you think this person is objective and totally independent, you are open to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.

If you want to get deep, reliable and actionable insights, you need to collect feedback from people who are not involved in the company and its selling process. When buyers know their feedback is handled by a neutral party, it also increases the participation rate.

2. A neutral third party makes sure you get unbiased analysis from an objective outside perspective

Using a neutral third party will help you get a full unbiased analysis as this external provider is not part of your company. There is no emotional involvement, conviction, past experience, or relationship. 

This is really key : it’s one step to receive reliable feedback from your buyer. It’s another step to aggregate all of this data and share it with zero biases and analytical skills. You need this impartiality.

3. There is no place like program manager’s expertise

If you use a neutral third party, you will benefit from well-trained and skilled specialists. This “program manager” has usually performed thousands of interviews and they are mastering the interview process. 

They help you define the interview guide. During the interview, they know when to talk and when not to talk. They know how to dig deeper on each topic and questions. They are training to “active listening” and to analyze all of the insights extracted from the interview.

If you perform the interview yourself, you will be too close to the deal’s history and there is a risk you ask wrong questions with no consistency from one deal to another. All of this will result in a subjective analysis that is not trustworthy. A shame for the time that you could lose and even worse the wrong action plans that you could take!

Last point : your program manager will create efficient win-loss reports to help you activate these insights. You can share these valuable data in strategic boards. 

4. You get one single source of irrefutable truth 

In some organizations, it’s complicated to align Sales, Product and Marketing teams. Each team performs internal win-loss analysis on its side and each team has its own vision. If you add subjectivity to all of this, you can be 100% sure you get inadequate results action plans.

Also, who is right ? Sales ? Marketing ? Product ? With an external third party provider, you get objective analysis and insights that shape your company’s one single source of truth.

5. You focus your time on acting on win-loss insights rather than manually collecting feedback

If you decide to perform a win-loss analysis by yourself, there are chances you take a lot of time collecting the feedback from your buyers. You need to define who to contact and which kind of company you contact, you then need to contact them, contact them again if they don’t answer. 

Then you have to prepare for the interview and perform the interview. Then you will analyze the interviews, aggregate all of the insights, and prepare for sharing this information. And you do it again for each interview you get. If you want to collect surveys in addition to these interviews, you have additional actions to implement. Then, at the end of this process, you can start the interesting job : the actions!

If you use a neutral third party, you just have to receive the insights and the dashboard explaining why you are losing and why you are winning. Then you can use your valuable time to act on win-loss results. 

6. A neutral third party usually comes with full win-loss program management

Usually, if you use a neutral third party, they will offer to implement the full program for you. That means they can help you : 

  • Structure all of your win-loss outreach and automate it (thanks to CRM integration, which deal trigger for which channel feedback)
  • Scale your win-loss program 
  • Collect more feedback as they know how to increase participation rate. 
  • Give access to modern tool that promote modern activation of these insights across your company

Cons of using a neutral third party

Using an external provider comes with a price

As this data is extremely valuable and that you get huge ROI on win-loss analysis, the price is not that cheap. If you have no budget, you can start with a POC or with a limited number of interviews. You can arbitrate between : 

  • the calculation of the time your internal resources will spend on the win-loss process;
  • the valuable insights you will get that will help you close more deals;
  • the price of the third party.

Time to transfer your business specify

Even if the independent interviewers are used to making efficient interviews and to extract the core reason why a deal was won or lost, they need to know more about your business and environment (competitors, weaknesses, strengths, specificity, etc.). It typically takes 1 to 2 hours to transfer this knowledge. It seems quick when you think about how long you need to onboard somebody internally but don’t forget the program manager is not here to talk but to listen 80% of the time ! The program manager just needs to understand key specificities of your environment to ask the right questions.


If you use a neutral third party, they will get data about your own business and company. It’s important to make sure you trust this external provider and that the confidentiality is protected. If you want to be 100% sure, you can sign a non disclosure agreement (NDAs).

Loss of control

Of course, if you outsource your win-loss analysis, you don’t perform interviews and as a result, you don’t necessarily have all the insights in real time. This could lead to a loss of control of what is happening in your organization and what drives you to win or lose. You can offset this point if you make sure you receive constant updates on win-loss reports and if you are open to active communication with your program specialist.


The majority of B2B companies perform win-loss analysis without mentioning this process in its current form. The thing is that they do an incomplete and unreliable win-loss analysis : they ask their salespeople to fill in this CRM’s field : “closed-lost reason(s)”. They only ask for salespeople feedback at the end of the deal. But salespeople are emotionally involved in the process and they don’t know why they won or lost the deals. The result is false CRM data. 

At Diffly, our vision is to reduce biases by helping B2B companies receive regular, actionable and reliable win-loss insights. Feel free to contact us if you want to know how we help ambitious B2B companies.

Julien Cohen-Roussey
Co-founder & CEO of Diffly