What is Win-Loss Analysis: the new superpower used by best B2B companies?

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Win-loss analysis is the process of systematically asking your buyers why they decided to buy or not your product or service. This process is key because B2B companies leave money on the table. 25% of the lost deals should have been won and they need to know how. However, betting on CRM close lost reasons is not enough as they are usually not reliable and complete. That's where win-loss analysis comes into play. In this article, we explain what you should know about this new super powerful tool and how implementing it can boost your win rates and GTM tactics!

What is Win-Loss Analysis ?

Win-loss analysis is an iterative method that allows you to understand more what your prospects thought about their selling experience. But it’s not only about the sales process. This process gives you much more than insights on sales. For example, you can collect feedback on:

  • Messaging and positioning
  • Product roadmap
  • Company reputation
  • Pricing & packaging
  • Competitors
  • Etc.

Win-loss analysis helps all Revenue Teams (product marketing manager, marketing teams, ops & enablement teams) and Product & Executives teams. 

At the end of your sales cycle, the objective is to collect reliable feedback from your prospect. Thanks to this data, you can improve your win rates, adjust your GTM strategy and increase your business performance. A successful win-loss analysis collects a 360° feedback that mixes up:

  • Qualitative feedback through interviews
  • Quantitative feedback through surveys

The key thing about your business is to know why your buyers choose to work or not with you. It’s fundamental to any ambitious B2B business.

I also recommend performing this with your customers. We talk about “churn & renewal analysis”. Asking for their feedback during the collaboration helps:

  • Identify “at-risk” customers and anticipate actions to reduce churn
  • Understand why customers renew and how you can duplicate this to your current client base
  • Identify “upsell” opportunities easily and in a proactive way

Why is win-loss analysis critical for best B2B companies?

A new game

Understanding why you win or lose deals is critical. An economic slowdown (buyer’s budget shrinks, projects on hold, more competition, etc.) is not only one reason for performing win-loss analysis. We are also in a fast-paced environment. This means buyer’s needs are in constant evolution.

You need to be close to the voice of your prospect and customers to maintain your product-market fit. This new game also means new partnerships, market consolidation and competitor’s innovation. All of this convinces B2B companies to implement continuous win-loss analysis.

You can’t only rely on your CRM data

Usually, B2B companies have a CRM in which they ask their salespeople to fill in this field: the “closed-lost reason(s)”. For the majority, it’s a dropdown menu. But this is not working: 

  • The one who fills in this field is precisely the one who emotionally manages the selling process. Your salespeople’ input is valuable but you can’t only rely on this
  • This data mixes up the cause and the consequence. The consequence is “no news” or “lost to competition”. The cause could be multiple decision drivers.
  • This close-lost reason lacks actionable precisions. For example, a closed-lost reason “Product” is not telling you if the issue was “UX/UI”, “Integration” or “Missing features”. 

Your CRM lost reasons dropdown
Your CRM lost reasons dropdown

B2B companies ignore the real reasons why they win or lose a deal

At the end of a deal (won or lost), if you try to understand what happened, you usually get “generic reason”. Even worse, you sometimes get “false reasons” such as “pricing” or “product”. But B2B selling is multi-faceted. You win or you lose for multiple reasons. For multiple decision criterias.

Iceberg: advantages of win-loss analysis
The Iceberg of winning / losing reasons

Win-loss is like brushing your teeth

What do you do to get white teeths? You brush your teeths each day.

What do B2B companies do to improve win rates and understand why they lose and win ? They do win-loss analysis each time they close a deal

It’s a “never ending story”.

Of course, you can focus your analysis on specific topics that are relevant and painful for your organization. These topics could be : 

  • A low win rate against a particular competitor
  • A sales representative with low win rate and you need to understand why
  • A new product launch and you need to understand how the market is reacting
  • A messaging dedicated to a new ICPs
  • A new pricing strategy
  • A decreasing net retention rate
  • You can find here more signals on why launching win-loss here

Win rate graph showing what you need to know in order to win more
You can win more deals if you can determine why you lose

You get a new superpower thanks to win-loss analysis

If you implement win-loss analysis in your company, you will understand what are the exact reasons why your buyers made their final decision. You will step into your buyer’s mind !

Collecting insights from the past that made you win or lost will allow you to : 

  • Increase win rate and win future deals
  • Increase client retention
Top decision drivers on a particular deal
Top decision drivers from Diffly's platform dashboad

Who needs to launch win-loss analysis?

All B2B companies should drive their product & sales strategy by prospects & client’s insights

Both growing startups/scaleups and mature established enterprises use win-loss analysis. B2B growing companies must adjust their Go-To-Market strategies to lead their market. Established firms need to slightly increase their conversion rate and make sure they consolidate their position on the market. They also need to find key differentiators from competitors. It’s a never ending story !

What I recommend is to first look at your CRM and get an answer on the two following questions:

  • What is my average deal size (in the last 12 months)?
  • What is the number of deals I closed (won + lost) in the last 12 months?

If your company has high deal size and a low volume of opportunities, then you will collect more qualitative feedback (interviews) than quantitative surveys. On the contrary, B2B companies with low deal size but high volume should collect more surveys than interviews.

Deal size and volume graph
Deal size and volume graph

Win-loss analysis involves all Revenue and Go-to-market teams

Win-Loss Analysis is usually owned by : 

  • Product Marketing Manager teams
  • Revenue teams (particularly Chief Revenue Officer, VP Sales, Head of Sales, all sales representatives and Revenue Operations, Head of Ops)

Executives (CEO, CSO), marketing professionals, product teams (VP Product, Product manager), customer success managers and competitive analysts are also looking to master their jobs thanks to win-loss. 

Win-loss analysis has multiple use cases

I list here the best use cases for win-loss analysis but there are more : 

  • Improve win rates
  • Improve sales tactics, performance and enable salespeople
  • Reactivate lost deals and win them back
  • Drive product strategy & roadmap
  • Improve marketing positioning
  • Align sales, product and marketing
  • Gain perspective on your company growth
  • Secure team alignment
  • Boost messaging and content effectiveness
  • Build winning battle card
  • Improve customer engagement and identify “upsell” opportunities

A huge ROI 

Implementing win-loss analysis will help you increase your company revenue and your win rates. You will also gain time on: 

  • Product roadmap decision. You get confidence that what you develop is the right thing
  • Sales representatives allocation. You get confidence that your top performers dedicates their valuable time to the right deals with the best chance to win

According to Gartner, a formal and rigorous win-loss analysis program can improve your win rates up to 50%. According to Accenture, companies that perform continuous win-loss analysis increase their win rates by 18%. 

Since the implementation of the platform, our win rate has increased by 25% and we are now able to make strategic decisions based on data rather than feelings. Diffly is a game changer tool for us.

CEO @Reveal

5 final tips on how to implement win-loss analysis

I personally launched a win-loss analysis program at Javelo (now acquired by Tellent) in 2021 and 2022 when I was Head of Sales. The results were outstanding (the team's win rate just doubled against one direct competitor).

I share here 5 tips that I found wonderful if you want to implement this project across your organization.

  1. Define your learning objectives (what I listed in the “usecases” paragraph above) and structure your program
  2. Communicate internally (stakeholders and salespeople) and externally (your buyers) on this program 
  3. Standardize your interview process (make sure you follow an interview guide)
  4. Combine qualitative and quantitative data from interviews and surveys
  5. Use a third party to perform interviews to secure neutral and reliable insights


I think win-loss analysis is a game-changer tool that more and more companies are going to use. We all know this: buyers start buying rationally and finish buying emotionally. B2B companies should adapt their tactics to the voice of their buyer and win-loss analysis is perfect for this. 

With David and Anne-Sophie, we think there is a missing final step in all the CRM of the world. So we decided to create Diffly to help Revenue, Product and Marketing leaders automate and perform successful analysis. It will be a pleasure for us to give you more contact on our vision. You can contact us here. If you have other questions regarding win-loss analysis or if you want me to tackle another topic regarding sales & competitive intelligence, feel free to ask!

Julien Cohen-Roussey
Co-founder & CEO of Diffly