Win Loss Analysis – Is It Just Another Buzz Phrase

It seems every decade we are inundated with new business buzz words. Sure they appear to be new but the strategies rarely are. Take the 1970s and 1980s TQM or Total Quality Management, then in the 1990s ISO9000 was all the rage, now it is all about Six Sigma Black Belt. The reality is, it is all the same, that is to say the philosophy and methodology. Of course, for management consultants to get paid, and MBA “A-school” tuition justification they have to change the wording to make it sound like everyone knows what they are talking about – so they go and invent a new language.

Is the concept of Win Loss Analysis any different than adding customer feedback loops back into marketing, branding, product development, distribution and customer service process? No, it’s just a simpler term to sum it all up in a nice catch phrase. Okay so, if it is such a simple concept, then why on Earth isn’t every small business, government agency, academic institution, healthcare facility, military unit and corporation doing it? Ah, good question.

Every neighborhood deli in Brooklyn does it. The proprietor is constantly asking customers; did you like the meat? Do you prefer a less spicy version? Was it too tough? Interestingly enough, even though this is more or less ‘common sense’ to an entrepreneur building a business as they attempt to secure new customers and keep the old golden even the smallest lemonade stand operator assumes everything is fine as long as yesterday’s sales were good. Buzz words or buzz phrases aside, it does matter and it really is about winning or losing in the free-market.

As business executives we understand the importance of customer service especially when we become the victims of lousy service in the things we buy for ourselves. We get upset, complain, piss and moan and say to ourselves we are; “never going to use that business again or recommend them.” Still, it’s important to look in our own mirrors early and often. Are we walking our talk, or just citing the proverbial in Vogue buzz words of the day? And to that point, if you don’t plan to win, you are preparing to lose. It’s up to you to choose.

So, the question remains – do you have a Win Loss Analysis and constant feedback loop in your organization? Does the task seem too daunting? Are you satisfied with your current sales minus the guaranteed attrition? Do you want more referrals, stronger brand recognition? Do you want higher repeat intervals and customer retention rates? Don’t be afraid of the truth, this is competitive information you need to satisfy your best customers (your competitors’ best prospects).

Just assuming everything is wonderful because yesterday’s lemonade sales were good, doesn’t mean you didn’t leave a sour taste in the mouths of your patrons. Maybe you are doing great today, but that is a recipe for disaster.

Win Loss Analysis may indeed be another of this decades corporate buzz phrases, but if you want sales to bloom you need to pollinate your customer base and grow your market share for future harvest.