Win/Loss and Churn Analysis – Your Questions Answered
Win/Loss Analysis is the process of understanding why a sales opportunity was realized or not. It involves speaking directly to your buyers to elicit candid insights about your business. These insights are powerful and can be used to improve your sales, marketing, product features, and value proposition. This is where our tag line, ‘Nail It. Then Scale It,’ comes from. We provide insight that helps you improve your product, service, and strategy, so that you can effectively grow your business.
What is Win/Loss Analysis?
What is Churn Analysis?
Churn Analysis is the process of understanding why a customer has decided to cancel a subscription or service. Similar to Win/Loss, Churn Analysis involves speaking directly to your customers to learn about their experience with your product and business. The insights yielded from Churn Analysis can be used strategically to avoid future churn of your current customers. Churn Analysis is about ‘defending’ your customer base.
Churn Analysis is similar to Win/Loss but the questions we ask the customer are a little different. We navigate the conversation in a similar way, but their history with you as a vendor is inherently different than it is in a Win/Loss scenario. Understanding that difference is critical to effective Churn Analysis.
What will my sales, marketing, and customer success teams get from Win/Loss Analysis and Churn Analysis?
The short answer is: Your team will get the truth from the buyer’s perspective (and in the case of churn, from the customer’s perspective).
There are three sides to any sales story: the seller’s version, the buyer’s version, and the company’s conclusion. It’s easy to get your company’s version and conclusion. What’s generally missing is the buyer’s side. Even when they share something about their decision – it wasn’t the right time, they didn’t have the budget, and so on – it’s never the full story.
How can you possibly know what the buyer or customer wants if you don’t get the feedback directly from them? And if you do elicit this feedback from them, how confident are you that it’s the honest truth?
What does an engagement with Eigenworks look like?
Here’s how it unfolds, from start to finish:
- Tell us about your business goals and the impact you want to achieve through Win/Loss or Churn Analysis.
- Select one of our three service offerings:
- Probe: A quick, initial exploration of your recent wins and losses (or churns).
- Epic: An intensive deep dive into an important question for your business.
- Cadence: Ongoing interviews that give you a steady pulse of insights.
- We develop a research strategy based on the question you want to investigate.
- You prepare a list of closed-win and closed-loss (or churned) interviewees that we can approach for an interview.
- We talk to your buyers (or customers), analyze and summarize what they tell us, and share our findings with you.
How do you get companies on the phone? Why would they agree to talk to you?
While it might seem surprising, up to 70% of the contacts you give us will agree to talk with us. We ask for 30 minutes of their time. Several factors account for our high participation rate.
- We have a solid recruitment technique developed and refined over 10 years.
- We offer an incentive – the interviewee can select a gift card or choose to donate the funds to a charity of their choice. We’ve experimented with incentives and found it helps to ensure the interviewee shows up for the call.
- There is a psychological component at play. A sales engagement is a personal interaction, and our follow-up call is not experienced in the same way as, for example, a random telemarketing call. The buyer (or non-buyer) knows you worked hard to get their business. You thought about their needs, and on some level, they want to reward that. If the fit wasn’t right, they may welcome the chance to shed some light on the decision. They
also have a sense that their feedback can contribute to the industry overall, by shaping improved products and
services that will benefit them in the future. One interviewee told us, “This is great. Someone’s gotta tell these companies what we actually need.”
How do you set up the conversation?
We tell the interviewee that we’re helping you do a strategic review of your product and performance. As you plan the next year of product roadmap and approach to the market, you want to hear from your buyers, and you asked us to reach out. We don’t hide your name or the fact that we’re talking to them at your request. We also provide them a Recruitment FAQ to fully outline the process. It is all honest and upfront.
How does the conversation unfold? Don’t people get defensive?
Interviewees do not get defensive because we use a unique dialogue approach called Buyer as Hero™.
Buyer as Hero™ focuses on the interviewee, their story, and their journey. We start from the assumption that they engaged with you for good reasons, and they made their eventual decision, whatever it was, for good reasons. We see the interviewee as an agent of change – someone who was trying to create a positive impact within their organization. By framing the
conversation in this way, interviewees do not feel defensive. They understand we are not trying to talk them out of their position. In fact, we want to go deeper into it, to get to the heart of the matter. We invite them to explore their decision more thoroughly with prompts like:
“I want to hear more.”
“Now I see why you went that route.”
“Tell me more about that.”
Later in the conversation, we ask questions to help diagnose the buying decision:
“What about this particular feature that Company X thinks makes them unique?” To which we might hear a variety of responses:
“Oh, that didn’t come up.”
“Yes, they mentioned that, but I didn’t care about it.”
“I cared about it, but I couldn’t convince my leadership.”
We can then ask further questions to deepen the diagnosis.
For a win, we might ask: “What if Company had offered feature A, B, or C, which our competitors say is lacking?” To which we might hear:
“It was a consideration, sure, but it wasn’t as important as the main factor.”
“We actually didn’t care about that.”
“Yes, that is missing, we agree.”
In short, by using the Buyer as Hero™ approach, we open the door for the buyer to tell the truth, and we can test alternatives to get the full picture.
What kind of insights and ROI have you seen coming out of your conversations?
There is potential for significant ROI with Win/Loss and Churn Analysis. One example is a Win/Loss project that we did for a company which positioned itself as having the superior product. But our buyer interviews revealed that very few buyers based their purchase decision on product superiority. In fact, more than 90% of our sample said they decided based on other factors, such as whether the salesperson had effectively tuned in to the buyer’s particular use case.
At the time, our client had a win rate of about 45% against their main competitor. They used our findings to implement a different sales approach, and within seven months their win rate increased to more than 60% and they were able to capture $15 million in additional revenue.
Not every project creates such dramatic impact. But smaller findings are also important. For example, sometimes we unearth unnecessary discounting, i.e. the buyer was ready to purchase at a higher price. We learned that certain deals considered by our client to be a ‘slam dunk’ were in fact nearly lost. We discovered that a company’s products were differentiated in ways the company hadn’t considered. All of this is vital information for our clients.
How many wins and losses do you study?
In our flagship offering, the Epic, we study between 20 and 30 sales opportunities with a mix of wins and losses. We recommend a 40-60, or even a 30-70, split of wins and losses, respectively.
The intent is to see what’s working well for you, and what’s not. It’s the combination of those findings that gives the most valuable insight
What does Win/Loss or Churn Analysis require from us in terms of staff time?
We have two approaches for onboarding, but generally you will need to give us at least an hour to tell us about your business, your goals, your challenges, and the impact you want to create. We budget time for as many internal stakeholders as you would like us to speak to. Typically, you connect us with a few people from your team who can put forward some good thinking with divergent hypotheses and theories.
We also ask you to identify an internal Buyer Intelligence Champion – someone who will own the initiative, help build the list of interviewees, act as our primary contact, and disseminate the findings
In what form do you provide insights? How can we best consume your data?
For each of our interviews, we provide a full verbatim transcript plus full audio, along with a detailed Insight Report. We also code every interview into a relational database that allows for better organization, accessibility, and analysis of the data. You are given access to this database.
There is also the option of receiving a thematic analysis and our recommendations for action, presented in a way that
engages your team.
Our clients absorb the data in different ways. In the early days of his startup, Gainsight CEO Nick Mehta listened to interviews via earbuds while watching his daughter’s soccer games. He told us that it was a way to get the voice of his customer firmly planted in his mind. While he doesn’t do that anymore, his company continues to highlight our interview findings
to every employee via a Slack channel set up for Win/Loss insights.
Other clients tell us that they listen to the interviews on their commute to and from work. Some print the full Insight Reports and highlight them for their own key takeaways.
Many clients just want to see the summaries, the themes, and our recommendations. We can further debrief by phone or we can even come to your site and do a workshop to explore the findings and implications in greater depth with members of your team. There are different levels of appreciation for working with the insights, and we aim to meet
What kind of companies do you work with?
We have deep expertise with B2B businesses using software-as-a-service delivery models and the enterprise market in general. We’ve helped companies that provide everything from network security and email deliverability to healthcare notifications and telecom monitoring.
Do you have international capabilities?
We work primarily in North America, although we do have interviewers who can work nights and talk to companies in Europe and Asia. We conduct our interviews exclusively in English