Win Loss Analysis

B2B Customer Segmentation: Win Loss Analysis by Firmographics

B2B Customer Segmentation: Win Loss Analysis by FirmographicsThis is the last post in this series on six approaches to quickly identify and evaluate potential segmentation characteristics.
Time is always limited, so you will want to evaluate which approaches make the most sense for your organization at your current point in development and understanding of your market opportunities.
The first post in this series is intended to help startup management teams identify and evaluate which B2B segmentation approaches make the most sense for their organization. It provides an overview of six different B2B customer segmentation approaches with links to dedicated posts on each approach that walk you through how to set up and conduct each analysis.
This week, I will explain how a win loss analysis can be used as a tool to quickly identify potential segmentation characteristics and/or inform target segmentation decisions. I will also explain how to set up and conduct this type of analysis.

Win Loss Analysis Overview

An opportunity win loss analysis is useful for B2B segmentation analysis because it allows a company to quickly evaluate segment penetration and the effectiveness of its selling efforts into a given segment. These are two very important factors when evaluating segment opportunities. A company needs to be able to evaluate its likelihood of being able to successfully sell into a target segment and this is a great way of doing so using experiential data.
When using this approach it is important to have a clear understanding of your company’s go-to-market campaigns during the time period of analysis as this could have a significant impact on penetration and (to some degree) win rates, as well. After all, focus should drive higher win rates.

Step-by-Step Guide to Set Up and Execute an Opportunity Win Loss Analysis by Firmographics

  1. Identify the data source for the win loss analysis. This will generally be the company’s CRM.
  2. Define the time period coverage for the analysis. This is a really important decision. You want the sample you are working with to be as representative of your company’s current market opportunity as possible. You will need to think about factors that have affected your company’s market opportunity and try to determine whether they have potentially changed the way customers perceive your products and services, enough to alter the outcome of potential opportunities. If the answer is yes, then you will need to draw a cut-off line at that point, as these data points will bias the analysis. However, you also want to make sure that you are incorporating as many data points as are relevant in the analysis.
  3. Identify the characteristics that you want to evaluate as potential segmentation factors via the win loss analysis. Every additional characteristic that you analyze will add additional time, so you will want to limit the number of variables you analyze.
  4. Identify sources for the segmentation factors you want to evaluate. Sometimes this data will be contained in the CRM and other times it will need to be found elsewhere. Generally, you will want to evaluate opportunities by sector and company size as well as across one or two other factors.
  5. Calculate total wins, total losses, and win rates across each segmentation factor that you are analyzing. Win rate is calculated as number of wins divided by closed opportunities.
  6. Bar chart the aggregate opportunities by wins and losses across each segmentation factor and overlay a win rate line chart. This will help you see the areas where your company has had the most opportunities and were it has had the highest win rates.
  7. Review each of the segmentation charts to identify positive and negative patterns across each of the segmentation factors. Often, this will highlight clear segmentation patterns across your customer base, which can be used to develop a more refined target segment definition.

This concludes this series on one-off B2B customer segmentation approaches. If you plan to do a more in-depth segmentation analysis, I recommend reading the OpenView customer segmentation eBook that walks you through how to set up and execute a more involved segmentation analysis.

Brandon Hickie
Brandon Hickie
Marketing Manager, Pricing Strategy

Brandon Hickie is Marketing Manager, Pricing Strategy at LinkedIn. He previously worked at OpenView as Marketing Insights Manager. Prior to OpenView Brandon was an Associate in the competition practice at Charles River Associates where he focused on merger strategy, merger regulatory review, and antitrust litigation.
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