Win/Loss Analysis – Lead Sources

You can’t win ‘em all.

This is a lesson we are forced to learn from an early age. Whether it happens the first time you lose a board game to your older sister, or when your little league baseball team takes a crushing defeat, you have to come to terms with the fact that victory all the time is impossible. I know it, you know it, and Sales VPs certainly know it. What matters, then, is that we learn from our losses and apply these lessons to future opportunities. This is why the win/loss analysis is a critical aspect of the sales process.

But how should you conduct this analysis? What should you be looking for, and where should you be searching? A win/loss analysis can be conducted from a variety of different angles, depending on what you’re specifically looking for.

This is the first in a new series on our blog, focusing on different aspects of a win/loss analysis. We’re kicking things off by looking at lead sources.

Why look at lead sources?

Your Marketing VP is doing a kick-ass job of generating hordes of leads from his various campaigns and sources, including the blog they run, their AdWords campaigns, the conferences they host and their social media efforts. On a surface-level overview, this is great. But diving deeper, questions start to arise:

  • How many leads are each specific source responsible for generating?

  • What is the level of quality of the leads from each source?

  • How many of the leads from each source convert to opportunities?

  • And finally, how many of these opportunities are converting to deals?

Answering these questions can really tell a lot about how whether marketing is holding up its end of the bargain in terms of delivering not only leads but also quality leads that end up as deals. Additionally, conducting a win/loss analysis by lead source details not only the effectiveness of marketing’s efforts, but also the efficiency of these campaigns. Efficiency naturally follows up into a discussion about returns on investment (ROI) and maximizing it – music to a CEO’s ears.

Look at this report below. The blog generated the most ‘wins’ compared to the other lead sources. In fact, the blog generated by far the most opportunities overall. It might seem like the blog is the most effective lead source and should be emphasized by marketing going forward…right?

Not so fast. Efficiency and ROI must be considered as well, especially when your CEO is trying to figure out budgets and where to make the appropriate investments. Based on this win/loss analysis, the blog is actually not the most efficient lead source. The blog generated a ton of opportunities, but many of these ended up losing.

Check out the table accompanying the win/loss analysis graph. According to the data, Twitter actually produced, by far, the highest winning percentage among all the lead sources, with 23%. Assuming a relatively equal spend per opportunity created from each lead source, it is Twitter that actually produces a much higher return on investment. With this information, the Marketing VP can now delegate their resources accordingly. Perhaps the budget for conferences should be scrapped in lieu of more emphasis on generating leads from Twitter.

Conducting a win/loss analysis by lead source is just one of the many ways in which Sales and Marketing VPs can study their victories and defeats. The lessons gleaned in these analyses should then be applied in future decisions. Check back over the next couple of weeks for more interesting ways to conduct your win/loss analysis.