Top 10 Lessons Learned from Win/Loss Research in Q1, 2021

business puzzle

Over the past 12 months, Ideba has seen a significant increase in the volume of qualitative win/loss research, with CROs and executive leadership looking for an unbiased, third-party perspective into why their company is winning and losing deals. Understanding this gives valuable insights for new business and customer expansion.

For Q1 2021, I’m pleased to share the key lessons learned from hundreds of interviews:

  • There’s often a gap between the value delivered to existing customers, and the potential value pitched to net new customers
  • Customers rarely buy on price alone
  • Prospects are using peer research more extensively than ever, and often know as much if not more about the product/service they are considering than the salesperson that is presenting
  • If your competitors are conducting effective third-party win/loss research and you are not, they are likely pitching against your known weaknesses, and may also be leveraging insights gleaned into your pricing model
  • The most important part of the pitch is up-front scoping and discovery, as it sets the tone for everything that follows – content, culture and communication
  • The most effective sales pitches are based on what the prospect needs and their pain points – and not what you want to sell. This often starts with business goals and objectives, first and foremost
  • Accurate, relevant references are more important than ever, and need to be specific to vertical industry, company size and type; and ideally business challenge or pain point trying to solve for
  • Effective third-party win/loss research will inform you as to key competitive threats, helping you to differentiate in the sales process; and to effectively articulate your value proposition
  • Customers have bigger issues with complexity of software licensing complexity than with price. Is your product easy to purchase?
  • Know how to make effective use of your senior leadership team in the sales process, as companies winning out on deals are making a strong connection with buyers and with decision makers. Executives should add value to the process, rather than just occupying a seat at the table

If you’re interested in learning more how qualitative win/loss research improves your bottom line, please drop me a quick note at I’d love to hear from you.

-David Sly, President