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Win-loss review analyses

 October 31, 2017
by Paul Heron

Recent posts have focused on win-loss reviews, including structuring the process, conducting interviews and win-loss review reporting.

Companies conducting large numbers of reviews per year should also consider using win loss analysis to aggregate review data to see patterns and trends in bid response performance. This post will show you how to get started.

Add header information

Header information will determine how you can sort bids to see what’s happening. In mathematical terms, header items are independent variables.

Consider all the parameters against which you want to analyse results and add them to your review format, using letter or number codes. Examples of common header items include:

  • Bid review tracking number (if used)
  • Bid/No bid decision score (if known)
  • Result (win or loss)
  • Winner
  • Incumbent
  • Product category
  • Sales territory
  • Client type (e.g. by industrial category)
  • Pre-RFP sales contact
  • Role (if any) in shaping the RFP
  • Prospect is/is not a current client

Deciding on header items is an important step with long-term consequences.

While you can always add new items later, you will only be able to use those new items to analyse future bids—unless you go back to reconstruct and enter historic data.

Add quantitative questions to each section

For each of the interview areas (see this post on win-loss review basics), add a question that can be scored numerically. For example, to the questions on responsiveness, add the following (or a similar) question:

  •  “Overall, on a scale of 1 to 5, how well did XYZ Co. demonstrate it understood your needs?”

You can also ask:

  • IF A WIN: “Again on a scale of 1 to 5, how would you rank the next closest bidder on responsiveness?”
  • IF A LOSS: “Again on a scale of 1 to 5, how would you rank the winning bidder on responsiveness?”

To obtain high quality responses, ask your quantitative questions at the end of each section, rather than grouping them as a separate set of questions.

Assemble the review data and analyse

Input the header information and quantitative responses to a database or Excel spreadsheet. Over time you will be able to answer questions such as:

  • How does pre-RFP sales contact affect our win rate?
  • What is our responsiveness score on winning bids vs. losses?
  • Does our loss rate as incumbent vary by territory?

Of course the data you track and the questions you ask will depend on your business.


Need help understanding your bid performance?

Contact Complex2Clear



Photo credit

Paul Heron, MBA, is the founder and managing partner of Complex2Clear, and leads our bid response practice. LinkedIn 





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