4 Steps To Identify Why You’re Winning & Losing Business

Closing Deals / June 4, 2019 / Kristie

Do you know the reasons you’re winning deals over your competition? Do you know the top reasons why you’re losing business?

Unless you’re capturing and tracking these reasons, you won’t have data to prove what’s working and what’s not working to win business.

Two people in a conference room, discussing if they're winning and losing business based on the data in a whiteboard.

The importance of knowing why you’re winning business

By tracking and identifying the top reasons you’re winning business, you know exactly what’s working in your favour against your competition. By knowing what’s having the biggest impact – whether it’s the price point, customer service, reputation, or some other reason, you can leverage this in your marketing.

How to leverage your strengths

Through tracking why you’re winning business, you may find that the reason is a specific service offered by your company and not your competition. With this information, you can start promoting this service on your website, your social media accounts, your email nurture campaigns, on sales calls, etc. This way you can leverage your strength and stand out from your competition.

The importance of knowing why you’re losing business

By tracking and identifying the top reasons you’re losing business, you’ll know exactly where there’s room for improvement or where to deliberately avoid competing in that market.

How to leverage and/or optimize your weaknesses

Let’s say you’re losing deals because of your price point. You may make the conscious decision to say NO to those deals and focus your business on high-value deals with a greater return on investment. You’ll want to turn that perceived weakness into a strength by making sure your brand matches your image of luxury, quality, and high value to deter the wrong leads from coming in.

Perhaps by collecting why you’re losing business, you find the reason is because your sales process takes too long. Perhaps your team is not being proactive enough in following up to push the deal forward. And in the meantime, your competition swoops in and steals your business. By identifying the problem, you can then review your sales process with your team and come up with creative solutions to resolve the problem. This may involve revamping your entire sales process to make it faster and smoother for the customer, or making little tweaks to speed it up.

How to track why you’re winning and losing business

You’re on board with the importance of tracking why you’re winning and losing business. You want to better understand your key strengths and identify your weaknesses so you can leverage and optimize those as well.

So how do you go about tracking this? Below I’ll explain a 4 step process for how you can capture and leverage this information.

Step 1: Ask

In order to know why people are choosing your business over the competition, or why they’re choosing the competition, you need to ask.

This can be done manually or automated.

How to do this manually:

When you are on the phone with new prospects, ask them what interested them most in your product or service. Was it a particular feature? Did you come highly recommended? What did that referral say when they recommended you?

The same goes for why you’re losing business. When following up with a prospect and finding out that they move forward with a competitor, politely ask them why. Was there a feature or a specificservice they offered? Why is this important to you? Was the price point the main factor? Was it something else?

While it may be harder to get a response from lost prospects, you don’t know unless you ask. You may also be surprised by how many people are willing to share this information. Keep in mind, just because someone says NO, that doesn’t mean NO forever. It may just mean NO not right now, or NO until you’re able to meet their specific needs in a different way.

How to automate this:

If your business process does not involve a whole lot of back and forth interactions with leads and prospects, you can automate asking this question through surveys or forms.

For example, you can have a form field on your website when someone gets in touch about what piqued their interest most. If you’re just beginning to ask this question, it’s best to ask open-ended questions. Once you identify trends in responses, you can turn those common reasons into multiple choice options.

Another option is to create a survey that you email to people when you hear back that they’re no longer interested in your product or service. Again, it’s ideal to start asking these open-ended questions and once you identify trends, turn those into multiple choice options.

Step 2: Capture

Now that you have a process in place for asking people why they’re choosing your business or not, capture this information so you can review and analyze it.

This can be done simply by being captured in a spreadsheet, or in a small business CRM like Daylite.

Daylite Tip: If you’re using Daylite as your small business CRM, you can capture this in an Opportunity and customize these reasons within your Daylite preferences under the Opportunity tab and then go to “Opportunity State Reasons”. For full instructions, check out this tutorial on How to track your close rate and why you’re winning/losing business.

Step 3: Analyze

Now that you’re capturing data from prospects, won clients, and lost deals, you can review it and start to identify trends.

If you’re using a spreadsheet, start by separating the data by “reasons we’re winning business” from the “reasons we’re losing business” and group similar answers together.

For example, you could group these answers into buckets such as:

  • Price
  • Timing/Sales Process
  • Reputation/ Referral Reasons
  • Unique Features or Service Offerings

If you’re using a small business CRM, the process for capturing and analyzing this information should be more streamlined and less messy than working with data in spreadsheets.

Daylite Tip: If you’re using Daylite as your small business CRM, you can report on these Opportunity state reasons. Check out this tutorial on How to track your close rate and why you’re winning/losing business.

As you collect more data and your groupings become more clear, start analyzing the biggest buckets for reasons you’re winning and the biggest bucket for reasons you’re losing.

Step 4: Optimize

As this is a new process, you may find that the information captured doesn’t tell you the whole story. If you find the data you have isn’t deep enough, you can share this with your team to make adjustments to questions being asked so you get more valuable information.

Give your team context as to why you’re asking these questions, how you’ll be using this data, and what an ideal answer may look like. This will give your team more clarity on how to ask and prod to learn more.

Continue to improve this process until you have your strengths and weaknesses identified.

From there, it’s about working with your team to leverage and optimize your strengths and weaknesses.


Through this data-driven process, you’ll have confidence in understanding and proving your true unique selling propositions. This process will also help you identify where there’s room for improvement so you can close more deals and grow your business. Hope you found this helpful! Leave a comment below to share how it’s helping your business.

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