’s Definitive Guide to Winning New Customers: Win/Loss Analysis

Business Perspective

There is both art and science involved when measuring the effectiveness of any sales and marketing initiative. The optimal evaluation process combines quantitative data and qualitative information. For some, quantitative data are stored in a Customer Relationship Management (CRM) application that contains information such as number of opportunities, average deal size and forecast accuracy. Qualitative information is best derived through conducting win/loss customer interviews. Such interviews comprise an excellent way to determine how prospective customers perceive your organization and to learn how your quotes compare to other contract manufacturers.

Whenever you can, schedule customer win/loss interviews after the award is final. Make it clear that the call is not an attempt to change the buyer’s decision. Rather, the objective is to better understand how your organization and its offering were viewed in comparison to other contract manufacturers. Remember: You can learn as much from interviews where your organization won the RFQ as from those where your company lost.

Here are some typical questions to ask during the win/loss interview:

  • Was the RFQ for a new product, replace an existing supplier or to address an increase in demand for an existing product? This question confirms the opportunity and gets the customer/prospect to expound on it.
  • What other contract manufacturers were competing for the business? Why was your firm included in the mix? How and why did the customer/prospect make it a competitive process?
  • Why did/didn't your company win the business?
  • What were the key selection criteria? This question helps explain the decision-making process.
  • What was the customer’s/prospect's perception of the quality of your sales team's management of the relationship? Did the customer/prospect meet other personnel from your organization? What was the customer’s/prospect's perception of them?
  • What were the customer’s/prospect's thoughts about your proposal and presentation?
  • Was the customer/prospect comfortable with your capabilities? Which capabilities were most important to them?
  • What were the customer’s/prospect's thoughts about your pricing? Was the customer/prospect able to determine true value from your pricing?
  • How did you stack up against the competition? What did the customer/prospect view as your strengths and weaknesses? What did the customer/prospect view as your competitors’ strengths and weaknesses?
  • Did the customer/prospect call your references? If so, were they helpful?
  • What was the customer’s/prospect's perception of your organization before entering the buying cycle? Did the perception change? If so, how did it change?
  • What advice would the customer/prospect give you for working with them in the future?
  • Would the customer/prospect feel comfortable in recommending your solutions to others?
  • If a win, would the customer/prospect feel comfortable in participating in a case study, testimonial or joint press release?
  • Does the customer/prospect have any additional comments or suggestions?

The answers to these questions will provide tremendous insight into how prospective customers view your company, its strengths and weaknesses and its pricing compared to other contract manufacturers. Combining the quantitative data from your company’s CRM with the qualitative information gathered through interviews will surface areas of weakness that need to be shored up and will better focus your future sales efforts. It is not necessary to conduct win/loss analysis on every RFQ, but it is helpful to conduct six or so interviews per quarter. Even if you win a high percentage of competitive quotes, these analyses can offer invaluable insights into market shifts and the competition.

How Helps

Thousands of contract manufacturers have successfully used the marketplace to find new customers and grow their businesses. So, with nearly 10,000,000 quotes from thousands of contract manufacturers in our database, we can derive invaluable insights into the behaviors of successful shops. aggregates its vast data resources in our ShopIQ™ tool to assist our members – and we do so without sharing any supplier-specific confidential information. In essence, our ShopIQ acts as your company’s personal CRM solution, offering quantitative data associated with RFQs quoted on the platform.

ShopIQ has two major components. One captures prospecting behavior and the other offers competitive price comparison.

Our data show that successful shops are always prospecting for new customers. ShopIQ supports this statement through data on monthly user logins and monthly quotes. The average RFQ released on is open for only eight days. This means if you only log in onto the platform once per month, you will miss nearly 75 percent of all of the opportunities available during that month! The second data point is monthly quote activity. If you are not quoting RFQs, there is ZERO chance to win! ShopIQ allows you to compare your logins, quote activity and annual award amounts to the top shops.

Like it or not, price matters (a lot) when trying to win a new customer. Through ShopIQ, members have the unique opportunity to see how their pricing compared to competitive contract manufacturers. ShopIQ also breaks down where your shop is most and least competitive.

The analysis not only considers manufacturing categories but also looks at the materials used. A shop can be very competitive in certain materials but overpriced in others. ShopIQ allows you to create new Saved Search for all the categories where you are most competitive and will bring to your attention future opportunities that match your strengths.

ShopIQ is a powerful tool that, when combined with customer interviews, will help you refine your business strategy to win more customers and grow your business.

While not easy, winning new customers is not impossible if you follow tried and true sales best practices. is an indispensable tool that can puts contract manufactures in front of the right buyer organization at exactly the right time. Combining your business acumen with’s platform is great way for contract manufacturers to continually win new customers. enables sourcing professionals and engineers to quickly and easily locate quality suppliers for CNC machining, injection molding, metal stamping, metal fabrication and many other processes through an easy-to-use online marketplace. Suppliers that subscribe can find open RFQs on every day to help fill their manufacturing capacity. So, while not marketing per se, is another affordable tool to take your machine shop to the next level.