How to determine your win/loss percentage image
The formula for win/rate percentage is simple, but using it to get a meaningful measure for your business can be a challenge! Here's what we've found to work the best.

First, the competitive win rate is just the number of competitive deals you won divided by the total number of competitive deals you tried to win--the competitive wins plus the competitive losses.

What makes this tricky, though, is deciding what makes a deal "competitive." There's no standard definition, so it varies from company to company. Worse, it can vary from person to person inside a company. It's very common for different groups to report different "win rates" because they don't agree on which deals should be included.

As a win/loss program metric, the key is to count the deals that were competitive contests. Focus exclusively on the deals, whether won or lost, where your sales teams competed to the bitter end.

So, the number of competitive wins is:
  1. All closed transactions
  2. Less renewals, add-ons, or other sole-source deals where there were no competitors
Point #2 above is what makes the competitive win rate different from the company's win rate overall. A company that makes almost all of its revenue from renewals and loses most of its new logo business would have a terrific overall win rate and a very poor competitive win rate. Clearly, vague reporting here can mask serious problems.

Then, the number of competitive losses is:
  1. All deals that didn't close
  2. Less deals that "push" or "slip" to the next quarter
  3. Less deals that close "No Project" (i.e., nobody won)
  4. Less deals that never made it past qualification (i.e., the opportunity wasn't a good fit)
Points #2 and #3 are subject to misreporting by the field, and it's up to sales management to keep reps honest and to not hide competitive losses as "zombie" deals that never close or to misreport competitive losses as "no project" outcomes.

Conversely, point #4 is important so that reps don't waste resources on unwinnable opportunities. Clear qualification criteria and sales rules of engagement are of course critical not just for consistent reporting but overall sales effectiveness.

Unfortunately, most CRM systems are not set up to report the above. It takes some work with your CRM administrators to get this right, but it is essential if you are to meaningfully report on your true competitive win rate. We have worked with many clients to assist and can help guide you in this area.