I’m Farhan Manjiyani, Manager of Competitive & Market Intelligence (CI) at Grafana Labs, and I’m here to talk about some win/loss.

To give you a little background about me, I started my career in the sales world before going into product marketing. I've been a full stack product marketer, if you will, doing everything from launches to enablement to competitive.

Recently, I took over as full-time competitive for a company called Grafana Labs.

This is my second time scaling out a win/loss program, so I’ve tried to compile all the main lessons I've learned from running this program myself, but also from talking to some other CI practitioners out there to give you the blueprint.

If you're just starting out or if you already have a win/loss program in place, I think you'll find this pretty useful.

Let's dive in.

Balancing value creation vs. value capture

First and foremost, especially if you’re a developer-focused company, one of the main challenges is the balance of value creation versus value capture.

Let's use Google as an example. They created a ton of value through search, connecting you to information quickly, and making awesome value for consumers like myself who use it all the time.

And the value capture of that is the introduction of AdWords, which really annoyed people from a consumer aspect, but created additional value for businesses for an entire new buyer. And they're now able to monetize at the same time.

Uber is another great example. It did something very similar by creating a marketplace for drivers as well as consumers who are riders and looking to get from A to B, versus the creator economy and that marketplace. And Uber's monetization or value capture of that came on top.

If you're a developer-focused company or a product-led motion, this should be fairly similar to your organization where you're thinking about how to create the value. For us at Grafana, it’s our Free Forever plan. But then what's the right way to think about capturing that value?

We also follow an open-source motion. So fundamentally, every time we create a new product, it's a question of, Is this something that makes more sense for the community? Versus, Is this a commercial only kind of feature or segment, or an entire product? You want to have a healthy balance on both sides for obvious reasons.

‎DevMar Debugged Podcast: Farhan Manjiyani | Best DevOps practices explained on Apple Podcasts
‎Show DevMar Debugged Podcast, Ep Farhan Manjiyani | Best DevOps practices explained - Jan 6, 2023

How to start your win/loss program

When you're trying to get your win/loss program off the ground, there are a couple of key questions that you want to answer.

First and foremost is, who's doing this today? You may be responsible in your remit for this, but chances are that within organizations, people are already trying to better understand this information.

For example, product may be looking at some of the main feature gaps within deals as part of their roadmap planning. Or your solutions engineering team is trying to think about efficiency and how to gauge tactical fit, proof of values, and concepts within cycles to inform hiring practices.

Or maybe your finance team is trying to understand how to better allocate and inform headcount planning for your reps.

Understanding what's already being done potentially in silos of the organization is super helpful as a starting point because then you're starting to see what the underlying data is that's driving this. Chances are they're totally different data sets.

This brings me to my second point, which is that you're going to need a data partner in this. Who in your organization owns the CRM? The actual creation and mandating of the fields from the quote to close process; who understands the definitions of these things?

For example, if there are multiple fields for the amount, what's the difference between the amount versus something that says ACV? Is that average contract value or annual contract value?

And for field history, how does the input of a field change over time within an opportunity?

These are fundamental questions that whoever's been implementing your CRM has answered at one point.

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While there are many strategies and techniques out there, sometimes the answer lies in utilizing existing resources. The key is not to try anything new but to learn how to use and think about what you already know as strategy as tools.

And if it's not well documented in your organization, you want to make sure you have a good partner within the ops world to go with you in this journey, as you're probably going to be making some suggestions or recommendations on how your data inputs need to change to really bolster your reporting efforts.

And then finally, what’s top of mind for the organization? What product cares about is probably very different from what revenue cares about, and it's probably also different from what your leadership cares about.

For us, it was very clear that the voice of the customer, or in this case, this prospect primarily for loss opportunities, was missing across the organization, especially at the senior leadership level. Get to really qualitatively understand what the reason is that people are choosing us, and why people tend to gravitate toward a competitor?

What exactly is easier to use? What particular workflows are easier to use and why? In what context? In what situation? Really just provide some more color around this so we can start to inform the strategic direction that the company’s going in.