Customer Forum

The Importance of Qualified Out Analysis

Keith (Workbooks Online) Posted: 2017-02-22 08:49


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This forum post is discussed in our 'The importance of 'qualified out' analysis' Success Clinic video. 

The Sales Process funnel diagram below shows the 5 stages you’d probably be happy for most deals to pass through, plus the undesirable “Closed Lost” stage!  It’s important to understand why deals are lost, which competitor they were lost to, plus any other useful observations, because this helps you make strategic decisions that improves the success of your sales team.  As explained in our How to close more sales using CRM whitepaper:

“There is usually more to learn from failure than from success.”



A sales manager will want to know:

  • Why do deals end up at “Stage 6 - Closed Lost”?
  • What can be done to reduce the number of deals that end up here?
  • And, can Opportunities that end up at “Stage 6 - Closed Lost” ever be recycled / resurrected?

These questions can be answered if you’re capturing relevant information when deals are lost.

Deals are usually categorised as ‘Closed Lost’ when the prospective customer selects the offerings of one of your competitors e.g. a competitor wins the deal on price, they do a better job of engaging the customer, or their product does something yours doesn’t (or the customer was never told / didn’t find out your product also includes that feature!).


Losing the deal

When a salesperson loses a deal, it makes sense for them to ask questions to understand why they didn’t win the deal, which will hopefully make them more successful in the future.  Analysis of this information will allow trends to be understood and strategic decisions can then be made.

To understand why a deal is lost salespeople need to be given, or seek relevant information, and record it in appropriate custom fields:

  • Lost To - Which competitor won the deal?
  • Lost Reason - Why was the deal lost? E.g. Pricing, Product Functionality etc.
  • Lost Comments - General notes/comments to provide context

We recommend adding three custom fields.  The fields can be used in Reports, and will help you understand the main reason(s) why you lose deals, and which competitors are your greatest threat.  The Comments provide context as they are free-type text, rather than a picklist of options.

Our CRM for New Business Sales webinar discusses this and other topics in more detail.


How do I set this up?

The steps below guide you through how you can set this up in your own database. 

Step 1: Create the Report using a Template Report

Navigate to Start > New > Report > Create a report from a template report and select the template report named “Template - DLI - Competitor Organisations”. It probably makes sense to also name it Competitor Organisations.


Step 2: Create Custom Fields

Navigate to Start > Configuration > Customisation > Record Type and select Opportunities. You should then go to the Fields tab and add the three custom fields below

  • Lost Comments - A multiline text custom field
  • Lost Reason - A picklist custom field (Note: You’ll also need to create the picklist)
  • Lost to - A Dynamic Linked Item (DLI) custom field, that uses the report created in the first step

Step 3: Add Custom Fields to your Opportunity Form Layout

Within the same window, select the Form Layouts tab and edit your relevant Opportunity Form Layout(s).

For example, you might want to add a section specifically for these fields - in this example, a two column section named Lost Info. You can choose whether to give the section a title and border.


Step 4: Create the Report using a Pre-populated Report

You’ll need to start recording data in the fields.  The fields will be available as columns in the All Opportunities Landing Pages (Start > Sales > Opportunities).  However, you’ll probably want to build reports that provide information similar to this view, which shows Joseph Equipment are a fierce competitor and the one that’s won the majority of the business lost.


The Lost To and Lost Category custom fields are single select custom fields, which makes them ideal for reporting e.g. you can build Summary reports that Group by Lost To and Lost Category.  This allows you to quickly see which category or competitor is responsible for the largest amount of lost deals.  

It is not currently possible for us to publish Template Reports that include Custom Fields, and because the “Lost Analysis” are custom fields, you’ll need to create the report from scratch.  Having said that, the report outlined above is straightforward to create, and the steps are provided below.

  1. Navigate to Start > New > Report > Create a new pre-populated report and select the Opportunities record type
  2. Give the report a suitable name and description on the Main tab of the report editor and click Save.
  3. In the Details tab, click Add column
    • Add the Lost Reason column and  click Save & New
    • Add the Lost To > Name column (this is the Name of the competitor, so you’ll also need to change the Title of the column to “Lost to”) and click Save & Close.
  4. Click the Criteria tab and Add a Criteria to limit the report to only display close lost deals.

  5. Add a Summary View
  6. Within the Summary View, add a Summarised column and select the Amount (home currency) field. You should group this by Lost to.

TIP: You can also group by Lost Reason, or add a Split Column for it like the screenshot above. Clicking “Add Summary View” will allow you to copy one summary view and edit the grouping column.  This means you can have 2 summary views; one that’s grouped by Lost to, and another grouped by Lost Reason.