Navigating Win/Loss Research for Competitive Intelligence

Some people stand in line for hours waiting for new sneakers. Others set alarms when concert tickets go on sale. Me? I get a kick out of talking research. Seriously dorky I know, but it’s the real me.  So when I found out Ryan Sorley was going to join me at the Product Marketing Community Boston event to talk about how Win/Loss analysis feeds competitive intelligence, the fangirl in me came out.

Ryan was kind enough to sit down and indulge my curiosity sharing answers to my burning questions.

How soon after a deal closes should an interview be conducted?  Within 90 days. But Ryan reminds us that the days are less important than catching the right window. Interviews should be conducted after a purchase decision has been made (that’s not always the same as when we have “lost” the deal) but before implementation has started.

Can surveys enhance qualitative interview outcomes?

Ryan and I are in total agreement on this one! Surveys are a great way to validate information collected from one person across a range of buying committee participants. They can also be used to prime baseline information prior to conducting a live interview. But remember surveys don’t replace conversations.

Why lost reason codes in CRM systems are insufficient to draw conclusions?

I was so jiving with Ryan on this question too. There are two big reasons lost reason codes in your CRM system can be misleading. First, in complex buying processes rarely does the decision come down to an isolated single factor that can be summarized in a drop-down menu. Second, the salesperson fills out this field and often they don’t know the real reason you won or lost a deal because they only have insights based on what the person negotiated with them told them. There are all kinds of reasons buyers aren’t fully transparent with their account representatives.

How does my program stack up? If you’re curious how your Win/Loss research program stacks up against best practice processes Ryan has put together a helpful Infographic you can read here.

Will an interviewee trust me if I record our interview?

Recording win/loss calls allow for transcripts that will help you find patterns and recall details you might have missed with manual note-taking. However, your interview is only valuable if the other person on the line trusts you and feels they can be totally honest. The best way to rest people at ease is to disclose you are recording and why (note-taking) and promise to keep their transcript private for your analysis only.  And of course, honor your commitment to anonymize their input. I like to share that only information will be reported in aggregate and that the actual transcripts are kept anonymous.

What famous movie did Ryan appear in?

I bet you’d like to know but you’ll have to join us to find out. 🙂

Consider yourself invited!

I hope you can join Ryan and I as we dive deep into this, and many more important product marketing challenges at the Product Marketing Community Boston event on April 26th.

Register here and use CODE: SAMANTHAVIP for a discount.