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Here are some insightful articles related to competitive intelligence and customer intelligence. Emotional Intelligence: Cult or Competitive Advantage? How to Build a Culture of Givers: 4 Tips; Employers Want Critical Thinkers, But Do They Know What It Means? 10 Great Questions Product Managers Should Ask Customers
I have had the pleasure of interviewing two impressive Directors of Win Loss programs. Both work for large companies that have done win loss analysis for a long while. Both emphasized the importance of company culture in how they set up their win loss programs; how they conduct win loss interviews—both internally and with customers—and how they write up the win loss analysis.
Win Loss is a Cooperative Relationship Business: You need to treat people the way they like to be treated throughout the process. It starts with soliciting feedback for the win loss questions from multiple people in relevant departments such as sales, marketing, product management, PR and executives. The next touch point is the internal interviews you conduct before reaching out to customers. With the customer, you want to engage early and frequently throughout the sales process. Remember that the recommendations you make at the conclusion of your win loss report can impact people’s jobs. Be sensitive to company politics and face saving in your loss reports.
I have been conducting win loss analysis for 25 years, and have wondered how stress affects decision-making. According to Stephen W Martin, Sales’ biggest enemy is not the competition: it’s “no decision.” Customers are afraid to make decisions due to the stress of buying. They are seldom sure they are purchasing the right product or solution, and there are often naysayers in their organizations who are against moving forward. Customers increasingly don’t make a purchase even after a thorough evaluation. They feel too overwhelmed with information and contradicting evidence to make a decision, and it doesn’t help that there is little product differentiation around the basic features, functions and benefits among the competitors.
We walk around with an illusion that what we are now is what we will be in the future. Harvard Psychologist Dan Gilbert raises the concept that the person you are right now is a transient being and explains how time transforms preferences, values and personalities. Source Interesting talk in that many of us think we aren’t changing when we …
The win loss analysis question I get asked the most often is: “Can you share your win loss templates?” I break down win loss questions into 4 buckets: relationship health; company reputation; product/service attributes and servicing issues.
I thought that you would only gain benefit if you conducted win/loss interviews quarterly, but I found out that you can learn so much, even from 20-25 interviews. I hope to share this skill in my book so small and mid-size companies can take advantage of what they can learn from more in-depth interviews with customers and prospects a couple of months after the sales event.
The world has lost one of our greatest women this week, Maya Angelou. She has impacted my life with her statements, particularly this one. “I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” Thank you Dr. Maya Angelou
I read two great blogs in the last couple of weeks: David Harkelroad’s which asserted that the biggest problem in strategy is mindset; and an HBR blog on “What Gets in the Way of Listening?” I think they are related since if you truly listen, you are open to having your mind changed. I am curious as to how others deal with their leadership’s lack of listening ears? I know as a telephone interviewer that there are not enough listening ears and that job disengagement in the US is around 70%, so if they answer their phone, they are likely to be informative.
Join us (Ellen Naylor, Business Intelligence Source; Mitch Emerson, Compelligence; Dean Davison, Forrester Research) for a free 45 minute webinar, “From Competitive Intelligence Collection to Sales Enablement,” on April 22, 2014 at Noon Eastern US. Learn how to collect more effectively from your sales force; how to transform that data into competitive intelligence that Sales can tap into for each deal; and how to hold conversations with customers in ways that resonate with them and engage them to buy.
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