How flexible are you in competitive intelligence and Win/Loss analysis? We usually aren’t in situations where the daily news changes how we’ll be with people. However, it’s likely that no matter how much planning we do, there are surprises. So the bottom line is as with many things in life. Do your homework and be prepared. Be flexible and swallow your pride, and let your heart speak when it’s needed. That way when the unexpected happens, you will have an ability to change gears.
Sales may initially exhibit fear and resistance to Win/Loss analysis since individual sales people’s performance will be critiqued by customers in ways it hasn’t been, outside of sales management. Read on to learn the strategic and tactical benefits Sales gains from Win/Loss analysis.
If you want to outsource Win/Loss analysis, here are 10 things to consider as you decide on a consulting firm:
1. Industry Experience
2. Connection to Sales
4. Project Management
5. Team Player
6. Written/Oral Skills
7. Project Delivery
10. Sharing Win/Loss Experience
Enjoy three 2015 competitive intelligence books: Business and Competitive Analysis: Effective Applications of New and Classic Methods, 2nd Edition by Craig Fleisher and Babette Bensoussan; The Guide to Online Due Diligence Investigations: The Professional Approach on How to Use Traditional and Social Media Resources by Cynthia Hetherington; and Blue Ocean Strategy, Expanded Edition: How to Create Uncontested Market Space and Market the Competition Irrelevant by W. Chan Kim and Renee Mauborgne.
While Win Loss is a relationship business, like all business processes, it continues to evolve. What are your best practices in there two areas: Monetary Compensation to those you interview for a win or loss AND Recording Win Loss Interviews. Please share with me in the comments section of this blog or email me at ellen at thebisource.com.
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 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.
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.
Compelligence recently introduced the Compelligence App which is the only competitive and market intelligence software that integrates seamlessly within Salesforce.com. It builds off the strengths of Salesforce.com in that it helps sales close more deals since it extends the reach of Salesforce.com to include data from the competitive marketplace. Armed with this information at their fingertips, account reps have even more time to sell.