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 key to success in communication to and from sales is to understand your company’s sales culture, and what might be fun and engaging for them to be cooperative in sharing what they learn in a timely manner. Go to where sales is to get them to engage. Many sales people travel extensively, so they have time in the car or airplane to write, tape or text about what they’re learning. They also value information from their peers. Maybe you can facilitate more sharing among peers, even informally. In my experience it takes a couple of years to get sales information to flow. You have to earn their trust to build that relationship.
This is the first in a series about how I evolved in my career in competitive intelligence, and what I have learned over time. Overall I am glad I had a start back in 1985 for the critical thinking and deeper relationships I developed. I am glad to still be in this field today where I can reach out to sources quickly that I would never have dreamed even existed in 1985, thanks to social networking.
Win Loss Reviews is real-time intelligence collection from selected sales events. Author, Rick Marcet describes how he established a scalable win loss process using technology that hangs off Microsoft’s sales force management system. I particularly appreciate the psychological aspects Mr. Marcet weaves throughout this book to engage Sales as so many in marketing and competitive intelligence fail to motivate Sales to share! This book is a must read for anyone in sales management, marketing especially customer insight, and competitive intelligence.