As many of you know, I am writing, Win, Lose or Draw, a book on how to set up a world class win loss program.
In this book I am sharing some best practices to capture customer intelligence through win loss interviews:
- The Steps to Take to Establish a Sustainable Win Loss Program
- How to Include Sales People in Your Win Loss Process
- Determining Which Customers and Prospects to Target
- The Value of Interviewing Wins AND Losses
- How Your Company Culture Will Impact the Execution of Win Loss
- What to Look for if You Outsource Win Loss Interviews and / or the Analysis
- What You Should Cover in a Win Loss Interview
- How to Conduct a Win Loss Interview to Maximize Sharing
- Tips on How to Structure Win Loss Analysis
What are your best practices in there two areas:
- Monetary Compensation to those you interview for a win or loss
- Recording Win Loss Interviews
#1 Do you compensate the customers and prospects you interview?
If you compensate, has this improved your success at getting people to agree to be interviewed?
If you compensate, what do you think is a competitive rate per interview?
Which industries are you expected to compensate, such as doctors?
Where had you better not compensate, such as government employees?
#2 How do you feel about recording interviews?
If you record interviews, do you transcribe them?
What software do you use?
Do you use the transcripts for data mining?
I have mixed emotions and experience in both of these areas. I tend to get a pretty good interviewing rate without compensation, but I haven’t queried doctors. I always have a good value proposition, and have an organized process which is more apt to lead to YES for the interview.
Win loss is a good use of a customer’s or prospect’s time, since it gives them an opportunity to tell you what they do and don’t like about doing business with you and the competition—after the pressure of the decision to buy has been made. Yet I am realistic in that people’s schedules are so filled these days that I am competing for their time, so sweetening the deal with a monetary reward will encourage them to find the time.
I feel kind of like a spy when I record conversations. Call me old fashioned. I have such an established shorthand for note taking that I don’t miss much, and have no problem asking them to clarify or I repeat what I thought I heard them say to slow them down a bit. I don’t mind getting back with a question after the interview since I always have their email. I always provide interview summaries, which can be data mined. My clients are more apt to read the summaries since they are a quick read compared to transcripts.
While Win Loss is a relationship business, like all business processes, it continues to evolve. With the advent of big data, some companies include win loss transcripts in their big data to more scientifically uncover trends, for example.
If you’re uncomfortable sharing your best practices on social media or my blog, please email me at ellen at thebisource.com or send me a private message on LinkedIn or Twitter. Thanks so much. I am closing in on my rough draft for the book. It feels good to get this far.