A win/loss analysis can tell you a lot about how your customers perceive your business and its products. Conducting a win/loss analysis involves three main steps: gathering data, analyzing it, and taking actions based on it. When starting a market research project, it’s common for companies to conduct their win/loss analysis internally to save on the costs of hiring a third-party. Unfortunately, internally run win/loss analyses often fall short for several reasons. An easy solution to these problems is to hire a third-party market research consultant to help optimize your win/loss analyses.
Benefits of using a third party to conduct win/loss interviews
Lack of Bias
Arguably the most important reason to hire a third-party market research consultant to conduct your win/loss interview is to avoid bias. Conducting win/loss interviews internally might seem like the best option, (Who has a deeper understanding of your products than your own employees!), but insiders often hold inherent bias that can skew the conversation in favor of your company. This bias can seep into everything from the way questions are worded to the order of answer options offered to customers.
For example, when asking the customer about the functionality of a product, an employee might say, “X is known for its ease of use, how did you feel the functionality of X was compared to competitors?” whereas a third-party would remove any bias by asking, “How did you feel the functionality of X was compared to competitors?”. While it may seem like a simple fix, most people are unaware of the bias they hold and how it can influence the way they speak. An experienced consultant may have a more basic understanding of your company’s product/service but will solicit more honest feedback by eliminating bias.
Conducting a win/loss analysis is more of a time commitment than you might be thinking. Not only do you have to schedule and conduct the actual interview, but there is also the transcribing and analyzing that comes after the fact. It’s not uncommon for a company to fervently begin a win/loss analysis only to abandon it soon after, focusing their time and resources on other internal expectations.
Additionally, win/loss interviews are not a one and done operation. To ensure an effective program, you’ll need to conduct enough interviews to gain an accurate depiction of your customers’ perceptions. Hiring a third-party research consultant takes the time burden off your company so you can get back to focusing on your main goal - running your business.
In an effort to better understand why deals are being won or lost, many product managers believe there is no one better to conduct win/loss interviews than themselves or their team. However, having a member of your sales team conduct your win/loss analysis may inhibit you from receiving honest answers. Your prospects might feel uncomfortable delivering negative feedback to someone they have already built a relationship with.
By hiring a third-party research consultant, you not only open yourself up to more reliable qualitative conversations, but you also show your customers how important hearing their honest opinion is to you. Showing your customers how much you care about their opinion
gives them a more positive perception of your brand which creates a “halo effect”, positively impacting the way your customers view your product.
A win/loss analysis can tell you a lot about customers perception of your product and sales experience, but it can also be so much more. Having a member of your sales team conduct an interview may give you insights on how to improve or change their sales process and performance, but what about information on other important aspects of evaluation like competitors or pricing? A third-party market research consultant can help you discover more meaningful findings that cover every aspect of the customer journey, from what prompted the evaluation and who was involved in the decision-making process, to their sales and relationship experience, the specific details into key decision criterion and differentiators in the solutions, and early implementation and purchase satisfaction.
Action from insights
So, you’ve finished your win/loss interview…now what? Simply conducting the research isn’t going to do you much good – it’s what you do with the data that really matters. Companies should use the information they’ve uncovered to improve everything from their product to their sales process. A third-party partner can help you turn the insights you gain from a win/loss analysis into immediately actionable recommendations for your business.
Finding a qualified and experienced consultant to help you conduct interviews and analyze data is a sure way to make the most out of your win/loss analysis. The best win/loss analysis eliminates bias, uncovers deeper customer insights, and sets you up with actionable business recommendations. If you’re thinking about hiring a third party, but not sure where to start Spailey Solutions can help. We’ll work with you and your budget to optimize your win/loss analysis project. Get in touch with us today to learn more!