Today Primary Intelligence is the global leader in Win Loss and Customer Experience Analysis. But our story all began in a basement with seven makeshift desks, three friends, and one big idea.
The start of something great
For more than 10 years, Ken Allred sold complex software solutions for companies like Information Enabling Technologies, SunGard HTE, and PeopleSoft. With a family at home and a need to provide, Ken spent hours pounding pavement and pushing product.
Over time, he began to think more about his won and lost deals, trying to figure out a pattern.
“There were deals I thought for sure I was going to win, and I’d end up losing them. There were other deals I thought I would lose, and I ended up winning them,” Ken explained.
As a way to educate himself, Ken started talking to his buyers post-sale to better understand what was driving their decisions. He was surprised to find common factors that were influencing the outcome of his deals.
“For me, speaking to buyers gave me a perspective I didn’t have. It uncovered things that I hadn’t thought about before,” he said.
Ken quickly began to incorporate those best practices into his sales process, and saw a dramatic increase in his ability to connect with buyers and close more deals.
This experience led Ken to believe there might be an opportunity to help other companies understand why they were winning and losing in competitive sales situations. Ken knew this method of win loss analysis—based on feedback directly from buyers—could help businesses both large and small be more successful.
The first two years
Ken quit his day job in 2000 and hired three friends. The team assembled in a 500 sq. ft. unfinished basement to make this dream a reality.
The basement was cramped quarters with seven custom, makeshift plywood desks built to try to maximize the space, and a single kerosene heater supplying warmth. It was all in an effort to save money while they got the company off the ground.
“I still wonder how we were able to get people to work for us in the beginning,” Ken admitted.
After two years of refining the Win Loss product and finding a loyal base of early-adopter buyers, the team said goodbye to the basement in favor of a “real” office. The move allowed Primary Intelligence to hire new people to accelerate sales, automate some of the processes with software, and scale the delivery process.
We’re still building
Ken’s initial innovation not only set the stage for a strong company, but also established a culture of continuous improvement. Today we still reinvest 25% to 30% of our revenue into our products and services, so we’re always getting better. With Win Loss Analysis as the anchor, we also offer Customer Experience Analysis, the TruVoice software platform, and industry benchmarking reports.
We’re proud of how far we’ve come, and even more excited about the future.
Ken Allred, an enterprise sales leader, is frustrated. He can't understand why he is winning and losing deals. He gets an idea: "What if I asked the buyers directly?"
Primary Intelligence founded
Ken hires his first employees and they all cram into his unheated basement.
Recording and transcribing buyer discussions
Who wants to scribble notes while speaking to buyers?
First real office
The company moves out of the basement. Ken's family rejoices. "No more random people in our house!"
Opportunity profile introduced
A full transcript of the buyer's feedback and a short analysis.
Decision drivers introduced
PI creates areas on influence in a deal: solution performance, company attitude, and sales team performance.
First in-house technology
Reduces the time and cost to produce win loss analysis results.
Primary Intelligence creates a way to identify what will drive future deal outcomes based on past results.
Competitive advantage score
PI creates a measure of how different the buyer thought you were from the competition.
Horizon is launched
Users can view full reports of every interviewed deal and analyze key aggregated data.
Direct intelligence to those that matter most.
A smart, interactive profile view.
An analytics dashboard and core program administration tools are added.
Ten-thousandth buyer interview completed.
Customer experience analysis launched
Focused on a customer's experiences t hat drive upcoming renewal decisions. (In short: how to keep more of your revenue.)
TruVoice Competitors and TruVoice Nominations are launched. Users can view competitive intelligence and identify buyers to interview right in Salesforce.
Managed services introduced
A better way to run a win loss program. Customers get outcomes, not just data.
Twenty-thousandth buyer interview completed.
Our insights get focused, concise, and actionable with the launch of open-ended feedback coding built into every interview profile.
Direct feedback from sales and account managers is incorporated into our research process to identify root causes from buyer feedback.
Industry Insights initiative launched
Using extensive data and industry research, Primary Intelligence began to produce industry reports that provide valuable insights into issues and trends affecting our customers.
Enhanced customer experience
With a keener focus on revenue retention, the new customer experience program is launched thanks to direct feedback from clients.
Outcomes Conference launched
Primary Intelligence launches the Outcomes Conference as a way to educate clients on running a win loss or customer experience program as well as instruct on best practices for optimizing performance based on the results.
TruSales for Salesforce launched, giving Sales, Marketing and Product Leaders real-time visibility into revenue outcome rates by rep, deal type, deal size, and more.
"New" TruVoice launched
Rebuilt TruVoice from the ground up to be faster, more intuitive, mobile-friendly, and to deliver deeper insights.