In Primary Intelligence’s recently published 2016 State of Customer Experience research findings, we found some interesting data points to suggest that B2B firms are increasingly serious about collecting, analyzing, and responding to feedback from their customers. In this blog, we share three of the more interesting findings from our latest annual research on the Customer Experience (CX) market.
When collecting feedback from our customers, we know we need to get the sincerest input from them if we want to provide customers with the most valuable experience.
While NPS surveys, on-site visits, one-on-one interviews are effective ways to collect feedback, they don’t fully capture the golden nuggets we’re looking for.
Companies often neglect the most cost-effective and beneficial way to understanding customers and their specific needs.
Sometimes there’s a common element between selling software and feeding the birds in the park. When birds gather around for your food, you have to make very calm, deliberate movements, so they know they can trust you.
Often times after a painful loss (large transaction/long sales cycle), sellers will be asked to find out why they lost in hopes of getting smarter about things to do or avoid. While that all seems to be logical, it is difficult for the sellers to find out why they are losing.
Informing sellers that they’ve lost in an odd way is analogous to trying to make a clean break from someone you were dating in school. The person who wants to end the relationship tries to leave little room for discussion. One of the more effective techniques in achieving this goal Read more
A client asked me to compare its performance in fiscal year (FY) 2015 to fiscal year 2014. As I looked at the data, I quickly realized that the data showed a significant increase in their win rate.
- We evaluated 102 deals for this particular client in FY 2014.
- 33 of those evaluated deals were wins, which represents a 32.3% win rate.
- In FY 2015, we have evaluated over 113 deals.
- 48 of those have been wins, which represents a 42.3% win rate.
- This means that our client has seen a 10% increase just in the wins we have evaluated!
A recent study funded by Microsoft reached what I view as a disturbing conclusion. It found that the average attention span of people has fallen significantly in the last few years. Since 2000 it has decreased by one-third and now stands at 8 seconds. To put that into context, we now have attention spans that are 1 second less than that of a goldfish!
Outcomes 2016 is the event to optimize your Win Loss and/or Customer Experience program. You’ll discover new ways to leverage intelligence, make the most out of TruVoice, and achieve program outcomes. It’s the place to be to ensure your organization is elevated through the use of Primary Intelligence solutions and services.
If sellers are unfamiliar with a vendor that they are competing with some companies have competitive analysis groups to help with positioning. They often arm sellers with “knock-offs” (specific features they feel are advantages). The danger of this approach is two-fold:
Primary Intelligence’s Research & Development division was tasked with developing new solutions that allow our clients to understand and act on the insights we gather through our Win Loss and Customer Experience programs. Plus, anything else we think sounds interesting.
To succeed, our lifeblood is customer insights. We want to hear how they spend their days, their problems, what they like most about our services, where they want us to improve, and everything in between. We also talk to plenty of non-customers (or, to use the marketing euphemism, “potential customers”) to identify new problems we might solve.
We’ve worked with plenty of sales leaders, and their need for customer insights was just as urgent. In fact, there are probably few jobs in an organization that wouldn’t benefit from customer insights. We all want to understand our customer better. So, how do you do it?
Being in sales, I am constantly bombarded with objections from company leaders on a variety of topics. After all, I am the first person they deal with in the organization. They think Win Loss Analysis is something they can do on their own, believe a third party can’t get information their sales reps can, or question why they need a Win Loss program at all. “We know why we lose, it’s the price!” is the typical mantra I always hear.
Over the weekend I gave thought to changes in buying behavior. It prompted me to wonder if companies have modified their sales process milestones developed in the 90’s and imbedded them into their CRM software? I’d guess few companies have gone through that exercise. I was surprised to realize it’s probably okay but vendors should consider incorporating steps from customer buying processes into their sales processes.
A client who has a 75% plus market share in one of the healthcare device markets had been reviewing their loss engagements over the course of a few months with their program team and me. Through a series of Discovery sessions, we identified a trend unbeknownst to the sales reps that was causing them to lose sales. At first glance, you would think price is the reason, but as we dove into the responses from the buyers, the real issue became very clear.
Initially the client thought the competition was out-pricing them. Their product was priced 15% to 30% higher than the competition, according to buyers. However, their product wasn’t really priced too high. The sales teams were too complacent with the product they sold.
The sales reps, accustomed to winning, approached their buyers with the “best and newest offering” that had features and functions the buyer didn’t need at the time.
So what was the competition offering?
Customer Experience – also know as CX – is the collection of all experiences a customer has with your company. With the competition in today’s marketplace being tighter than ever, customer experience is more important than ever. The moment your customer doesn’t see the benefit of using your solution, they will jump ship. If that’s not enough to sway you, Read more
When I first began my career, there was no Internet, no cell phones, no world wide web. Intelligence was captured the old fashioned way—by spies and sleuthing. We were lucky to get tidbits of competitive intelligence when interviewing buyers about markets, products, and growth trends the old fashioned way—over the telephone.
Today, all of that has changed. Information about competitors is easier than ever to find, usually with just a few clicks of a mouse and strokes of a keyboard. But one source of competitive intelligence isn’t used nearly as much as it should be—Win Loss Analysis.
The Imitation Game, about the development of the first analytical machine, precursor to the computer, spawned an inspiring statement: “Sometimes it’s the people no one imagines anything of who do the things that no one can imagine.”
In the quest to break the Enigma Code, the leaders at Bletchley Park incorrectly framed the need to decipher within the context of a team of Britain’s most brilliant mathematicians and code-breakers. Commander Denniston was ready to dismiss Alan Turing outright for declaring what was really needed was a machine that could process possible solutions millions of times faster than humans.
During a Discovery session (post-sales opportunity debrief) on a strong win, a client learned an exceptional but unheralded practice of one of their middle-of-the-pack sales reps.
What perceptions do B2B buyers consider when choosing between you and your closest competitor? This is critical. Because understanding how buyers perceive your company and knowing which attributes are most important to them, will be the difference between winning or losing a tight race where features, functionality and price are similar. A buyer’s overall perception of you is tied to several main attributes like reputation, industry experience, company size, who your customers are and more. These all play a critical role in that buyer’s decision. Understanding which of these company attributes are most important to buyers can position you to increase your win rate and most importantly, help you beat that closest competitor. You know the one.
Our latest Industry Insights Report “B2B Vendor Success,” focuses on buyer perceptions and was developed directly from buyer feedback. The report outlines which attributes B2B buyers feel are the most important in making purchase decisions. This free eBook “Understand 3 Buyer Perceptions to Increase Win Rates in Close Competitions” summarizes the report and discusses the three most important buyer perceptions uncovered by the research and includes recommendations on how to leverage this knowledge to beat your competition.
When selling to discerning B2B buyers, most sales reps focus on product or service attributes, an appropriate strategy since most selection decisions typically hinge on solution fit.
However sales teams can also distinguish themselves in buyers’ minds by knowing what non-solution factors are important to their prospects, including which factors are most important from an overall company perspective.
All companies look for ways to grow revenue, and increasingly, employees in every department—not just sales and business development—are called upon to identify opportunities for revenue expansion. In these scenarios, department heads will often look to the organization’s existing customer base to upsell and cross-sell new products and services.
This, in turn, typically leads to questions of, “How satisfied are our customers?” and “Have our customers benefited from a good customer experience with our organization?” Having a Customer Experience (CX) Program in place helps to facilitate answers to these questions.
A Vice President of Marketing I once worked with had a saying that he would frequently use throughout his day: “Not that.”
His “Not that” saying was his way of staying focused on the most important tasks at hand and not getting sidetracked by extraneous events. “Not that” often comes to my mind as I juggle both professional and personal obligations. What’s most important – “that.” What can wait until later – “not that.”
As companies try to maximize revenue and profitability, they often try to determine which customers are most critical and must be retained (“that”), and which customers may not be as critical (“not that”) due to any number of reasons—misalignment between customer needs and solution capabilities, sky high support costs, or incompatibilities with future strategic direction.
Revenue leakage is a term gaining increased attention as companies try to shore up all potential sources of income. Revenue leakage is defined as customers spending less money with their providers than anticipated over the course of the contract. For example, if a provider signs a $1 million contract but can only invoice for 50% of the contract value by the end of the term, they’ve experience revenue leakage of $500,000.