Our New Competitive Advantage Score: How we’re benchmarking your interviews against our repository of data

Over the years, Primary Intelligence has collected oodles of data across numerous industries. To give you a sense, we typically analyze thousands of deals annually, and we’ve been doing this a while. We love data. But one thing we love more than data is turning that data into something meaningful for you. This is why we’ve updated our Competitive Advantage Score.

Let me back up and recap. Read more

Sales Process - Top down selling

Why Collecting Qual and Quant Feedback is Critical for Your Long-term Strategy

Can you imagine going into a strategy session not knowing the growth projections for your market, your product or your industry?

Can you conceive of not knowing your share of the market compared to the market share of your competitors?

Arming yourself with this strategic quantitative data is critical to understanding how to grow your market presence, how to sell more products and services and how to win more customers.

But equally important is knowing why the market is growing quickly, knowing why certain competitors are gaining share at your expense and knowing why key customers may be defecting.

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B2B Sales Conversations

Best Practices for Collecting Quantitative and Qualitative B2B Research Data

In an earlier article, I discussed the merits of quantitative and qualitative data. Building upon that “qual/quant” theme, this article discusses best practices for collecting qualitative and quantitative data in Business-to-Business (B2B) research.

Collecting Quantitative B2B Data

When collecting quantitative B2B information – data that’s numeric, or numbers oriented – the following techniques are recommended in B2B markets so that respondents have the best experience and researchers collect the best information:

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Qualitative data vs. Quantitative data

Qualitative or Quantitative Data – Which is Better?

There’s an ongoing debate over which type of data is better: quantitative (“quant”) or qualitative (“qual”). For researchers who have used and benefited from both, there are distinct advantages and disadvantages from each. There are also instances in which each method is best suited to a specific application.

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State of CX 2016

New CX Research from Primary Intelligence Finds B2B Firms Are Getting Serious About Customer Feedback

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.

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Expanding Revenue

Expanding Revenue Through Customer Experience Programs

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.

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Three-Step Successful Win Loss Analysis Process

The Three-Step Process to Successful Buyer Feedback

After attending a SCIP conference, a market and competitive intelligence manager came away with, “We can do a lot better with the program” and “[need] to improve our interview process as well as our interview template.

At the time, the software company’s attempt to gain valuable buyer feedback using win loss analysis was built solely on telephone interviews with their prospects. Product managers were given this additional responsibility and comprised the company’s win loss team. This team was turning out 100 individual win loss assessments per year.

Their team worked with a standard list of 15 to 20 questions and feverishly wrote notes while conducting phone interviews. Since the calls were not being recorded, interviewers had to be careful to not get distracted while taking notes. These notes would later be the sole source to build their win loss report. “We found from the results and feedback we were getting that we weren’t probing enough. We identified the information we were gathering was not rich enough. We had to beef up our skills,” the manager said.

As such, enhancing the win loss program became their key initiative.

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Measure Sales Success - KPIs

B2B Buyer Loyalty: Measuring and Tracking Success

When my kids were young, I was constantly monitoring their growth. After each well child checkup with the pediatrician, I’d compare their height, weight, and body mass index (BMI) to those of their peers in government growth charts. Were they growing too fast? Too slow? Just right?

Height, weight, and BMI are all good indicators of childhood health. But what about businesses? How can they ensure they’re progressing at a healthy rate as well?

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Voice of the Buyer Research

How to Make the Grade: Achieve the Outcome You Need

Launching a win loss program is like starting a new school year. Hopes are high to earn an “A” in math, to win the science fair, and to be crowned homecoming king or queen. Win loss programs often start out this way too: We sharpen our pencils and draft a new interview guide; we make sure our interview invitations are polished and attention-getting; and we daydream about the beautiful spread Analytics will soon show (well, maybe that last part is just me).

In any case, our ambitions for a new school year don’t always unfold the way we’d hoped. While Primary Intelligence can’t promise good grades and homecoming crowns, we can make sure you see results from your win loss program. Here are three steps to make the most of your buyer feedback and increase your win rate:

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CX in 4 Data Points

How I Uncovered Customer Experience Insights With Only Four Interviews

While working with a client in the Insurance industry, my team was asked to conduct Customer Experience interviews for a small portion of their Canadian market. And by small, I mean four interviews. Total.

However, these were key accounts the client did not want to lose, and the competition was advancing fast and hard. So getting detailed customer intel quickly was priority job #1.

So we suited up and got to work reaching out to these accounts. Over the next few weeks, we were able to schedule and complete all four interviews.

Small Sample Lead to Big Customer Experience Insights

Now you may think that four interviews is too small to understand what’s really going on in any market, especially for Customer Experience Analysis. In this case, however, it was gold. Read more

Individuality vs. Herd Mentality

Two Ways to Incorporate the Wisdom of Individuality and Herd Mentality

We have all been a customer and spent time dwelling on the experiences we have had with a particular product or service. In one form or another, whether we have intended to or not, we likely have participated in some type of customer experience analysis. This could be anything from the local restaurant’s suggestion/complaint box to the rating systems set up around online shopping.

Our participation to provide feedback help companies to get a clear view of what customers are thinking in order to improve the offering or ward off difficulties. Since we are customers as well as suppliers, measuring our customers’ experience with our solutions should be a simple matter.

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How our new Discovery Services give you results

When it comes to win loss and customer experiences programs, our customers tend to have one of two goals in mind:

1. Collect feedback about their performance in recent deals, or
2. Reach an outcome, such as a 10% increase in their win rate

There is value in both objectives, but there is also a critical difference. Here’s how I think about it: In each voice of the buyer program, a problem or question prompts the research initiative. This problem is like a leaking faucet. For our first goal, we can solve the problem by offering a bigger bucket. Capturing more feedback from buyers means we achieve more of our objective. But, to reach an outcome and to change the result, we can’t simply catch the overflow; we have to fix the faucet.

As more of our clients choose an outcome-oriented goal, more are asking, what does it take to fix the faucet? What separates a data collection effort from a program that gives me an outcome, like an improved win rate or customer retention rate?

The answer is simple:

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The Data Glut – Too Much or Not the Right Kind of Information?

Most people would agree that we’re drowning in a sea of information. Email inboxes exploding. Drinking data from a fire hose. Sometimes it’s hard to tell what’s essential versus just interesting.

Perhaps the problem isn’t that we’re getting too much information but that we’re getting the wrong kind of information.

In the Primary Intelligence 2014 State of Win Loss survey, we found that, despite the onslaught of information, most people say they want—no, need—more information about why they’re winning and losing in competitive sales opportunities.

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The State of Win Loss: How’s Data Collection Done Today?

Over half (57 percent) of respondents in the 2014 Primary Intelligence State of Win Loss survey said they’re collecting feedback from both buyers and sales reps when evaluating why they won and why they lost in competitive sales opportunities.

At Primary Intelligence, we applaud these results, since it gives company executives a clear picture of what happened in each opportunity.

Feedback that comes exclusively from buyers or sales reps can provide a unidimensional view, especially when “politics” was a factor or other extenuating circumstances were at play. Getting feedback from both parties gives you “both sides of the story,” so to speak.

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The State of Win Loss: How Win Loss Analysis is Really Done

It’s the Holy Grail of selling. Figuring out what your buyers want so you can win more deals. But how?

In 2014, Primary Intelligence collected research on ways in which companies are understanding their buyers better and winning more business.

At a high level, we wanted to know more about the “State of Win Loss”—what organizations are doing today to gather buyer feedback and win more deals.

We asked nearly 200 market research and competitive intelligence professionals—people in the trenches of analyzing wins and losses every day—to tell us their beliefs and attitudes about Win Loss Analysis, the practice of understanding why deals are won and lost. We also asked them about the frequency and types of Win Loss data they’re collecting and disseminating.

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Principles for Using Voice of the Buyer Programs as Quality Assurance

Recently, I listened to an interview on public radio with retired 4-star U.S. Army General Ann Dunwoody. During the interview, she mentioned that one of her core principles was to “never walk by a mistake,” because every time you do so, you set a lower standard for yourself and those around you.

This comment really hit home for me, not only because I conduct quality assurance for Primary Intelligence, but also because this is really a central tenet for Win Loss Analysis, Customer Experience Analysis, and all Voice of the Buyer (VoB) programs.

Voice of the Buyer programs, whether they are examining past evaluations or existing customer relationships, have as one of their goals the identification of missteps and missed opportunities. Companies that actively engage with their buyers in order to understand their needs and perceptions have the advantage of catching mistakes before they become repeated habits.

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Loss Aversions and Coin Flips: How to Beat Your Buyer’s Incumbent

Have you ever wondered why so many buyers will settle on staying with their incumbent, even when what you are offering is better then what they are currently receiving?

Well, there is actually a science to this type of decision making called Prospect Theory, and it can be compared to a simple game of a coin flip.

Most of us are familiar with the coin game Heads or Tails.  Let’s say I place this wager with you:

If it lands on Heads, you owe me $10. 

If it land on Tails, I owe you $10.

Would you take this wager?

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Getting to the Root Cause Before the Titanic Hits the Iceberg: Part 3

This is part 3 of our three-part blog series on how to identify, evaluate, and solve the root cause blocking your sales effectiveness.

To recap, our previous posts covered:

  1. The root cause of the Titanic’s collision with the iceberg: optical illusions which hid the iceberg from view.
  2. The manner in which the researcher, Tim Maltin, identified this root cause: qualitative and quantitative data analysis of first-person eyewitness accounts and the original ship’s log books.

You may recall that there was another ship nearby: the Californian. The Californian was well aware of the icebergs, and in fact, had radioed warnings of icebergs to other ships throughout the evening. Before Titanic’s collision, Californian only narrowly avoided a disaster of its own in a huge ice field just north of Titanic’s crash site. As a result of the same optical illusions Titanic was experiencing, it had seen the ice field just barely in time. Captain Lord of Californian ordered his crew not to travel further until morning.

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Getting to the Root Cause Before the Titanic Hits the Iceberg: Part 2

This is part 2 of our three-part blog series on how to identify, evaluate, and solve the root cause blocking your sales effectiveness.

In my previous post, I focused on the results of a “freezing-air-under-warmer-air” mirage that Tim Maltin spoke about in his Titanic Final Mystery documentary. This mirage bent the horizon and effectively cloaked the iceberg. The air was so cold that objects would cause a halo of condensation around them, further cloaking the iceberg.

Quite often, our experience in analyzing B2B sales uncovers the same illusions. A company may have illusions about its competitors or its buyers, and these illusions could cloak a major obstacle to the company’s success. Just as technology on the Titanic limited its ability to see the iceberg to one medium that was fallible, so are companies limited in their visibility into their buyers’ minds and competitors’ strategies.

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Getting to the Root Cause Before the Titanic Hits the Iceberg: Part 1

Eloquently and painstakingly detailed by our program analyst Thomas Watkins, this is a three-part blog series on how to identify, evaluate, and solve the root cause blocking your sales effectiveness. You will take a methodical journey on how one researcher discovered the root cause to a historical tragedy and how you can apply this method in your own journey to understand your sales wins and losses. Enjoy! ∼ Connie Schlosberg, Digital Marketing Specialist

Earlier this week, my wife and I spent an evening watching a fascinating documentary called Titanic’s Final Mystery,” produced by the Smithsonian Channel. The documentary follows a researcher, Tim Maltin, who is trying to determine the root cause of why the Titanic was driven into an iceberg despite having the best crew of the White Star Line and ample warning that there were icebergs in the area.

As I watched it, I couldn’t help but notice many parallels between how Tim Maltin was approaching his study and how we perform Win Loss analysis at Primary Intelligence. I noticed similarities between the builders and crew of both the Titanic and many of our clients.

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