B2B data analysis to understand the marketplace

Heard Enough About Big Data? Try Little Data Instead

Much has been written about Big Data, including the insights that can be gleaned from thousands or millions of data points, especially in the data-rich B2C market.

But what about Little Data? What can we learn from just a few data points? And when is Little Data appropriate in market, competitive, and buyer research?

We’ve often been asked how many data points are “good enough.” Clients who have worked in consumer marketing expect answers with phrases such as “confidence level” and “margin of error.”

Read more

B2B Business Intelligence Strategy with Quant and Qual Data

Why Combining Qualitative and Quantitative Data is a Long-term Strategy [eBook]

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 Read more

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

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.

Read more

Phone Interviews w/Customers

Customer Phone Interviews: A Better Way to Gather Customer Experience Feedback [Infographic]

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.

Read more

Winning Feedback Inc. Cartoon

Yes, You Can Improve Your Win Rate With Win Loss Analysis

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!

Read more

Phone Discussion for Collecting Customer Insights

Why Phone Interviews are Our Favorite Method for Collecting Customer Insights

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?

Read more

Win Loss Analysis Business meeting

Want to Dig Deeper on Competitors? Consider Win Loss.

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.

Read more

Revenue Retention

Why Revenue Retention—Not Just Customer Retention—Is Important in CX Success

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.

Read more

Customer Retention

Customer Retention: Lessons Learned from my Auto Mechanic

When my car needed to be repaired recently, I asked friends and neighbors for their recommendations. Their responses were uniform: John at Island Center Auto.

I wasn’t surprised. We had used John for car repairs in the past. It didn’t matter that we had different makes and models of cars. It didn’t matter that we didn’t know John’s last name (he’s known in the community simply as “John”).

It didn’t matter that John never answers his phone and prefers to communicate by fax. (Fax!) It didn’t matter that John doesn’t have email. Or a website. Or a cell phone.

All that was important was John’s reputation as the go-to guy for car repair.

Read more

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.

Read more

Keep Customer Happy with Sales Checklist

I read it in a book, so I know it’s true…

The other day I went out to lunch with a friend of mine who I have known for quite some time. He has a wife and two cute kids and a good profession in management. While at lunch he was telling me how his wife has him reading this book on marital relationships. He tells me how the author of the book advises him that if he would participate more in the chores around the house such as washing dishes, cooking, and doing the laundry that he would have a happier marriage. He thought those were sound principles that he could abide by.

I asked him if he talked to his wife about the book. He said “Yes,” and her response was, “No, I like to do the chores because I feel accomplished after I do them.” So he asked her what she really wanted from him that would make her happy. Her answer Read more

Develop buyer personas

Teasing the Hairball Out of Your Head

I recently attended a Customer Experience Professionals Association (CXPA) workshop where Tamara Adlin shared her expertise in building buyer personas. If you’ve never met Tamara, she’s a straight-talking, take-no-prisoners kind of gal. As each member of the group introduced themselves and gave a brief overview of their experience with building personas, Tamara became increasingly excited and finally pronounced, “I can’t stand it any more. I need to start talking!Read more

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:

Read more

Rear view mirror

Three Questions to Predict if Your Customer Will Renew

Building a strong customer base is a game of inches, as the football analogy goes. To sell the deal, you have to find the right market, build the right product, and create a strong buying experience. But, as we all know, that’s only the first touchdown. You continue to sell and resell your product every day the customer uses it (or worse: doesn’t use it). You’re reaching for the next touchdown — a renewal, new engagement, or up-sell — with every customer interaction.

It’s the norm now for companies to track and measure the experience of their customers after the sale, and spending for customer retention programs is on the rise. A 2014 Harvard Business Review survey found 53% of executives saw customer experience management as a potential competitive advantage and 45% made it a strategic priority. And yet, how customer experience measurement is done widely varies.

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.

Read more

Self Evaluation

Maximize Your Chances for Getting Buyer Feedback

In a previous blog post, I wrote about the movie “Yes Man” in which the main character is unhappy and withdrawn, engaged in few outside activities or social interactions. After going to a motivational “Yes!” seminar in which participants agree to say “yes” to every opportunity that comes their way, the character’s life is transformed in multiple ways.

Much of the focus of my earlier post centered on sales team involvement in the Win Loss process. In this post, I’ll discuss the importance of buyer and customer participation in Win Loss and Customer Experience programs.

In much the same way that Win Loss and Customer Experience programs benefit the companies that run them, these programs also benefit buyers and customers.

How?

Read more

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.

Read more

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.

Read more

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.

Read more