CRM Data Competitive Advantage

Why the Quality of CRM Data is the Keystone to Competitive Advantage

Recently, The Economist published an article titled “The World’s Most Valuable Resource Is No Longer Oil, But Data.” That article focuses on the market domination of internet giants like Facebook, Amazon, and Google (among others). These profitable titans use their vast stores of data to capitalize on their size and maintain their market advantage. “Google can see what people search for, Facebook what they share, Amazon what they buy.” Their market intelligence comes from the quantity they collect, with quality being a lot less important.

For the hundreds of thousands of businesses that aren’t one of the internet behemoths, organizations that face a treacherous competitive landscape and possess far fewer data points to rely on, the quality of data is the key to using it to your advantage.

We think of Customer Relations Management (“CRM”) system’s primary purpose as being the facilitation of the sales process. Your sales reps need something to keep track of their deals in a manner that is superior to a spreadsheet. But, the truth is, if we just want to keep track of things, a spreadsheet would work just fine.

Another, better way to define a CRM is: “CRM aligns business processes with customer strategies to build customer loyalty and increase profits over time.” That’s a pretty inclusive definition that is clearly more than just tracking a transaction. And yet, how many sales professionals treat the CRM as a tracking tool?

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Apple laptop. Business discussion.

Win Loss Analysis Best Practice Series: Six Strategic Recommendations to Apply to Your Program

Win loss programs are important at all levels of the organization because they help explain why buyers choose specific solutions and why they do not choose others. Win loss takes us beyond market research and competitive intelligence.

Win loss analysis is more than just gathering, analyzing, and interpreting information about a market. It’s more than just sizing a market and understanding the growth rate, competitors, and buying segments. Win loss research is a sales, product, and marketing enablement tool focused on improving sales, improving the product/service, and improving a company’s market presence as a result of listening to customers.

Here are six strategic recommendations you can apply to your win loss analysis.

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Share B2B Customer Experience Insights with Employees

Six Tips for Sharing B2B Customer Experience Insights with Employees

At Primary Intelligence, broad access to customer experience (CX) information is viewed as a best practice since this gives employees, managers, and executives deeper insights into customer perceptions of the organization. Widespread access also allows individuals at every level to construct possible remedies to address customer concerns and gives impetus and support for new initiatives.

Research from the State of Customer Experience revealed the groups with greatest access to customer experience information are executive management (81 percent), sales management and leadership (79 percent), and marketing (74 percent). Interestingly, less than half (49 percent) of organizations provide access to customer experience information to their sales support and enablement teams. “Other” groups with access to customer experience data include support, human resources, legal, quality, engineering, and operations.

Share B2B Customer Experience Insights with Employees Chart

 

Even if the desire exists to share CX data, however, putting a mechanism in place to ensure customer feedback is available throughout the organization can be challenging. In fact, it’s a stumbling block that many companies encounter, especially when they’re large and geographically dispersed.

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Salesperson making a Discovery session call

Three Tips for Communicating with B2B Customers

Communication is a key theme in customer experience, also known as CX.

Yet some organizations still believe it’s scary to communicate with their customers.

Confirming problems and issues means you actually have to do something about them, you have to fix them, to let customers know you heard them and are addressing their problems.

But communicating with customers drives trust and helps to ensure they realize your organization is serious about accepting and acting upon customer feedback.

For example, one financial services company sends out surveys to all new customers and existing customers with new service offerings requesting their immediate feedback. This helps to ensure that customers who are dissatisfied or who had a poor experience are identified in real time, with “red flags” mitigated quickly. An action plan is formulated by the account team for immediate follow up.

Here are three tips for communicating with B2B customers.

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How B2B Companies are Increasing Revenue

State of Win Loss Analysis: How B2B Companies are Increasing Revenue

#winloss

Primary Intelligence conducted research on ways in which B2B sales, marketing, and product leaders are understanding their customers better and closing more deals.

We asked business professionals who analyze sales opportunities strategically to tell us their beliefs and attitudes about win loss analysis, the study of understanding why sales are won and lost. We also asked them about the types of market data they’re collecting and disseminating, and what best practices work for them.

And the results are in!

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Costly Mistakes Sellers Make

Sales Tip: 2 Costly Mistakes Sellers Make When Squeezed

“I need your best and final price.”

This question marks the beginning of the pricing squeeze and is often asked after multiple vendors have issued quotes or proposals. Very often it’s asked by a non-Key Player that senior management designates to make this request. Sellers can waste valuable time and leave money on the table if they make the wrong responses.

Two (2) examples of BAD and COSTLY responses:

  • “Where do I need to be?” This is the worst possible response a salesperson can give. It amounts to acknowledging a discount is in order. Beyond that sellers give the impression they have unlimited authority to discount. This response allows buyers to wrest control of negotiations because smart buyers will specify the price they want to pay, not the price they’re willing to pay. Final pricing is strongly influenced by how low the bar is set. I refer to “Where do I need to be?” as the 6 most expensive words salespeople can utter.
  • Offer a lower price. This can backfire and the buyer’s end game is usually to leverage lower pricing to pressure the vendor of choice to discount. There may also be instances where the price given becomes the starting point for negotiations if and when decision makers get involved. Once a seller makes a concession it becomes a slippery slope as buyers press for even better deals.

Try This Approach Instead:

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Outcomes 2017 Speaker Spotlight: Jen Beaudoin

In just over five week’s time Primary Intelligence’s Outcomes 2017 Conference attendees will be heading to Park City, Utah to hear case studies, attend expert-led workshops, and share industry insights.

Will you be there?

There are numerous reasons why you need to attend, but here are a couple:

First, you’ll be learning from sales, marketing and product executives who have succeeded in their win loss and customer experience programs, including two high-profile keynote speakers. You’ll have the opportunity to meet, ask questions, and network with them.

Second, you can customize your conference schedule to match your goals and skill level. Pick your ideal track, or mix a variety of sessions specifically to suit your needs.

If you’re serious about revenue growth and reaching outcomes, sign up today!

Speaker Spotlight:

Jen Beaudoin

Vice President of Sales Strategy for Schumacher Clinical Partners

Being Mindful of Root Causes session

Identifying Priorities & Reviewing Insights workshop

 

Outcomes 2017 Jen Beaudoin Vice President of Sales Strategy

Jen has over 25 years’ experience in the healthcare industry honing her competitive intelligence skills while developing and executing against key strategic business development initiatives.

In her role with Schumacher Clinical Partners, Jen focuses on strategic account planning, sales operations improvement, market intelligence and the continuous evolution of SCP’s value messaging and tools – all to optimize the efforts of Schumacher’s world-class sales team.

Jen started her first win/loss analysis project with Primary Intelligence in 2016 and looks forward to the opportunity to network at the Outcomes 2017 conference.

She said, “I am looking forward to the opportunity to network with others and hear the value that Primary Intelligence has brought to their organizations.

 

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Outcomes 2017 for Win Loss and Customer Experience Pros

Outcomes 2017 Speaker Spotlight: Jarod Greene

If you want to clearly understand how to use sales, marketing and product acumen to position your company to close more deals, then sign up for Outcomes 2017 conference.

Outcomes 2017 will be filled with helpful information and valuable networking opportunities. Collaborate and generate innovative ideas with other sales, marketing, and product management professionals.

This conference is an intensive and intimate opportunity to connect with business leaders and listen to their strategies.

Speaker Spotlight:

Jarod Greene

Vice President of Product Marketing for Cherwell Software

Uncovering Weak Spots and Barriers to Success session

Outcomes 2017 Jarod Greene Vice President of Product Marketing

Jarod Greene is the Vice President of Product Marketing at Cherwell Software.

A recent Primary Intelligence customer, Jarod worked closely with Sales Enablement and Product Management to shorten sales cycles, increase average deal size, and improve win rates.

He attributes much of this success to the work performed with Primary Intelligence.

His primary application of win loss analysis has been within messaging and position, sales training, and product development prioritization and validation.

Jarod shared, “I’m excited to meet other B2B sales and marketing leaders to share ideas and best practices. Win loss has exposed me to methods and approaches that extract insight from evaluators that I otherwise would not have gathered. 

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Best Practices for Handling Sales Proposals

Sales Tip: Best Practices for Handling Sales Proposals

As a sales manager one of my least favorite activities was creating forecasts every month. One of the things that made it difficult was the fact that in my mind most sellers generated proposals too early when developing opportunities. They believed it was a step toward getting orders.

In my experience, a proposal represents activity but not necessarily progress.

I’ll share with you some thoughts and best practices for handling sales proposals:

  1. Issuing proposals too early
  2. Purpose and role of proposals in the buying cycle
  3. 10 questions sellers should ask themselves before issuing proposals
  4. Stale proposals
  5. Withdrawal strategy

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Outcomes 2017 Speaker Spotlight: David Huskisson

Are you ready to get on the fast track to discovering insights and achieving results with win loss and customer experience programs?

Outcomes 2017 conference is just 8 weeks away.

We are excited to feature our clients as speakers at Outcomes 2017.

These speakers will be sharing best practices and insights on how they use Win Loss and Customer Experience analysis to close sales deals, accelerate revenue, and achieve customer success. They’ll be showing you the best ways to reach measurable business outcomes.

Speaker Spotlight:

David Huskisson

Director of Competitive and Market Intelligence for Veritas

Be Outcomes Based; Achieving Business Results session

Outcomes 2017 David Huskisson Director of Competitive and Market Intelligence

 

David leads Competitive Intelligence at Veritas and has is very passionate about how win / loss initiatives can uncover compelling competitive intelligence insights.

He is delighted to share his insights at Outcomes 2017 and looks forward to learning best practices from other attendees.

David shared, “To date, win loss analysis has increased my visibility within Veritas and allowed me to build relationships with other groups within the company which I may not have had the opportunity to do so.

 

 

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How to create superior buying experiences

Sales Tip: The Buyer’s Bill of Rights

The 4th of July holiday is the time of year when Americans pause to give thought to the freedoms our forefathers treasured and were willing to fight to secure. Oppression was and is a powerful motivator.

Since 1993 I’ve railed against traditional selling approaches. In the last decade buyers have leveled the playing field in starting to dictate how they want to be treated. I regret to say most vendors have failed to align with this changing landscape.

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Unexpected Benefits of Customer Experience Programs

Four Unexpected Benefits of Customer Experience Programs

Win loss analysis is not the only form of buyer analysis. Another one occurs long after the sale. Customer experience interviews focus more on the product and solution than on the buying process and provide insights on key capabilities, missing capabilities, and ideal market profiles.

Customer experience touchpoints should occur immediately after the initial implementation of your solution and again periodically throughout the life of the solution’s use. A common practice is to engage with customers every six months to measure their satisfaction and identify areas for improvement in product, support, and training.

During its research, Primary Intelligence discovered four unexpected benefits from Customer Experience programs:

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Prescription pills spilled on table

Customer Experience Insight Saves 1.5 Billion Dollar Renewal

In the dog eat dog world of pharmaceuticals, winning or losing your renewal contract has heavy ramifications. Knowing your customers’ experience and the key decision drivers that keep them coming back is critical when playing at this level, as the competition is fierce, and loyalty is in no way guaranteed.

Knowing your customers’ experience and the key decision drivers that keep them coming back is critical when playing at this level, as the competition is fierce, and loyalty is in no way guaranteed.

We helped a major pharmaceutical company that needed to win that fight come hell or high water. All suspense aside, you already know by the title of this post that they were successful in exploring the voice of their customer to win the deal.

By incorporating a customer experience program, our client successfully renewed a billion dollar contract. Here’s how we helped them do it.

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Win Loss Analysis: How to Calculate Your Win Rate

 

How to Analyze Sales Win Rate

If you pare down to the simplest method, calculating your sales win rate is the number of pursuits you win to the number you lose. So if you are involved in 100 sales engagements and you win 40 of them, you have a 40 percent win rate.

However, where do you draw the line as to what constitutes an engaged sales deal? You could look at every lead provided to the sales team or you could choose to include only the deals that get past a certain stage in the sales process.

Some organizations only count leads that are “sales ready” as true opportunities.

“Sales Ready” is when the prospective buyer Read more

Win Loss for Competitive Sales

Win Loss Analysis for Competitive Sales: When You Know More, You Win More

 

Why Win Loss Analysis for Competitive Sales?

Win loss analysis is a branch of market research focused on understanding why companies win or lose new business opportunities. By implementing a win loss program, you can obtain reliable, actionable, and unbiased feedback about how well your sales team performed in recent competitive opportunities. You can identify the best practices of your top performers, your competitive positioning within each opportunity, how well your solutions were received, and much more.

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Understanding Why Good Sales Teams Lose in Competitive B2B Opportunities [eBook]

We spoke with a customer who did not to choose our client’s solution following an extensive evaluation. The main reason for this loss was that the customer had no confidence in our client’s ability to deliver a solution based on the fact that the client did not fully understand its customer’s business needs. This was represented by the ratings for sales performance, solution features, and company drivers.

One of the reasons that our client did not adequately understand the customer’s business needs was that the sales team didn’t take the time to ask the right questions. This was evidenced by the client presentation and the shallow responses to customer questions when asked about solution capabilities. Our client’s implementation plan was also questioned as being “really quick” compared to other vendors, another indication of our client’s lack of understanding of the customer’s business needs.

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Understanding B2B Competitive Intelligence

Understanding Competitors in Dynamic, Fast-Changing Markets [eBook]

Competitive intelligence is sometimes referred to as a game of chess, with each side trying to think as far ahead as possible about their opponents’ moves and countermoves. Sun Tzu is frequently invoked as a model for competitive intelligence students when observing, learning from, and out-maneuvering a competitive nemesis. Similarly, armies and generals are typically revered by those in the competitive intelligence community, their battle plans, flanking techniques, and other maneuvers analyzed and copied.

But what happens when the market you’re studying is moving quickly, with competitors frequently entering and exiting the playing field? Perhaps you’re not even sure if a firm is a competitor — could they also be considered a partner? Or at least part of a loose affiliation that could be helpful to your firm in the future?

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how to think like your customer

Sales Tip: How to Think Like Your Customer

In order to think like the customer, salespeople need to talk less about product features and talk more about real life situations to which customers can relate. In CustomerCentric Selling, we call this a usage scenario. Usage scenarios work when selling any product or service to any business or consumer. Over the years, we’ve worked with a wide range of companies in a variety of industries spanning the gamut from retail banks and companies offering credit card sales to merchants, overnight delivery services, and temporary housing providers.

All benefited from this approach, even in cases where the offering was just one in a crowded field of entries. In fact, our experience suggests that in situations where the offering is perceived as a commodity – that is, interchangeable with the competition – the most powerful differentiator is the buyer’s conversation with the salesperson.

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