Handling RFPs You Did not Wire

Handling RFPs You Did NOT Wire

In the first months of my career I received an RFP from the US Coast Guard Academy. My initial excitement faded as realized it was for equipment totaling about $6,000. Despite the fact that they had several of these devices installed and there was no competition I had to make a detailed response that included posting a security bond. I spent a few hours in my response, won the business and probably netted less than minimum wage for my time and effort. I came to despise the RFP process whether it was for commercial or government entities.

When receiving an unsolicited RFP many sellers get excited. Some even delude themselves into believing their offering is a perfect fit and they have a great chance at winning the business.

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Increase Competitive Win Rates

Win Loss Analysis Best Practice Series: Seven Marketing Best Practices to Increase Competitive Win Rates

No matter which industry you’re in, sales evaluations play a major part in your company’s success. While product features and functionality are usually the most important aspects in an evaluation, buyers still consider company reputation, service and support, and future direction in the final decision.

Here are seven best practices you can apply to increase competitive win rates for your company.

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Sales Reps Quotas Fourth Quarter

5 Ways to Survive the Frenetic Fourth Quarter

A constant reality for salespeople is quota pressure. There are years when everything goes well and hardly a thought is given to whether numbers will be achieved. If 2017 has been a year like that I hope you’re enjoying it.

Remember that coming off a strong year often means starting January 1st at zero with more aggressive numbers to make. For B and C Players most years are a grind to achieve quotas.

On average about half of salespeople meet or exceed quota.

I wanted to provide my thoughts about how to manage to your number:

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What is sales intelligence

What is Sales Intelligence?

Sometimes, it is interesting to try to classify different areas of research and intelligence to see how certain specialties have originated, evolved and grown into their own species, so to speak. This study of sales intelligence can provide intelligence practitioners with the ability to see how their efforts might support or interrelate with other disciplines.
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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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Stop Measuring Customer Satisfaction

We recently worked with a company trying to fix their high customer attrition rate with annual customer satisfaction surveys. Their survey project was successful. Fixing the attrition rate was not.

But why?

The company measured satisfaction, and the numbers said customers were not satisfied. To raise the numbers, the company formulated and implemented action plans. Sounds like a solid plan, right?

The problem: the company was measuring how their customers felt, but not why they felt that way. They knew perception of their services was low, but couldn’t figure out why. Measuring satisfaction provides no predictive analytics that score the likelihood of renewal.

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Outcomes 2017 for Win Loss and Customer Experience Pros

Focus Forward: Revisiting Primary Intelligence 2nd Annual Outcomes 2017 Conference

Primary Intelligence celebrated its 2nd Outcomes 2017 conference and the following is a summary of the of the three-day event, which was held September 13-15 at the Grand Summit in Park City, Utah. Outcomes 2017 is the only conference dedicated to win loss and customer experience professionals.

Successful Tactical Recommendations for Win Loss Programs

Win Loss Analysis Best Practice Series: 4 Successful Tactical Recommendations for Win Loss Programs

As competition increases for most companies, understanding why companies win and lose sales is increasingly critical.

Since the State of Win Loss study reported more competitive activity this year than previously, gathering data about buyers and the buying process presents a clear advantage.

Successfully starting and running a win loss analysis program takes skill, patience, and tenacity. Here are four tactical recommendations to help ensure your company’s win/loss efforts are effective.

 

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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

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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Best Practices for Handling Sales Proposals

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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Outcomes 2017 Speaker Spotlight: Frank Visgatis

If you are looking to visibly understand how to improve sales performance to win in a highly competitive market, then sign up for Outcomes 2017 conference.

Outcomes 2017 will be the event for 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:

Frank Visgatis

President & Chief Operating Officer for CustomerCentric Selling®

Co-Speaker for Delivering Outcomes; Not Data with Ken Allred, CEO

Panelist for Outcomes Success Panel with Nick Siddoway, VP, Delivery & Transformation

Outcomes 2017 Frank Visgatis President & CEO CustomerCentric Selling

Frank is an American author, entrepreneur, keynote speaker and Sales and Management consultant. He is known for his sales training and consulting work worldwide with global organizations in high technology, software, travel and other B2B and B2C organizations.

Frank authored CustomerCentric Selling (Second Edition) published by McGraw-Hill in December 2009, which introduces the new needs of selling in a buyer-driven world. He also contributed work to the original CustomerCentric Selling published in November 2003 and Rethinking the Sales Cycle published in December 2009, also published by McGraw-Hill.

Frank shared, “I’m very excited to be a part of the Outcomes conference this year. Primary Intelligence has a great focus on buyer needs, which is the core of what CustomerCentric Selling® has been delivering since 2002. I’m looking forward to participating with the other speakers so I can contribute my thoughts and insights on what organizations can do to better align with their buyers and make a direct impact on their revenue performance.

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How to create superior buying experiences

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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Outcomes 2017 Speaker Spotlight: Bob Acosta

Outcomes 2017 conference focuses forward in this year’s collaborative presentations and workshops.

Our conference is bringing together seasoned experts in sales, marketing, and product management to discuss current issues facing business professionals.

This year’s program features presentations from executives who will offer their unique perspectives and approaches to win loss and customer experience analysis.

Speaker Spotlight:

Bob Acosta

Senior Vice President, Casualty Sales for Mitchell International

Be A Support Tool for Sales & Account Representatives session

Outcomes 2017 Bob Acosta Senior Vice President Casualty Sales

Bob is committed to continuous improvement and development of each member of his national sales team. He is a passionate supporter of the win loss analysis program, which he credits for influencing the modification in his organization’s messaging and sales approach.

Using lessons learned from interviews and recommendations from Primary Intelligence has been a large part of his team’s improved win/loss ratio resulting in increased confidence among team members.

This is Bob’s first year to join the Outcomes conference and he is looking forward to learning from peers and presenters alike.

Bob shared, “I’m excited to connect with others driving change through client and prospect feedback within their organizations.

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Outcomes 2017 for Win Loss and Customer Experience Pros

Outcomes 2017 Speaker Spotlight: Penny Queller

If you want to clearly understand how to use sales acumen and competitive intelligence 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:

Penny Queller

Senior Vice President and General Manager for Monster

Leveraging Win Loss & No Decision Analysis session

 

As a powerful thought leader and relentless innovator, Penny leads Monster’s Staffing business unit and brings more than 20 years’ experience in all facets of talent acquisition technology and solutions.

Her progressive perspectives in talent management ensures HR and talent leaders represent a strategic role in driving organizational success regionally, globally and deliver true competitive advantage.

Penny is passionate about issues such as supporting women in the workforce, promoting diversity and inclusion, and corporate social responsibility and was recently recognized by HRO Today – Superstar Award.

She is often quoted in business publications and speaks frequently as a Subject Matter Expert on recruitment trends and solutions at various industry events.

 

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