Why It’s the Era of Yes in Analyzing Sales Opportunities

Have you seen the movie Yes Man? In this 2008 film starring Jim Carrey, the main character is unhappy and withdrawn, spending time between work and home, but otherwise engaged in few outside activities or meaningful relationships.

After going to a motivational “Yes!” seminar in which participants agree to say “yes” to every opportunity that comes their way—no matter how wacky or unconventional—the character is transformed. While initially dubious about what he views as a bizarre social experiment, his willingness to say “yes” ends up changing his life—including a promotion at work, a marriage proposal, and deeper connections with family and friends.

It’s human nature to be apprehensive about trying new things, about saying “yes” for fear of the unknown. Often, we’re downright resistant. But what if that “new thing” is the magic bullet that leads to the transformation of your career, or even your life?

Let the Era of Yes to Analyzing Sales Begin

At Primary Intelligence we’re over-the-moon about our Win Loss and Customer Experience programs because we know how transformative these programs can be. We’ve seen them change company cultures. We’ve watched as they’ve upended traditional ways of interacting with buyers and customers, leading to improved customer experiences and higher win rates.

But we aMan, in suit, yelling into phonelso know that gathering cold, hard feedback from buyers and customers can be intimidating and leave our clients with a feeling of dread. What if there’s negative feedback that singles me out? Will I get reprimanded in front of my peers? Worse still, will I get fired?

Sales teams are often the most resistant groups within organizations when new Win Loss programs are introduced. And that’s normal because sales teams expect most buyer feedback to be directed toward them. And usually it is.

Feedback Can Change Everything

But buyers also provide feedback about their experiences with products, service and support, pricing, and vendor reputation, factors that may be partially or wholly outside of a sales team’s control. And getting non-sales issues fixed quickly can often boost future prospects for the sales teams in terms of increased win opportunities.

Even if there’s negative feedback about the sales rep or the account team, we believe it’s better to uncover issues early so that behavior that’s slowing wins or causing losses can be corrected. Pretending poor practices don’t exist doesn’t make them go away.

Knowledge is Power

At Primary Intelligence we perform Win Loss reviews on ourselves, seeking to understand what we’re doing well that allows us to win deals, and what we’re doing poorly that causes us to lose opportunities. We know how hard it is to hear negative feedback. But we also know that knowledge is power and feedback drives change.

Primary Intelligence clients that use our Win Loss and Customer Experience programs to their fullest advantage stress a culture of learning, or continuous improvement. Win Loss clients approach their buyers early in the evaluation process with a request to provide feedback—regardless of whether they win or lose the deal. Customer Experience clients highlight their desire for ongoing feedback to ensure they remain on task.

Business meeting

Sales management and C-level executives in successful Win Loss programs are fully behind these program efforts, sending a clear message to their teams that Win Loss is critical to improving sales performance over time. In our 2014 State of Win Loss report, we reported overwhelming evidence that mandatory Win Loss programs produce better outcomes, especially in company performance and sales effectiveness metrics.

For their part, sales teams in organizations with well-run Win Loss programs learn that Win Loss is not a hunt for the guilty, but a tool that will help them grow and improve, reach or exceed quotas, and ultimately win more deals. Reps that formerly needed to be bribed, cajoled, or begged for opportunities now push their deals—wins and losses—so they can gather more buyer and competitor intelligence and do better next time.

So what do you say? Why not start being a “yes man” or a “yes woman” in your organization’s Win Loss or Customer Experience program and find out how you can transform your performance, and possibly even your life, just like the character in the movie.

Want to learn more about the State of Win Loss?

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Carolyn Galvin
Director of Partnership Marketing at Primary Intelligence
As Director of Partnership Marketing, Carolyn Galvin works with referral and strategic partners to extend Win Loss and Customer Experience programs to a wider community of B2B buyers. She also produces syndicated research reports highlighting current trends and best practices in Win Loss and Customer Experience Analysis. Prior to her current role, Carolyn served as a Program Consultant and as Director of Industry Insights at Primary Intelligence since joining the company in early 2013.

Carolyn has nearly 20 years of market research, customer satisfaction, and competitive intelligence experience working for large corporations and research agencies, including Alcatel-Lucent, Juniper Networks, and Frost & Sullivan. Early in her career, Carolyn worked as an Intelligence Officer at the Central Intelligence Agency.

Prior to joining Primary Intelligence, Carolyn owned her own consulting firm, where she provided custom and syndicated research to clients worldwide on disruptive IT and telecommunications technologies.
Carolyn has two master’s degrees, one from the Thunderbird School of Global Management and a second from Georgetown University. She earned her bachelor’s degree from Hood College in Maryland. Carolyn has also taken advanced Competitive Intelligence, Strategic Planning, and Strategic Marketing courses at the California Institute of Technology, as well as Digital Marketing classes at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign. Since 2007, Carolyn has taught online global business and management classes part-time at the University of Maryland.
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