Demonstrating the value of your products and services in a way that resonates with your buyers is the difference between winning and losing, between developing a trusted partnership or just being another vendor. To do this effectively, you need to know and understand your buyers, their business drivers, your competitors, and the key performance indicators essential to building valuable relationships.

Surveying and phone interviews are proven methods for understanding and analyzing your buyers and their respective industries. But the information gathered from these surveys and interviews needs to be based on solid research methodologies not on hunches or slanted points of views.

Here are four ways we’ve found to prevent bias during the survey or interview process.

Win Loss Analysis Surveys: How to Eliminate Bias

1. Use a disinterested third party.

Having a professional external organization administer your surveys and conduct interviews makes respondents feel more comfortable in answering questions about their experience with your organization since the third-party company has nothing to gain or lose from their responses. A third-party is also less likely to ask questions and supply answers with inherent bias – bias you may not even be aware of.

2. Choose the right wording.

Keep the wording in your questions as neutral but as detailed as When asking questions that measure opinion, people are influenced by the wording of a question and their perceptions can be partial when they are provided with a reference point or anchor (known as deliberate bias). People are apt to stay close to the anchor because of either having limited awareness about the topic or being diverted by the anchor.

Biased Question: ABC Inc. is noted for its renowned payroll and tax services. What specific features or aspects of ABC Inc.’s solutions did you feel were particularly stronger than the other vendors you evaluated?

Unbiased Question: What specific features or aspects of ABC Inc.’s solutions did you feel were stronger than the other vendors you evaluated?

Another way to eliminate bias in wording is to avoid unnecessary complexity such as double negatives and double-barreled questions (covering more than one issue when only one response can be provided).

3. Avoid filtering.

Filtering happens when certain options such as “undecided” or “don’t know” are not included in the list of possible answers. Your respondent may not have a definitive opinion on the question to answer it properly. By removing filtering, you will avoid respondents choosing an option simply because they had no other choice.

4. Randomize your answer options.

For multi-select, single select, and other quantitative questions, the order of the questions and their applicable answer options can change your results. Randomize the answer options in your surveys and interviews to improve the integrity of your data by removing order and reducing survey fatigue. For example, some respondents may choose the last option simply because it is the last item they read. Other times, especially with long surveys, respondents may select the first option and ignore the rest.

Respondent A could see: While Respondent B could see: And Respondent C could see:
5. Why did you select ABC Inc.?

·  Reputation

·  Breadth of Services Offered

·  Product Features/Functionality

·  Ease of Use

·  Best Value

5. Why did you select ABC Inc.?

·  Best Value

·  Ease of Use

·  Breadth of Services Offered

·  Product Features/Functionality

·  Reputation

5. Why did you select ABC Inc.?

·  Product Features/Functionality

·  Breadth of Services Offered

·  Reputation

·  Best Value

·  Ease of Use

 

By eliminating bias in your surveys, you will collect the pertinent data you need and get the voice of your solution to meet up with the voice of your buyer.

For more best practices for collecting win/loss data, download “B2B Qualitative vs. Quantitative Data” eBook.


How does Primary Intelligence use these principles in our research process?

1. Use a disinterested third party.

We conduct phone interviews and surveys on behalf of our clients.

2. Choose the right wording

We specialize in win loss and customer experience analysis and have proven research methodologies. We’ve conducted thousands of interviews over the years and know how to format questions, ask questions, and probe for insights.

3. Avoid filtering.

We always include Don’t know, Unsure, Refused, None, and Other (please specify) when applicable and provide the largest span of answers possible.

4. Randomize your answer options

Our decision and experience driver questions, which ask buyers to identify and rate influencers, show answer options in a random order for each web survey.

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