Companies that take the first step of doing a thorough review of why they win and lose deals often ask the question, “Why can’t we just do this internally?” Good question, but there are four good answers to say “no.”
1. You Need an Unbiased Perspective
First and foremost, it is hard for anyone within your company to be totally objective.
Think about it. If you have your own sales, marketing or product development staff conduct interviews, review transcripts, and look for competitive advantages or issues, how can they be objective? That’s not to say that they’re trying to shape the truth, it’s that they’re going to start with a biased perspective.
An external service can employ blind interviewing techniques (i.e., present themselves as an objective third-party) and ensure the anonymity of the respondent, plus have no prior relationship to the customer/prospect. That’s all designed to remove bias.
Buyers are just more candid and open when taking with a third party.
2. You Can Benefit from Experience and a Methodology that Works
Interviewing is an art. A methodology for uncovering key decision-making criteria is a science. Leveraging professionals who, as a team, have performed thousands of interviews and hundreds of analyses are able to consolidate feedback into recommendations that are actionable. That’s where the art and science come together.
It also helps to work with professionals who have experience in your market. You won’t get insider, confidential information, but you’ll be working with people who know the data points and trends that you are looking for.
3. It Costs Less to Outsource
Really, it costs less to outsource this type of competitive research than doing it internally. Just think of the time (Do I have to say ‘time = money’?).
There’s the time to set up interviews, transcribe interviews, edit transcripts, translate transcripts from a foreign language, run analysis across transcripts, etc.
Ask the vendors who do this work, “Do you have a toolkit, custom software, or processes that automate many of the tasks needed to produce a thorough analysis?” This is when you’ll understand that you are not equipped to do this internally. And, where you’ll find some vendors are better equipped than others.
4. You Can Put Your Scarce Resources to Better Use
As noted above, a win-loss program is very time consuming to implement, but it is easy to outsource. What you can’t outsource is implementing change.
Focus your time and talent on how you’re going to evolve the parts of your business that will improve win rates: creating new sales messaging, developing JIT marketing materials, coaching sales execs on how to avoid landmines, launching new products that address gaps, responding to competitive “fear, uncertainty, and doubt”, and more.
Simply put, let an experienced, objective resource do the interviewing and analysis. You need to spend your time informing your organization about the findings – and advocating for changes that will deliver more wins.