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 five good answers to say “no.”
1 – You Need an Unbiased Perspective.
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 win-loss consultant can present themselves as an objective third-party because they have no prior relationship to the customer/prospect, and they have no preconceived ideas. Buyers are just more candid and open when taking with a third party.
An external win-loss consultant can also ensure the anonymity of the respondent. This is very important if you seek the truth and want your respondent to relax and tell it the way they see it.
Using a third party to conduct the interview removes bias due to these factors.
2 – You Can Benefit from Experience and a Proven Methodology.
Interviewing is an art. A methodology for uncovering key decision-making criteria is a science. Leveraging win-loss program professionals who, as a team, have performed thousands of interviews and hundreds of analyses can consolidate feedback into actionable recommendations. That’s where the art and science come together.
It also helps to work with win-loss consultants 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’s Cheaper to Outsource. Really.
It costs less to outsource this type of competitive research to a win-loss consultant than doing it internally. (Do I need to remind you ‘time = money’?). There’s the time to set up interviews, transcribe interviews, edit transcripts, translate transcripts from a foreign language, run win-loss analysis across transcripts, etc.
Ask the vendors who provide win-loss programs, “Do you have a toolkit, custom software, or processes that automate many of the tasks needed to produce a thorough win-loss analysis?” This is when you’ll understand that your company is not equipped to do this internally. And by doing your own competitive intelligence, you’ll find some win-loss providers are better equipped than others to get to the bottom of why you win and why you lose.
4 – You’ll Get Results Faster.
When you engage with an external service, you’ll have a dedicated team focused on delivering your results quickly. The team approach means you’ll be able to get far more interviews (and an analysis) completed in a much shorter time frame than you can on your own.
5 – You Can Put Your Scarce Resources to Better Use.
Win-loss programs are very time consuming to implement, but easy to outsource. What you can’t outsource is implementing changes 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.