Category Archives: Sales

Tune Into Your Customers and Grab Market Share

What if there was a simple way to see your business from your customer’s perspective? And what if such information could guarantee you a substantial increase in market share?

Win/loss analysis is a systematic way of gathering critical intel that’s absolute gold for business development. Sadly, the majority of startup businesses don’t deploy this invaluable tool, even though these are precisely the organizations that could benefit most from using it.

That’s too bad, because a Gartner study found that organizations that conduct formal win/loss analysis with an appropriate degree of rigor can improve their sales win rates by up to 50%.

When you conduct win/loss analysis you’re opening a direct line of communication with your customers and asking questions about their buying cycle—specifically, why they have purchased your product or why they are choosing not to. You ask for feedback on your own sale and marketing processes, including your strengths and weaknesses; what worked and what didn’t. Questions can include everything from their decision-making process to pricing, presentation and your ability to address their concerns.

Very often, you’ll find that the answers you receive might be quite different—even diametrically opposed—to what you anticipated. Almost always, you come away with crucial nuggets of data that can be transformative in shaping your approach to sales, marketing, product development and customer support.

Even better, you can gather information about your competitors and how their products stack up against yours. Whether it’s adding relevant features or simplifying your sales process, these insights inform your future efforts to improve your business operations as well as your products or services.

There are other, less tangible benefits to win/loss analysis as well. From the customer’s point of view, such communication demonstrates that you care about their opinion—that you’re listening and open to hearing about ways you can improve and keep their business (or win it next time). Don’t be surprised if you hear the customer say, “Wow, no one has ever asked me this before.”

Be warned, however: This isn’t a one-time task. In an ever-changing business climate, effective win/loss analysis must be conducted constantly in order to consistently keep your finger on the sales pulse. When you initiate win/loss analysis, at a minimum you want to be conducting four to five customer interviews a month. In time, that number can be reduced, but you always want to maintain that contact so you can address customer expectations, change your product accordingly and meet their needs head on.

By the way, the same Gartner study states that the most effective way to conduct win/loss analysis is by engaging an independent third-party organization that can maintain the impartiality needed to ensure that the information is as accurate as possible. Use it to your best advantage and you’ll see far more wins than losses.

To inquire about Lion’s Share’s services and how we can help you leverage your customers’ experience, contact us today. 

You Have a Great Product, but No Customers. What’s Wrong with This Picture?

So many businesses come to the table with good—even genius—ideas for products or technologies. When it’s time to bring that product to market, however, they have no idea how to go about attracting customers.

Good ideas, it turns out, are not quite enough. And that’s okay. We wouldn’t expect a homebuilder to have a real estate license so why should we expect an entrepreneur to have innate marketing skills?

Whether you’re buoying a startup or sustaining an established company, the fact remains: If you’re in charge, you have to focus on your core business and developing your product. You most likely don’t have the time and energy to generate novel ideas for getting your name out there. Yet without a sound marketing plan to fuel sales, the growth of your customer base will be dependent on word of mouth referrals—something every business needs to an extent, but it’s not a long-term strategy.

If you don’t have the resources, skills or insight in-house to handle marketing duties, it may be time to consider outsourcing this service. Even if you do have an in-house marketing team, you might benefit from some outside assistance to bolster company efforts.

An effective marketing firm brings the objectivity of a third party to the table—the perspective of someone who isn’t immersed in your daily operations and who can help you communicate your ideas to a wide-ranging audience. (This can be especially true for tech businesses, which often struggle to make their concepts relatable to the layperson.)

A marketing strategy can help you position your company for success, find the right customers and deliver what it takes to seal the deal.

A good marketing firm can also point out the tactics that would most benefit your business, whether it’s B2B social media, public relations, website development, webinars or the creation of marketing content like whitepapers and blog posts.

At Lion’s Share, we understand the constraints under which small businesses are operating, and we work with our clients to help develop a marketing strategy that makes the most of their resources while building brand awareness, generating product buzz and drawing customers into the fold.

After all, marketing in and of itself isn’t the point. Good marketing drives sales—it’s as simple as that.

You’ve got the great idea part down. Now it’s time to get it out there.

For more information on how Lion’s Share can help your small business succeed, contact us today.