Tag Archives: post-sale analysis

How Well Do You Know Your Market?

Chances are, if you’re a small business, you don’t know your market as well as you could, and should. You’re probably operating on instinct, based on conversations with a small number of clients. But you haven’t expended extensive time and resources researching existing and potential customers.

Finding out what your customers want is important for any business: How can you possibly provide a solution, if you don’t fully understand their unique pain? Why do they need this product or service? What have they used in the past? What are their expectations around working with your company?

Equally important is understanding what your customers really think of you. Why did they select your company’s service or product? What were their first impressions and how did they evolve through the sales process? How do they interpret your messaging and communications? How did you inspire confidence in the customer?

When you know exactly how your signals are received you can fine tune them accordingly. Maybe the tone of your social media is too strident; maybe customers are turned off by a particularly inept salesperson. Maybe they perceive the competition as much more established and professional. Maybe your proposal didn’t go far enough. A customer may have chosen not to buy your product simply because they didn’t like the way your slide presentation looked. If these types of issues are costing you sales, you’d want to know because they can easily be addressed.

Likewise, if a customer is going to give you a very positive testimonial, that, too, is useful information. What made your company stand out? How did your value proposition meet your customer’s needs? You’ll likely want to use some of this data in your marketing communications. Perhaps you could also ask the happy customer to participate in a case study. Regardless, you’ll know exactly what is working well so you can continue doing it.

Ultimately the best way to get these answers is by conducting a win/loss or post-decision interview, designed for onboarding customers or customers who have decided to find their product or service elsewhere. Ideally this interview is conducted by an independent party for the most unbiased assessment and most efficient analysis of data. People often mistake the win/loss interview as a customer survey but it’s a much more detailed and focused look at customer behavior. And the results are almost always incredibly illuminating. What you don’t know about your market really can hurt you.

Are you ready to know what your customers are thinking? It’s time to start asking these questions. We guarantee you’re in for some surprises.

For more information on how Lion’s Share can help you get in touch with your core audience, contact us today.

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.