Who should conduct your win/loss interviews?
Excellent! Your team has seen the light and has finally decided to do win/loss interviews. Now the question is … who is going to do the interviews? It’s usually assumed that win/loss interviews should be conducted by the in-house team – but that may not serve you best. In fact, there are three reasons why you’ll get better results if you outsource your win/loss interviews.
1) Honest Feedback
It may seem intuitive that someone who decided to go with your competitor may not be totally straightforward with you about why. But sometimes it’s even harder to get honest feedback from those who did you choose you – because they don’t want to seem negative or hurt your future relationship.
People often find it easier to be honest about your people and processes if they aren’t talking to you directly. I have conducted a lot of interviews – voice-of-customer, as well as competitive intelligence interviews – and it’s amazing how often people will tell me something important in an aside. Something they would never say to their vendor directly – and it’s often the exact information the vendor most needs to hear.
2) Your Team is Swamped
Let’s say you have assigned your team to do a series of win/loss interviews. First, they have to compile a list of your most recent deals. Then they have to prioritize those deals. Then you have to think of what you want to find out (and what questions will help you do so). Then the scheduling begins. And the phone tag. And the emails. And the cancellations and rescheduling. And the interviews themselves. Then you have to get transcripts and write up a summary so the whole team knows what you’ve learned.
It’s a ton of time-consuming tasks – and even the most determined and well-intentioned teams find they have to back-burner them.
3) Impartial Perspective
It’s not always easy to hear what people are thinking, especially if they are unhappy with your team or your process. Even if you hear the information, it can be easy to dismiss anything unpleasant. When you outsource your win/loss interviews, the hard-to-hear points are presented in context, which makes them easier to take in.
For instance, a client of mine worked with several governmental health systems. When I interviewed them, I learned the ones based in outlying regions were feeling neglected. Obviously, this is not anything one is hoping to hear. But because they had me do the interviews, I was able to present that information to them along with clear action steps they could take to alleviate the problem. And that made the difficult information easier to hear.
Outsource Your Win/Loss Interviews
Win/loss interviews provide vital information for your sales team. You need people to be candid with you. You need to devote a good amount of time to get it done. And you need to be able to hear unpleasant feedback. All of which is good reason to outsource your win/loss interviews.