Product Marketing Manager at Workday
Focused on journalism in university and that helped him learn how to get inside someone's mind and understand their point of view.
Why Do Win/Loss Interviews?
- Help you understand why prospects choose your solution (or don't)
- Helps you understand the secret sauce that goes into turning a prospect into a customer (so you can replicate it)
- Helps you understand what goes into the buying decision, from start to finish:
- Where did you start? What made you start this evaluation?
- What competitors did you look at?
- Why did you reach out to us? Or take our call?
- When did it occur to you that you found your #1 solution?
- In the case of loss interviews, where did the sales process break down? Or where did you encounter the most confusion or friction in the sales process? This is a great place where PMM could add value.
- Helps you find out WHY your buyers are picking YOU:
- Are you telling a particular narrative?
- What messages are continuing to work with a particular buyer persona?
- Is your product differentiated in a particular way?
How to Run Win/Loss Interviews
How many interviews should you do? 1-2 interviews per month. It can be a very time-consuming process, but it's important to be consistently interviewing customers.
When to ask for an interview? Reach out as quickly as possible when the decision is still fresh (first couple of weeks). Allows you to get them before they've forgotten important aspects of the sales process and their decision.
When doing it all in-house:
- Work with your CS team to ensure it's okay to reach out
- Do your outreach
- Conduct and record the interviews (In-person is incredibly valuable if possible)
- Sit down and condense the notes, distill it all down to the most important points
When outsourcing the whole process:
- Using an agency to handle outreach, interviews, and condensing notes
- Provide summary notes and insights from their interviews
- Can help because prospects feel more willing to give totally honest feedback
Automated win/los surveys:
- As soon as a deal was marked lost, a short automated survey gets sent out
- If you made a decision, which competitor did you choose and why?
- If you haven't made a decision, what's going on? Decision pushed back? Leaning more towards another competitor? Are we not explaining our value proposition well enough?
- Are you still interested? In some cases a prospect would reply saying that they're still interested, and we can pass those back to the sales team and save some potentially lost deals.
- Sales reps often gather info around why a prospect didn't buy, but in win/loss interviews and surveys you can find the actual reason was very different. You can compare that data and see if there are any key insights.
- Offering gift cards as incentives
- Also ask whether they are interested in hopping on the phone. That's an even better way to get feedback.
Getting Strategic With Your Findings
It's PMMs job to then become a microphone to amplify that message and get it out through as many different channels as we can and replicate it over and over again.
The most important part is strategic communication - sitting down with people across your org and sharing the information. This is where PMMs can get strategic and involved in higher level conversations around why are we winning/losing, where are we taking our strategy, how can we find more of our ICP, and drive growth for the org. PMM are focused on growth, and this is where they can really become a strategic role, finding the right buyer and figuring out how to grow the business by focusing on and finding those buyers.
Quantitative insights - try to determine win rates and close rates across different segments, personas, use cases, pain points, etc. Try to get to a place where you can tack wins and losses by reason. Helps you start to analyze product gaps, competitors, and effective messaging.
Qualitative insights - doing interviews to understand the detail behind why people buy/don't buy