How does your organization learn from the past to replicate wins and avoid losses? If you’re like many companies, your methods are informal at best. Perhaps you collect feedback from sales teams once or twice a year. Maybe you make a point to ask clients for input about where you excelled — and where you could do better. But when it comes to a concerted effort to gather actionable data points based on past experiences and current market conditions? Most companies could be doing much more. .
Why aren’t they?
One reason may be the belief that market research is a “nice to have” rather than a critical business tool that will keep you competitive. The truth is that solid market research yields high-quality competitive intelligence that hones sales and marketing strategies and boosts company profits. The good news? Most organizations can now afford to climb aboard the market research bandwagon — no in-house expertise required.
To make sure every bit of your go-to-market budget is spent wisely, find out how to make market research work for you.
Start by learning how leading marketers are leveraging key aspects of market research in this short, 30-minute recorded Art & Science webinar. This episode is part of the ongoing Success Series of webinars brought to you by the marketing experts at Virtual Intelligence Briefing.
GET KEYS TO SUCCESS
Listen in as Tom Riddle, director of survey and research solutions at ViB, reveals the impact of market research on your bottom line. Find out why market research programs are a winning strategy for organizations of all sizes. Tom will share with you:
- The different categories of market research
- Two types of competitive intelligence every company should use
- Major market intelligence success factors
- Why win-loss analysis is a critical business tool for boosting revenue
LEARN THE CATEGORIES OF MARKET RESEARCH
Market research is the process of gathering relevant info about the overall market as well as your target customers. Major companies have been conducting formal market research for at least a hundred years. Lately this type of research has become more readily available — and affordable — for organizations of all sizes.
Tom explains three of the categories that fit under market research. The first is market intelligence. He describes market intelligence as “understanding your market’s needs” and trends and “how decisions are made” in the buying process. Competitive intelligence drills further down into the analysis of your competitors, products, and customers. Sales opportunity intelligence explores the opportunities “you won, you lost, against whom and under what circumstances… and what you can do about it.”
What makes market intelligence research so valuable? According to Tom: It costs just a fraction of your total budget. But it ensures that your entire budget and resources are put to best use.
DISCOVER THE IMPORTANCE OF DECISION-QUALITY INTELLIGENCE
Market intelligence is “really decision-quality intelligence,” says Tom. “It’s the information you can absolutely bank on.” Getting decision-quality intelligence about your market means that you can “confidently focus your marketing, product strategy, and sales initiatives for maximum impact.”
Another important insight this research will reveal is how aware people are of you — and of your competition. “You’ll also learn where they go to gain that awareness,” he explains.
Good research will “typically also do some message testing.” You’ll be able to discover if your message is making sense to your target audience. Beyond that, Tom says, you’ll see whether the message had the desired result. Armed with this information, you can assess the effectiveness of past campaigns and hone future ones to better hit the mark. No more relying on gut feelings or guesswork. Let data lead the way.
FIND OUT MARKET INTELLIGENCE SUCCESS FACTORS
What makes market intelligence efforts successful? “First and foremost,” says Tom, “is you have to be targeting and engaging the exact right people or else the research is useless.” Research must be rigorous when it comes to qualification and screening for aspects like role, level, titles, company size, industries, and geography. “Make sure that if these people are theoretically the right people, do they know enough about this specific area to provide informed answers to the questions?”
Keep in mind that “this information has to be decision-quality and accurate,” Tom says, so it will “generate confidence and summon the whole team to act.” In order to meet that high standard, the methodology must incorporate the latest best practices across the board. The info has to be “credible to all stakeholders…so that everybody trusts the same level of data.”
Most important: market intelligence must yield actionable results for your team.
ENSURE YOU UNDERSTAND WHY YOU WIN — AND WHY YOU LOSE
Sales opportunity analysis is a must for any competitive sales team. According to Tom, win-loss analysis is a critical aspect of market intelligence — and something every company should do. “Win-loss analysis gives you that precise understanding of why you win, why you lose, to whom, and under what circumstances,” he says. Win-loss analysis also informs you how to increase your win rates.
“Improving win rates is one of the most efficient and pragmatic ways to grow revenue and to do it more profitably,” says Tom. When done correctly, win-loss analysis even increases revenue without adding headcount. For instance, it will “help your salespeople understand which deals to focus on, but as important, which deals not the focus on where your likelihood of winning is very, very low.”
Win-loss analysis, along with other aspects of market research, “makes marketing a hero with the rest of the organization,” Tom says, “because the value that you’re delivering to all the different stakeholders in the organization.”
BOOST YOUR KNOWLEDGE AND YOUR PROFITABILITY
Companies of all sizes are realizing the importance of marketing research programs including market intelligence win-loss analysis. Find out more by listening to the entire episode, “Art and Science of Surveys, Research, & Competitive Intelligence.” Market research is a cost-effective way to learn critical information that helps you make great decisions for your business.