Reviewing “Win/Loss Reviews”

This is the first book I have read on win loss analysis where Sales is the primary executor of this process. After all, Sales is the best source for sales intelligence as no one is more directly connected with your company’s customers. This is also the first book I have read where a company is using technology to collect customer intelligence from Sales which includes wins and losses.

Win/Loss Reviews is real-time intelligence collection from selected sales events. It provides Microsoft sales, marketing and product mangers with early warning intelligence like no other win loss process out there. While there is incredible value from deeper interviews of your customers by a neutral third party, there is delay both in execution and the time to assemble good analysis, and get it to the right people.

Author, Rick Marcet describes how he established a scalable win loss process using technology that hangs off Microsoft’s sales force management system. This makes it easy for Sales to input their data, no more than 15 minutes per case. He refers to Sales’ input as micro intelligence.

I particularly appreciate the psychological aspects Mr. Marcet weaves throughout this book to engage Sales cooperatively as so many in marketing and competitive intelligence fail to motivate Sales to share!

  • Sales is the primary beneficiary of these win loss reviews and the cumulative database, and they know it. After all they helped design the system.
  • Sales highly values peer-to-peer interaction, which this database of sales and customer intelligence facilitates.
  • Conducting win loss reviews is part of the sales process and is considered an “advanced” sales skill.
  • Rick also created an APP so Sales can tap into this intelligence on the fly from their Smartphones. Wow, talk about powerful and “for Sales.”
  • Win loss input is essential to be considered for various rewards and recognition at Microsoft.

However, Sales is not the only beneficiary of this real-time intelligence and cumulative win loss database at Microsoft. Product management, product development, executives, and marketing can all tap into the collective “crowd wisdom” from this database, to help them make better decisions with timely information.

Just in case you are skeptical about Sales’ bias in reporting (We win because we’re great. We lose due to price.), Mr. Marcet has factored these biases within his database algorithms.

Kudos to Rick Marcet for developing this process to capture valuable customer and competitive intelligence directly from Sales! This book is a must read for anyone in sales management, marketing especially customer insight, and competitive intelligence.

Win/Loss Analysis book gives you a process to learn why you’re losing business and how to keep more of it!

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Remembering the Wisdom of Steve Jobs

We have lost a great man in Steve Jobs. I have been reading the many stories and obituaries that people have shared across the Internet. @Monica Jarski shared her story and took us back to the inspirational speech that Steve so humbly gave for those lucky Stanford graduates in 2005, the year after he was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. While he shared how he started Pixar as a result of being let go from Apple at age 30 as its co-founder, and how this led him to meeting his wonderful wife, Laurene, what really got me were the words that followed.

“Stay Hungry: Stay Foolish” which appeared in the last issue of “Whole Earth Catalog” in the mid-1970s. Keep looking and don’t settle until you have found what you are passionate about.

“If you live every day like it was the last day, some day you’ll most certainly be right. ”

Remembering you will die wipes away all the fear of embarrassment and failure and all those trivial things that keep us from being who we can be.

“Even people who want to go to heaven don’t want to die to get there. And yet death is the single best invention.” It clears life to make space for the new. Remember your time is limited. Don’t be trapped by other’s lives and dogma.

Life is a great change agent. Your time is limited. Don’t waste it by living another’s life.

“Follow your life’s instinct and intuition. They already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.”

You’ve got to find what you love both in romance and work, and do what you believe is great work. Like any relationship, your relationship with work gets better and better over the years.

Here is the Link to Steve’s 2005 commencement address. 

And as a good competitive intelligence professional, although he was not espousing this at the time, he said that you can’t connect the dots in the future, but only in the past. You have to have the confidence that somehow they will connect. This is the story of life.

Steve was a wise man who followed his heart, his passion, his instinct and was playful in his inventiveness. The world is a better place thanks to him. May he rest in peace, and bless his wife Laurene and all his family and friends who will miss him terribly.

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