Last week we posted on planning and conducting internal and external win-loss interviews. This week, we’ll look at reporting the feedback.
A brief, easy-to-follow report is more likely to get read by senior managers and executives. Structuring, formatting and writing for reader efficiency are especially important if you report on two or more win-loss reviews per month.
Develop a report format
Build your report around the interview guide. Set out each question in bold face or italics, followed by a summary of the interviewee’s response. Keep these summaries very brief for all but prospect comments significant to the outcome.
Wherever possible, include direct quotes. Many senior executives have little direct client contact and are eager for any chance to hear the “voice of the customer.” Direct quotes that align with the response summaries and that “ring true” (that is, actually sound like a person speaking) will help your reports get attention.
Open with a summary
Begin each report with an overall summary of the interview. Explain in one or two short paragraphs why you won or lost the opportunity. Lead with the most important point.
Busy reviewers may only read the summary. Therefore, follow the opening paragraph(s) with three to five bullet points taken from responses that support your summary. Include the question reference for each bullet point, in case the reader wants to investigate further.
Take care to ensure your summary is balanced—that it accurately reflects the prospect’s overall message and doesn’t give undue weight to some aspect that may have impressed you or the interviewer.
Decide whether to include internal interview findings
Some companies include a brief section highlighting any disconnects between the internal team’s analysis of a bid loss and the prospect’s feedback. Decide as a team whether this should be part of the report or documented separately as part of a sales discovery and process improvement project.
Next step: Win-loss analyses
Win-loss reviews focus on individual bid opportunities; win-loss analyses reveal patterns and trends in bid wins. Next week we’ll look at how to structure and manage win-loss reviews to enable analysis.
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