Using Win-Loss Analysis to Drive a Winning GTM Strategy


Braydon Anderson:                                    

Welcome to this session of WinLossWeek. The world's largest online dedicated event to win-loss analysis. My name is Braydon Anderson and this event is hosted by Clozd in partnership with Pragmatic Institute, Product Marketing Alliance, Modern Sales Pros, and Competitive Marketing Summit. The title of this session is 4 Ways Win/Loss Drives a Strong Go-to-Market Strategy. Today we're joined by Rachel Barker. Rachel leads the product marketing for Qualtrics learning development, HR cost optimization and DNI solutions. She joined Qualtrics six years ago as a content marketer, and shortly thereafter began leading the product in demand generation marketing efforts that help grow Qualtrics as employee experience business from a small revenue stream to one of its most successful and lucrative business areas. Thanks for being here today, Rachel.

Rachel Barker:                                        

Yeah. I'm happy to be here.

Braydon Anderson:                                    

Well, I'm pretty excited for the content that you'll be sharing with us. So with that, I'll actually just turn it over to you.

Rachel Barker:                                        

All right. Thanks Braydon. And thanks for having me, I'm excited to be here and walk all of you through a few tips for how to build a good go-to-market strategy using win-loss analytics. And so before we jump into my four key tips, I want to walk you through some things I think you need to be thinking about when you're thinking go-to-market strategy. And since our time is condensed, for the sake of time, just radically simplifying the elements of go-to-market in this intro. And so to truly have a strong go-to-market, you really need to know your market, know the size of the market and the opportunity for your product. Know who the ideal buyer is and what their characteristics are, identify what problem you're solving for them. So customers have all sorts of problems that you could solve for them but I think you really want to hone in on a few and know what it is you're going to tackle.

Know what your unique value prop is, how are you different than anyone else in the market? And this next point is, what are the other market competitors and how are you different from them? But also what is it that you're providing that's different and how do you talk about it in a different way? And then also knowing how you're going to acquire customers and in one way or another win-loss is going to contribute to answering most of these, if not all of them. And so today I want to talk to you about the ways I use win-loss to build that go-to-market strategy as a product marketer. And for the sake of today, we'll talk about go-to-market and context of ongoing go-to-market, which includes messaging refreshes, product planning, upcoming feature launches, that whole thing.

So even if you're not a product marketer, this session could apply to you. If you're in demand marketing or customer success, basically if you're helping take a product to market, selling a product, whatever it is, these are all tips that should help you in your role. And I missed one, what are those key metrics? This is always important to be measuring what your key metrics are. Okay. So the first point I have is identifying customer pain points, and I want to share a quick story about the first time I was asked to attend an event at Qualtrics, I was in HR conference that may be 120 people. It was kind of a tight-knit conference happening in Denver. And all my boss asked me when I said, what do you want me to accomplish there? He said, I want you to know the customer. I want you to get to know the customer deeply.

And I will never ever forget the awkwardness of walking around this room with all of these CHROs or HR experts and peppering them with questions. I was new to this industry. I was new to this space and my only goal was to know the customer. And I realized when I left that even after having two to three days of just nonstop conversations, my notebook was full. I had barely scratched the surface of insights I needed to have those more detailed conversations. And I knew that when I walked away, I was going to need something would help me understand these customers' day-to-day jobs, what it was like, what were their hardest pain points?

And that's where, as a product marketer, you think about the ongoing customer calls and the research you should be doing. And for us, at Qualtrics this win-loss analytics it's a part of our research sometimes with, as a PMM, calling the customer, sending out these surveys to get that feedback at scale that may not give you the feedback you truly want from a customer. And that's where win-loss can really help you identify those pain points and hit them on the nose in a way that you might not be able to do, at least at scale in your other research. And so what do I think, what you want to be asking when you're digging into your win-loss to try to identify those customer pain points, and the first question I think is when I'm diving into a win-loss analytics, I think, well, what really drove the customer to shop for, or purchase a solution like yours in the first place?

So for me, like Qualtrics. And what are those things they're trying to solve? And most of the time you're not solving just one customer pain point. I mentioned this a little earlier, but often your customer is not even really able to articulate what their one single or central pain point is. And that's where digging through this analytics and looking at multiple win-loss reports to see what are these trends that our customers are talking about, so that you as a product marketer or as a marketer, can really identify and roll those analytics together into one common central pain point.

I think sometimes I'll see things like our vendor's dashboards were hard to use. And then I might also see on the next thing, like the next page that managers are having a hard time acting on their data. And I might be able to take those types of comments and over time say, hey, we've got to do a lot of work on our dashboards and that's where I want to get to this go-to. So what are you going to do once you've identified that customer pain point? And this is where you have the opportunity to periodically or on an ongoing basis, reevaluate and reprioritize your messaging when you see those patterns in the win-loss. So, that would be the first thing. You're looking for customer pain points.

My second point is, this a great opportunity for you to uncover those hidden strengths and weaknesses. So a few years back, I was reading through some of our win analytics and actually looking for a customer story. And I'll get to that point later on. But what I realized was that when I was reading through some of the win analytics from another product of Qualtrics that I'm not necessarily directly tied to, I realized that this customer was actually an HR buyer and they were using the research platform or the solution that we typically offer to traditional market researchers to do a really robust HR program or to build a robust HR program. And they had selected Qualtrics because we had a combination of key features that would make this HR program successful, that they couldn't find anywhere else. And we hadn't really considered as Qualtricians, how powerful that combination could be for the HR buyer.

And so after surfacing those insights, we did a lot more digging. We went and talked to your customers and the win-loss is really our starting point for us to recognize that we could create a brand new product within the employee experience business, and then quickly improve the tool to build more value for both the customer and Qualtrics. And that was a great way to use win-loss as a start of a journey with this aha moment. So, one thing to note here is that, there are a lot of things, a lot of hidden weaknesses which can be uncovering. And so looking through your win-loss and asking what do I not see when I'm hearing a customer talk on the phone or is there anything in here that seems unusual? And could that be a hidden strength in our platform? Sometimes I'll read through win-loss and think that it's so weird they like that one small feature that we know is important, but I'm over here messaging these five big features or using these features to message value.

And then there's this little thing that they love. And why do they love that? Why is this customer excited about that piece? And it's because it's trying to, or it's helping them solve a specific problem. So once you have insights like that, it's important to say, hey, does this insight just tell me something interesting about this customer? Are they sort of the anomaly to the overall pattern of our buyer, or is this something that I should be surfacing and paying attention to in my messaging? And I think this is a great place for you to look for aha moments. So the third thing is getting that competitive download. And I think about our win-loss analytics at Qualtrics, and they don't just support our product marketing team. Almost anyone has access to them. And that helps people understand our customers.

We believe every role at Qualtrics should play a huge part in understanding the customer. And so we hire a lot of energetic people who like to do hard things that makes us a little bit competitive. We are very bullish about winning the market with our solutions. So this is one way that we can kind of look left and right, and say, hey, are we providing solutions that give more value to the customer than anything else out there? And are we innovating? Are we faster at helping people get their projects done? Are we more secure? Are we more agile? And it's a good way to benchmark, but I will also occasionally open up Clozd and read about a deal where a competitor seems to do better in X or Y. And sometimes I get kind of frustrated. I think no, Qualtrics has this awesome feature that really outstrips that.

And it tells me, well, you know what, maybe we're not doing enough to highlight some of these things that we do well, if our competitor is winning in this deal. And I know we have the ability to go do that and sometimes even do that better. So this is really the place to look for those opportunities to strengthen your own go-to-market. So what I always ask when I'm looking from at the win-loss from a competitive standpoint, is how does my customer perceive our solution in comparison to others on the market? And how does our solution stand out from others on the market? What are our unique differentiators, and are they providing enough value to this customer? And is this customer even mentioning what I think are our unique differentiators? And then I've highlighted this last one because this can be a big piece, is pricing. As a product marketer I'm thinking about not just how do we message what we deliver.

I'm thinking about how are we packaging this together, is our pricing competitive? We're getting this type of feedback all the time from our sales reps, but a lot of customers don't always give that sort of information to their sales rep or the competitor doesn't have it on their website. They don't publish pricing, it's custom quote. And so it can be challenging often to know, especially with new products, how to price these in the market. And so what win-loss can really do for you on pricing is, it can tell you specific deals. Sometimes the customer will tell our win-loss analytics interviewer, hey, here's how much we were paying for X competitor, Y competitor. And that gives us a benchmark. And oftentimes that benchmark tells us what the customer values over what we offered or what they don't value from what the competitor offer. And it gives us a great way to think about how we can manage pricing.

So you'll notice a pattern by now we're on the third of the four points that I'm really saying go back and reevaluate, share those insights with your product teams. Once you have, you see these patterns and use the win-loss analytics as a strong data points, though sometimes they may be isolated data points. So take caution, not to draw large conclusions from one single thing, but they can be super powerful when you look at them in aggregate and allow you to hone that messaging, hone your pricing and work with your product teams to make sure you're giving the customer the right solution. So this is our last point I want to touch on. And this is really one of my favorite things I do with win-loss analytics, and that's teeing up customer marketing.

So every year at Qualtrics, I lead the employeeXM team in recruiting customers and thought leaders from the HR space to speak at our annual X4 summit. And this event brings up to 15,000 people into Utah in the Salt Lake city for four, five days. And they're all there to share insights about experience management. And as you can imagine with this many people, the events are quite large, but we're really picky about who we have come. And so we set this bar really high and we want to make sure we have great speakers that bring a lot of value to the attendees, but the challenges is, a lot of senior level or C-suite individuals are not easy to get in touch with. And, I would spend quite a bit of time trying to find connections in leveraging our C-suite relationships.

And what I realized a few years ago was that if I needed a few more key speakers and I didn't want to lower my bar, I could sort our win-loss analytics to show me all of the wins from my product lines, sort them by brand, identify brands that would be compelling for people to hear from, and then identify how the customers were using our platform. And then I would go connect to my Qualtrics account team and ask for the champion within our customers' brand or organization to then connect me up to my target speaker. And this turned into one of my most successful customer marketing and speaker sourcing tactics. A CHRO or chief human resource officer is far more likely to respond to a successful program leader within their own org, who extends an invite on behalf of Qualtrics. And they are to open up my cold contact email or LinkedIn message to come, cross country to an event.

And so I would really encourage you to think about customer marketing in this way and ask you what components of the solution is the customer prospect highlighting that can help me tell our solution and brand story. This doesn't have to be just about contacting individuals inside the organization. What you can do here is really just say, here's a story I want to tell, even if I don't need this customer specifically to tell it, this is a really strong story that I could be telling about the Qualtrics solution or about your solution as you think about go-to-market. And so my go-to here is really figuring out how to connect to those account teams, once you identify someone who's a champion of your solution.

And sometimes that means you wait six months after the deal is won and they've implemented, or it depends on what your solution or product is, but this is a great way to connect into those account teams and have the flag raves for, hey, this is someone that could really speak for us on behalf of Qualtrics. So those are my four tips for how to use win-loss analytics in your go-to-market strategy. And I hope they were helpful. Thanks.

Braydon Anderson:                                    

That was great, Rachel. A lot of cool things. It's so cool how you guys are just, I feel like you're taking your win-loss insights to the next level, right? Like there's a lot that makes sense with win-loss, but I feel like this is the next step with what you're getting from your win-loss. So thanks so much for sharing those insights. That was fantastic. So thanks again for being here, Rachel. Thanks to everyone for attending WinLossWeek and we hope you have a great day. Bye.

Rachel Barker: