Peer Survey Professionals

Customer Win/Loss Interviews

We guarantee that none of our publications will contain any respondent's or company's name.
Should any such publication be presented, we will pay the respondent or company $10,000.

What we do


Independent win/loss interviews: your most objective source of customer feedback

We interview decision makers who have made a recent competitive purchase in a high-tech market segment.

We determine the buyer's key decision criteria and how the competing vendors stacked up against the criteria. We find out how customers make their decisions and WHY the customers rated vendors as they did.

We always use executive-level interviewers to conduct interviews of your customers. Our confidential, peer-level interviews put them at ease and get them to speak openly. You get a "fly on the wall" perspective as two executives discuss the detailed reasons why the customer picked you or your competitor. Our systematic analysis of these results identifies the actions you can take to improve your competitive win-rate.

PSP Enterprises guarantees that all company and respondent answers are completely confidential and that neither the respondent’s names nor any company’s name will be published in any analysis. All answers are held in confidence.

What we do

Who we serve


Vendor Sales, Marketing, and Product Development

We help vendor clients increase win-rates. Lost deals are expensive. Our clients report sustained improvements in win-rates from 10-30% by adopting sales tactics that counter competitors’ claims, focusing marketing on their strongest suits, and closing product gaps that cause lost deals.

Mergers and Acquisitions

M&A clients work with us to determine how well prospective acquisitions compete in real-world contests. Our independent research validates vendor claims and reduces risk by determining the reasons why their customers picked them, as well as how well the vendors take care of their customers after a successful sale.

Venture Capital

We help venture capital clients better understand the competitiveness of startup companies in their target marketplaces. Our independent and objective insights guide portfolio companies to focus on the right strategies to meet growth and profitability goals, and help you reduce risk in prospective investments.

Our Approach


We always use executive-level interviewers to conduct interviews of your customers. Our peer-level interviewers put executives at ease and get them to talk.

We conduct both blind and non-blind interviews. Wherever possible, we recommend blind/anonymous interviews to remove potential customer bias. When we conduct blind interviews, we present ourselves as market researchers and ask respondents for their help in our work. When we conduct non-blind interviews, we introduce ourselves as working for our client and proceed with the interview.

Before contacting customers, we work with you to create custom questionnaires specifically for your products or services. Our questionnaires probe the issues you want to understand in depth, while preserving the flexibility to speak about unanticipated concerns.

We secure the respondent’s permission to record the interview for analysis purposes, and produce a verbatim transcript of that conversation with an executive summary of key comments.

Our methodology combines peer-level interviewing with patented analytics to provide insight into the reasons why deals were won and lost at the individual deal level and in aggregate.


Our Approach

Verbatim Customer Comments


Verbatim Customer Comments
The most powerful statements come directly from the decision-makers themselves.

The respondent’s permission is obtained to record the interview for analysis purposes. You receive a verbatim transcript of what was said, with key customer comments identified. Verbatim comments carry weight and credibility because they are NOT written by anyone in your sales or marketing departments and then signed by the customer. Instead, these are “direct from the horse’s mouth” comments about why you or your competitor were selected. Use them to exemplify findings from quantitative analysis of interviews in aggregate--they are your strongest message for action.

Quantitative Analysis


Our analysis of interviews in aggregate identifies the statistically significant factors causing wins and losses, and identifies the most important actions you can take to improve your competitive win-rate.

Using the Win/Loss Wizard, Dashboard, and Battle Plan charts shown below, you can understand and unambiguously present the issues that matter to customers and what actions you can take to improve future outcomes. Your best insights and strongest arguments for action come from the combination of this statistical analysis with customer quotes that exemplify the findings. Our reports and presentations assemble these charts with related customer commentary into packages suitable for sharing with different levels of your organization.


WIN/LOSS WIZARD CHART

The Wizard Chart shows you the reasons for wins and losses and their relative importance for deals in aggregate. The most important issues appear in the upper-right and upper-left corners of the chart. Statistical confidence is indicated by the color intensity of the dot.

Wizards Charts can show all wins and losses, or a slice of the landscape by looking at a period in time, competitor, region, product line, or any combination. In addition, the Wizard Chart can quantify the revenue potential of addressing a reason for losses.



WIN/LOSS DASHBOARD

The Dashboard combines multiple Wizard Charts in a single graph. Use the Dashboard to detect trends in reasons for wins and losses across time, and to compare and contrast performance by region, product line, etc.




WIN/LOSS BATTLE PLAN

The Battle Plan is a simplified Wizard Chart intended for executive presentations. It isolates the top reasons for winning and losing and focuses on key actions to improve your win-rate in the future.

Deliverables


Process


Our research process is a nine-step cycle from the beginning of a new engagement to the implementation of recommended actions from research findings. We work most closely with you at the head and tail ends of this process, and independently on the rest. Some customers conclude the research with one cycle, but most repeat it on a regular basis in order to measure market response to changes they make in their strategy and tactics, to watch for changes by their competitors, and to have a continually up-to-date source of independent competitive intelligence to drive tactical and strategic planning throughout the company.

Click here to download our Getting Started Guide for new clients.​​​
Process

Samples


Our questionnaires probe the issues you want to understand in depth, while preserving the flexibility to speak about unanticipated concerns.

Read More

Verbatim transcripts identify key issues and customer comments in an executive summary, as well as a quantitative analysis of the criteria for the decision made in each interview transcript.

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This is a sample Executive Presentation. It is targeted to answer the question, "What?"

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Ethics


Respondent Confidentiality

PSP Enterprises guarantees that respondents' answers are completely confidential, and that neither any respondent's nor any company’s name will be published in any analysis or written report. All answers are held in confidence.

Client Confidentiality

PSP Enterprises guarantees that the research conducted on the behalf of our clients will be done with the strictest confidentiality. We work under the terms of your company's NDA. Our clients are never revealed to their customers at any point. All company and respondent answers are completely confidential and will never be published in any outside analysis.

Code of Conduct

PSP Enterprises strictly adheres to the Strategic and Competitive Professionals' code of ethics.

Learn More

Business Accreditation

PSP Enterprises has proudly earned an A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau. There has never been a single complaint filed against PSP Enterprises in over twenty years of BBB accreditation. Click here to view our formal accreditation from the Better Business Bureau.

Testimonials


PSP Enterprises is an outstanding provider of competitive intelligence... I recommend PSP Enterprises to any company that needs to uncover what customers actually think as a means to improve sales effectiveness."

John J. Keaney BEA (Oracle) Read letter of recommendation

It is my pleasure to recommend Richard Case to your organization... Richard is a seasoned professional who offers a unique set of valuable skills. Utilizing those skills will positively impact your business."

Barry Klein Vignette Corporation (OpenText) Read letter of recommendation

PSP Enterprises conducted an excellent win/loss project for Unisys... I recommend them to any vendor interested in what their customers really think of them and what they should do to improve their win rate."

Paul Robertson Unisys Corporation Read letter of recommendation

Industry Segments


These are the main industry segments we have researched in the past.

Application Infrastructure / Platforms
Document Management (EDM)
RFID Middleware
Application Integration (EAI)
Hyperconverged Infrastructure
SAN and NAS
Application Lifecycle Management
Hypervisors
Sourcing
Application Server
Integrated Document Management (IDM)
Spend Analysis
Backup/Recovery
Network Security Management
Storage Management
Business Activity Monitoring
Pricing Optimization and Modeling
Supplier Relationship Management
Business Process Management
Enterprise Portal
Web Content Management
Content Management (ECM)
Professional Services
Web Globalization
Compliance Management
Procurement
Web Services
Converged Systems
Records Management

About Us


Richard Case

Principal

With over 30 years of experience, Richard H. Case is an expert in the field of high-tech market research. A former Gartner Vice President, Richard created PSP Enterprises to directly address the shortfalls in the industry. By using IT professionals and leveraging his own decades of knowledge, Richard H. Case has redefined market research in a way that leads to direct, actionable results.

Ken Schwarz

Principal

Ken manages all aspects of peer interviews and win/loss analysis for high technology clients. An expert competitive marketer, Ken helps clients set up and run win-loss programs, drawing from his 25 years of experience in enterprise IT sales, marketing, product development, and service delivery at HPE/SimpliVity, Pegasystems, GE Digital, and Progress Software.

Why PSP?


Peer-level Interviews

We always use executive-level interviewers to conduct interviews of your customers. Senior-level decision-makers respond to and appreciate the meaningfulness and efficiency of our peer-level interviews. A consultative, peer-to-peer style puts our respondents at ease and encourages them to talk freely about their experiences with an equal. We have honed our interviewing methodology to obtain as much valuable information as possible from respondents.

Blind, Anonymous Interviews

We conduct both blind and non-blind interviews. Wherever possible, we recommend the use of blind and anonymous interviews because they are the most objective source of customer opinion available. With respondent permission, we record the interview and you get a verbatim transcript of what was said. It’s as if you were a fly on the wall, listening to two executives discuss the detailed reasons why they picked you or your competitor.

Patented Analytic Methodology

Rigorous analysis of interviews in aggregate unambiguously identifies the statistically significant factors causing wins and losses, and highlights the most important actions you can take to improve your competitive win-rate. Our graphs and charts make it easy to understand and communicate important findings.

F.A.Q.


The short answer is always that more interviews yield more confidence in the results.

Our philosophy is that each and every interview should be conducted to the absolute highest level of quality such that each transcript is a valuable deliverable in its own right. That is why we only use experienced IT professionals as the interviewers. However, based on our experience and analysis in prior engagements, the following provides a “rule of thumb” for the number of interviews required to get to an given level of estimated statistical confidence:

8 interviews = 80% statistical confidence
10 interviews = 85% statistical confidence
12 interviews = 90% statistical confidence
15 interviews = 95% statistical confidence

Wins and losses should be counted separately. We therefore recommend 16 interviews in total (8 wins and 8 losses) to generate an 80% level of statistical confidence in the reasons found for both wins and losses. Without sufficient win interviews we cannot address your real strengths versus your competitors' weaknesses, and without sufficient loss interviews we cannot address your real weaknesses versus your competitors' strengths
Losing sales reps probably did not understand what the customer wanted. If you ask the losing sales reps why they lost, they won’t know the real reasons. If you rely on them to find out why you were beaten and implement changes based on this misinformation, you will be wasting money.
Sometimes the best compliments come from the customers where you lost and the most stinging complaints come from those where you won. You need to hear all the feedback to take action
We conduct both blind and non-blind interviews. Wherever possible, we recommend blind/anonymous interviews to ensure customer honesty.
PSP stands for “Peer Survey Professionals,” a name which highlights the fact that we use only industry experts to interview customers. The senior decision-makers we interview respond because we can engage them in a meaningful and interesting conversation.
Yes, any number of interviews can be done. Generally, only one interview is done per contest.
We can handle any number of interviews. In any number of countries. In any number of local languages
Focus groups are a great way to explore customer opinion with open questions, but they have one fatal flaw: the loudest person in the room pushes the rest of the group in one direction. This biases the results. Our one-on-one interviews obtain the same kind of hard-hitting customer statements without this bias
A Ph.D. in statistics was hired from Stanford Research Institute (SRI) International. The Ph.D. was shown the interviewing technique we use, the scoring, and so on. This Ph.D. was provided actual data which was used to craft the correct formulas to use.
Persistence. We go out of our way to convince the appropriate players to participate in our study. Whether we are approaching the research from the top down OR from the bottom up, our tenacity is critical to delivering you a report that is thorough, unbiased, and actionable.
Interviews can be done in any country you require. In any language needed. We use local Silicon Valley experienced IT professionals who are native language speakers. These interviews are done using long distance phone calls. We do it this way to insure high quality, consistent interviews. Interviews are conducted during normal business hours for the target country, in other words, we will interview late at night or early in the morning if needed. The recorded tapes are then translated into English.
The fact that Richard Case was a Gartner Vice President helps us to get to executives. Customers are used to participating in Gartner research projects. This allows us to obtain their participation in our research. We achieve a 33% hit rate for our interviews.
If you use resellers such as SIs, VARs, OEMs, the challenge is to give them an incentive to participate and to avoid giving them the impression that you are checking up on them.
We can interview customers at any point in the customer life-cycle. Our post-sales Reference Interviews uncover the problems that customers are having with your competitors' products and services.  And, our pre-sales Prospect Interviews help you understand why a prospect purchase has stalled and what you can do to restart it.

Reference Customer Interviews:

We can call your competitor’s reference customers to explore their actual experience with the competitor’s products, services and support–and uncover any problems they have had. Any problematic reference sites discovered this way can be a powerful competitive weapon. Likewise, our blind interviews can confirm that YOUR reference customers are truly good references to hand out to prospects. You will also be able to follow up to improve customer satisfaction by correcting any problems.

Prospect Interviews:

Prospect interviews find out why a potential prospect purchase has stalled, so you can understand the customer’s process and what you could do to move it forward. Our blind interview process ensures customer honesty. Our high-level interviewers use custom questionnaires created specifically for your products or services.
Here are the top 7 factors for a successful win/loss interview program.
  1. High level management commitment.
  2. Sales management buy-in.
  3. Field education and sales reps' buy-in.
  4. Memo from high level manager to field stating expectations that sales reps participate.
  5. Provide 3x the number of names as the targeted number of completed interviews.
  6. For blind interviews, CUSTOMERS MUST NOT BE TOLD WE WILL BE CALLING.
  7. Respond to our status and bugging messages. We are very, very persistent.
PSP Enterprises' win/loss research methodology implements and helps support a broader Six Sigma initiative. (Here, we refer to www.isixsigma.com for terminology definitions.)

Voice Of the Customer (VOC)

The "voice of the customer" is a process used to capture the requirements/feedback from customers in order to improve product or service quality. It is a proactive and continuously innovative process that captures the changing requirements of customers over time.
The PSP Enterprises Win/Loss interviewing methodology is the very best kind of “Voice of the Customer” input as it is done using blind interviews conducted by an executive peer interviewer. There is no better, hard-hitting, and unfiltered input than win/loss to feed your customer requirements gathering process.

Trend Analysis and a feedback loop

Trend Analysis and a feedback loop form a process of analyzing data to identify underlying longer-term trends. PSP Enterprises provides a statistically valid method of measuring changing customer opinion, over time, relative to specific changes you and the competition have made in your products, services, and marketing. If Win/Loss interviewing is conducted repeatedly over time, it forms a feedback loop to directly measure the return on investment (ROI) of any actions you have done to impact customer opinion.

Contact


  • 433 Sylvan Ave, Suite 124, Mountain View, CA 94041
  • 19 Richard Road, Lexington, MA 02421