How many interviews should you do?
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
Why not just ask the sales reps?
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.
Why do both wins AND losses?
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
What's better? Blind or non-blind interviews?
We conduct both blind and non-blind interviews. Wherever possible, we recommend blind/anonymous interviews to ensure customer honesty.
What does the name "PSP Enterprises" represent?
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.
Can you do multiple interviews for a single contest?
Yes, any number of interviews can be done. Generally, only one interview is done per contest.
What is the maximum number of interviews your company can handle?
We can handle any number of interviews. In any number of countries. In any number of local languages
What is the relationship between your interview methodology and doing focus groups?
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
Where do your statistical methods come from?
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.
What strategies make PSP so successful?
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.
Can you handle international interviews?
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.
Why is Richard Case's Gartner background important?
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.
What about resellers?
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.
What other kinds of interviews do you do?
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 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.
What are the Critical Success Factors for a Win/Loss program?
Here are the top 7 factors for a successful win/loss interview program.
- High level management commitment.
- Sales management buy-in.
- Field education and sales reps' buy-in.
- Memo from high level manager to field stating expectations that sales reps participate.
- Provide 3x the number of names as the targeted number of completed interviews.
- For blind interviews, CUSTOMERS MUST NOT BE TOLD WE WILL BE CALLING.
- Respond to our status and bugging messages. We are very, very persistent.
How do win/loss interviews relate to Six Sigma?
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.