August 14, 2017

Market Research

Market Research is defined as the process of gathering, analyzing and interpreting information about a market, and about a product or service from the perspective of current, prospective or past customers to understand the needs of your target market, the industry as a whole and assess competitors. A properly structured research study of sales win/loss and lost/current customers has a very high ROI as it provides highly actionable insights and information about the performance of your sales process and your value delivery. This information has a significant impact on increasing market share through increasing sales wins, increasing customer retention and increasing new business through referrals.

From our 25 years of Business-to-Business research experience, we have developed a brief, highly focused survey to obtain insightful and meaningful responses from your current/lost customers and prospective customers using both quantitative and qualitative questions. CSM balances research objectives and how a customers’ decision making process is structured to recommend the best mode in deploying the surveys either via telephone, online, mobile, etc.

Lost/Current Customers

Conducting a Customer Experience study (CEX) is key in understanding drivers of customer loyalty, points of competitive differentiation and assess repurchase intent. This type of information can be used to develop improvement initiatives to increase customer revenue and retention and increase new customer acquisitions through referrals. Conversely, studying former customers provide information on how to decrease customer churn and increase market share by understanding these key areas:

  • Views on industry-wide growth trends, challenges & opportunities
  • Views on competitive alternatives, advantages and disadvantages
  • Feedback product offerings and potential for new product applications
  • What you could do differently in your approach to the market in order to increase sales
  • How likely are your customers to refer you and repurchase from you in the future.

Sales Win / Losses

A Win/Loss study is of tremendous value to the sales organization in understanding and identifying why you won or lost business. This type of study provides tremendous competitive information by identifying all the areas that resonated well with the customer some of which you may or may not possess. Understanding why a potential new account selected a competitive alternative or you provide unparalleled information that will make a measurable improvement in your win ratio by answering these questions:

  • What strengths and weaknesses in your product, and your competitors’, have the biggest impact during the purchase decision process?
  • What part of the sales process is most critical to prospects considering the purchase of your product?
  • What characteristics in your sales force are most important to the market?
  • What is the market’s perception of your company, your products, your vision?
  • What unfilled needs in the market could you take advantage of?
  • How important is price to customers considering the purchase of your product?

React and Monitor 

By capturing insightful customer feedback, lost customer feedback and sales win/loss our customers are armed with all the necessary tools to react and monitor the market. These tools enable you to make a significant impact on your market share by ensuring your sales pitch resonates with potential customers, your value delivery is in line with customer expectations and you are competitively differentiated.

If you would like to learn more about market research, please contact us at info@csmresearch.com

Author Bethany Gripp, M.S. in Research, Six Sigma Green Belt and Net Promoter Certified Associate – Vice President of Research at CSM Research, Inc.