FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

Five-Quarter Rolling Pipeline Analysis

 
What is a Five Quarter Rolling Pipeline?

 

A 5QRP is a sales opportunity pipeline that includes the current quarter plus 4 additional quarters of visibility. This pipeline expands into the next quarter of the next fiscal year as the current quarter ends, resulting in a continuous five quarters of visibility.

 

Why should my organization develop a 5QRP?

 

Strong Pipeline discipline is the foundation of sustainable revenue growth. While many organizations justifiably focus on managing the results, the discipline of long-term Pipeline development and management focuses in on the behaviors and activities that drive these results. In addition, many companies understand what’s in their pipeline but fail to understand how big of a pipeline is required to actually achieve their goals. They also struggle to understand how opportunities are progressing through the sales process (ie. Pipeline Velocity). 

 

I already have reports about my Pipeline from my CRM system. Why do I need to develop new pipeline management tools?

 

If your company is like most organizations, you rely on reports generated from your CRM systems to help understand your pipeline. In most cases you are looking at a list of opportunities, opportunity value, close date, stage and, perhaps, aging. Most executives and salespeople find these reports overwhelming and of limited value due to the sheer volume of data. It's a common problem: Lots of data; no insights.

 

We can help your organization turn that data into Actionable Insights. These insights are not just valuable to the VP of Sales but also for the Sales Managers and Salespeople within your organization where the actual pipeline is created and managed.

 

What are some of the Actionable Insights that can be developed to help us manage our pipeline?

 

Pipeline Insights can help you understand the following:

 

  • How much Pipeline does each salesperson need to achieve their goals?

  • Does the Salesperson / Sales team have a sufficient amount of opportunities in their pipeline to meet their goals? What’s the gap?

  • What is the weighted Pipeline by Quarter? Does it cover your revenue goals?

  • What is the Pipeline Velocity of each opportunity?

  • Which opportunities need attention to keep them moving through the sales process?

  • What is the quality of your pipeline? Which opportunities need to be purged?

What are the some of the challenges in creating a 5QRP?

 

Many organizations talk about developing long term Pipelines but once a new fiscal year begins, they fall back to old habits and exclusively focus on meeting the forecast. It takes strategic vision and discipline to also focus on the activities that drive the results and not just the results themselves. The lack a unified approach to Pipeline development and management makes developing this new skillset very difficult for most organizations.

What are the benefits of developing a 5QRP?

 

Pipeline development is the foundation of predictable and sustainable revenue growth. Long-term pipeline visibility also reduces revenue risk associated with aggressive growth goals and provides an early warning system to potential revenue shortfall while there is still sufficient time affect the results. In addition, long term pipeline visibility enables management to make informed investments in the growth of the business. 

 

How can BLP help my organization develop a long-term pipeline process?

 

Everybody understand that having a bigger pipeline is better than having a smaller pipeline. Many organizations have attempted to implement Pipeline processes and failed. In many cases these organizations do not fully understand the underlying issues that derail these types of initiatives. The first step in our process is interview members of the sales organization in order to develop a solid understanding of the organizational tendencies that undermine the desired behaviors.

 

A simple example would be the way an organization sets quotas. If a company uses a salesperson’s pipeline in order to determine the size of their quota, then why would any sales rep expose their full pipeline to management? There are many other organizational tendencies that undermine Pipeline development efforts. We can help expose those issues and develop the organizational behaviors that encourage strong pipeline development.

 

Does BLP develop the Pipeline methodologies and tools that will enable my organization to develop a 5QRP?

 

Yes. BLP can work with your team to develop a pipeline management process that meets your company’s needs. We can also work with your internal development team to create the tools that will support the 5QRP process including the required metrics and Actionable Insights to effectively manage the process.

 

Win-Loss Analysis

What is Win-Loss Analysis?​

Win-Loss Analysis is the market research practice focused on identifying actionable Insights into why clients chose to buy your products and services and why other prospects decided to select another vendor instead of you. This usually entails conducting extensive telephone interviews with new clients or lost prospects. By identifying why you win/lose you can systematically replicate what is working and develop strategies to address the reasons you lose. The bottom line: these insights and the associated action plan drive improved bottom-of-funnel conversion.

What type of organizations most benefit from Win-Loss Analysis?

While any organization can benefit from Win-Loss Analysis, there are several types of organizations that can benefit the most:

  1. Organizations that embrace continuous improvement as a core value. These organizations recognize the value of market intelligence as a competitive advantage and they typically share an innate desire to learn, improve, and continuously grow their businesses at above market rates.
     

  2. Organizations that have experienced rapid growth but are struggling to sustain it and recognize the need to reassess their position relative to the marketplace. These organizations recognize that markets shift and that they need to have continuous client/prospect feedback in order to effectively compete.
     

  3. Organizations that are introducing a new product or service to the marketplace and need feedback in order to fine-tune their product, positioning or pricing.

Why should my company implement a Win-Loss Analysis Program?

A Win-Loss Analysis is all about improving revenue performance of your organization. At the end of the day you have two levers to drive revenue: Increase Top-of-Funnel activity and improve your Close Ratio. By leveraging the actionable insights gained from the Win-Loss Analysis and implementing changes based on these insights, meaningful Close Ratio improvements can be achieved which ultimately amplify the impact of your TOF efforts, resulting in increased revenue.

 

What should I consider before implementing a Win-Loss Analysis Program?

The insight derived from the Win-Loss Analysis has the potential to impact every department within your organization. In order to derive the greatest benefit it is best to have senior management team support for this effort. The outcome of the analysis may identify the need for new product development requirements, pricing strategies, changes to your marketing efforts, or service models in addition to changes in your sales process and training.

 

What are the benefits of a Win-Loss Analysis program?

A Win Loss Analysis program can help your organization in a myriad of ways:

  • Improve the Sales process resulting in higher close ratio and ultimately higher revenue

  • Identify product gaps and future product requirements

  • Identify opportunity for improvement in the sales delivery and customer success process

  • Identify pricing or legal issues that may be impacting revenue

How long does a Win-Loss Analysis program take?

Once a program is established there is very little overhead for the organization. A typical a Win-Loss Analysis program runs on an annual basis but can be customized to a time frame that fits your needs. It is important to note that you must have enough interviews to project market trends. If your organization has a high volume and short sales cycle, then a shorter duration program may be appropriate for your organization. If your organization has a longer sales cycle with fewer prospects, then a longer time frame may be required to secure enough data points to provide actionable insights.

 

What industries does BLP provide Win-Loss Analysis for?

BLP focuses on services and technology-based industries due to their long complex sales cycles. These companies recognize that a lost opportunity can not be easily replaced within a short enough time frame to impact the current revenue plan, and therefore focus on ensuring their Close ratio is the best that it can be.

Why BLP for Win-Loss Analysis?

BLP’s Managing Partner, Mike DiFranza, is uniquely suited to lead this project on behalf of your organization. As a CEO, Mike has had firsthand experience in seeing the implications of not having insights, as well as the positive impact having these insights can have on an organization. As a VP of Sales, Mike has been in the “hot seat,” trying to provide his organization with the appropriate guidance to overcome the barriers to the growth, in addition to improving overall sales team productivity and performance.

What does the Win-Loss process entail?
  1. We work with your team to establish a general understanding of the product and services you sell.
     

  2. We work with your team to identify specific areas in which you would like to gain insights. This may include all prospects, prospects in a specific industry segments, or prospects considering the purchase of a particular product.
     

  3. BLP develops two Insights Frameworks for your project. One Framework will focus on the Clients you won, while the other Framework will focus on Prospects you lost. The frameworks includes customized qualitative and quantitative questions that will be used in the client or prospect interview process.
     

  4. Once a sales campaign outcome is determined, your Sales team will provide BLP with the contact information of the individuals directly involved in the decision-making process to be interviewed by BLP.  Most often BLP will reach out to the main client/prospect contact as well as any consultant that may used by that client/prospect, in order to gain a well-rounded view of the situation. BLP will work with Sales Management to implement specific strategies in order to optimize prospect/client interview completion.
     

  5. Once an interview has been completed the transcript of that interview will be provided to your company.
     

  6. Depending on the length of the program, mid-year and annual reports will be provided. At a minimum, a report will be provided at the end of the engagement.

 

Customer Experience Analysis

What is Customer Experience Analysis?​

Customer Experience Analysis is a market research practice that focuses on proactively identifying the issues that are preventing your customer’s implementation and full-scale roll out of your software or services. This usually entails conducting extensive telephone interviews with your clients. By providing these insights, we help our clients to achieve the following:

 

  1. Identify barriers to meeting contract performance obligations thus reducing Subscription revenue recognition
    issues (ASC 606)

  2. Reduce overall client churn

  3. Improve the likelihood of upselling your clients with additional capabilities

What type of organizations most benefit from Customer Experience Analysis?

Any Software or Services firm can benefit from Customer Experience Analysis. In particular SaaS companies that have moved or are in the process of moving to usage based or subscription pricing models.

Why should my company implement a Customer Experience Analysis Program?

Whether you are a private or publicly held company, one of the key metrics used to value your business is your client acquisition cost (CAC) in relation to the lifetime value of a client (LTV). A key component of achieving a high LTV is directly related to a customer’s adoption of your products and the minimization of client churn.

 

Listed below are some of the reasons your organization should consider implementing Customer Experience Analysis:

 

  1. If your organization has experienced revenue recognition issues because of client implementation or full-scale roll out delays

  2. If want to improve your client churn rate

  3. If you're having difficulty selling additional software or services because your client does not feel they have recognized the full value of their initial purchase

What are the benefits of a Customer Experience Analysis program?

A Customer Experience Analysis program can help your organization in a myriad of ways:​

  • Faster revenue recognition.

  • Improved adoption and full-scale roll out of your product

  • Minimization of client churn, resulting in improved revenue performance

  • Higher client satisfaction resulting in upselling opportunities

  • Reduced Client Acquisition Costs – Replacing a Customers Cost 10X than keeping one

How long does a Customer Experience Analysis program take?

Once a program is established there is very little overhead for the organization. A typical Customer Experience Analysis program runs on an annual basis but can also be customized to a time frame that fits your needs

 

What industries does BLP provide Customer Experience Analysis for?

BLP focuses on services and technology-based industries. These companies recognize that a lost client can cost up to 10X the cost of keeping one, in addition to the time needed to replace the lost revenue.

Why BLP for Customer Engagement Analysis?

BLP’s Managing Partner, Mike DiFranza, knows how to identify the barriers the impede scale of your business business. As a CEO, Mike has had firsthand experience dealing with the consequences as well as the benefit of addressing the issues associate with adoption and full-scale roll out of software and services. Mike has been responsible for scaling a business from 1 location to over 20,000 locations. As a COO, Mike was responsible for streamlining the process to activate retail locations on the company’s SaaS platform. In less than two years, the business scaled from 1,000 locations leveraging the software to over 35,000 locations.

What does the Customer Engagement Analysis process entail?
  1. We work with your team to establish a general understanding of the product and services you sell. In addition, we develop a good understanding of your client onboarding and support process in order to better understand where to probe for insights.

  2. We work with your team to identify specific areas in which you would like to gain insights.

  3. BLP develops a Customer Engagement Research Frameworks for your project.

  4. At a time determined by our clients we engage your customer and interview them to get a clear understanding of the issues affecting implementation and adoption.

  5. Once an interview has been completed, the transcript of that interview will be provided to your company.

  6. If desired, we can work with your organization to develop specific strategies to address the issues identified during the process.

© 2018 by Blue Lemon Partners LLC