At Silicon Valley Research Group, we are a full-service market research firm, however, we’ve noticed an increase in appetite for market research in three key areas: price optimization, customer retention, and competitive selling. These research areas are often in demand, but there are market factors that make them all the more pressing and will set the tone for 2020.
With the DOW steadily climbing to the 30,000 mark and the economy humming along, this is a good time to re-evaluate the relative value of your product. In many of our studies, customers have reported being willing to pay more for products and services that deliver good value and demonstrable ROI. Updating your baseline assumptions on customer price expectations can boost your bottom-line and make sure you’re not leaving money on the table. And if the pundits are wrong, you can always provide discounts and promotions later in the year, but at least you'll be starting from a higher base! For those in highly competitive markets, who feel they dare not raise their prices, it's still worth investigating for auxiliary opportunities in professional services and value adds, etc..
Customer churn has become a key concern for many companies, but especially for those with SaaS offerings - and the tech space has become increasingly SaaS oriented. Customer retention is a high-profit lever; a small reduction in churn will yield correspondingly large bottom-line contributions. In the past couple of years, we have worked with several of our clients in this high-payback activity using our primary research methodologies such as win/loss and churn analysis. We use a simple 3- step process on our research platform:
Recent research indicates that competitive considerations are evoked during the first ten minutes of an introductory customer call. This can be either verbally or non-verbally, as in the prospect wondering, "where else can I get this?" and "can supplier X offer this to me and for how much?" Are your salespeople prepared to address those considerations? Other research has shown that sellers well versed in competitive considerations sell 38% more than the less informed. For many, sales battle cards are the first thing that come to mind. But salespeople are deluged and drowning in data from HQ and marketing; yet another battle card is not the answer. For a truly competitive edge, we leverage primary research to elicit and disseminate highly valuable customer intelligence including customer engagement maps.
We don't need to tell you, a well-informed management team is better equipped to maximize profits and make their business an intimidating competitor in their market. So, as you are prioritizing your research needs this year, consider if you might benefit most from price optimization, customer retention, and/or competitive selling.
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Alan Nazarelli is President and CEO of Silicon Valley Research Group, a global market research and strategy development firm focused on the needs of technology companies. You can schedule a consultation with Mr. Nazarelli here.
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