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Dear Alan: 15 minute interview guide for Win/Loss Analysis?

I recently had a request asking for help to design a win/loss analysis interview. As this topic has general applicability across industries, I thought I'd share some of that exchange with you, dear readers.

Does sales really "own" the customer relationship?

I hear this all the time: "Sales owns the customer relationship." Not true, folks. If it is true at your company, you've got a problem.

Buyer Relationships: I do not think it means what you think it means

Tweet this: @AWArmstrong: Buyer Relationships: I do not think it means what you think it means http://bit.ly/ocLWXl #sales #marketing #prodmgmt

The Main Thing is Keeping the Main Thing the Main Thing, Part 2

A good friend and colleague of mine, Michael Papanek, once implored me to "keep the main thing". In fact,

Positioning beyond the product: Think relationship

When I say "positioning", what do you think of?

How can Win/Loss Analysis help you find untapped markets?

This week had a very smart CEO pose a great question to me:

What are we missing in terms of opportunities where we aren’t even considered? Frankly I worry (like all paranoid startup CEOs) that this may be the biggest opportunity for growth. Do...

The Factory vs. The Lab: Leaders know Which is Which

Teams requires both a laboratory, to innovate and design, and a factory, to build and deliver. Unfortunately teams, companies, and individuals spend too much time in the lab or the factory, and often confuse the these two very different...

Leaders don't make excuses: Crossing the Rubicon of Product Leadership

This week some titillating stories were published about Apple's internal culture. Among the news: Apple has hired a pair of ivy-league biz profs to codify its internal processes, leadership, and management culture. The case studies will be used...

Win/Loss Analysis MUST include wins (success stories don't count)

If you want to improve your win rates in the market, it is important that you study wins, and not just losses.

"We try harder" Ain't Enough: Differentiate Based On Client Experience

BY ALAN ARMSTRONG

Worth repeating: What makes a relationship resilient?

BY ALAN ARMSTRONG

I spoke last week at a gathering of sales people, and we really dug in to the concept of power in relationships. Many of us feel power imbalances in relationships, but perhaps none more than a sales person.

A Tale of Differentiation: The Discounter vs. The Price Leader

On Monday I met with two companies with very different approaches to price and margin. One company's sales team said:

"one of our strengths is that we are so flexible on price."

They view it as a differentiator that they are willing to get the...

Unsticking the stuck deal

By Alan Armstrong

Have you ever heard this story before?

Your price is (probably) not the problem

By Alan Armstrong

A true story: The date was June 23, 7 days before quarter-end. Terri came to the sales meeting and said she could close another deal, this one for $75k, but she needed a 50% discount to make it happen. Discount granted, and $150k...

Thanks for the discount, I'm still not buying yet

By Alan Armstrong

A true story:

SV PCamp proposed session: It's never about price

By Alan Armstrong

I've proposed a session for Product Camp Silicon Valley on April 2. Here's what I want to discuss.

10,000 Hours of Product Management

Have you read Outliers by Malcom Gladwell? It takes a lot of thinking about success and turns the thinking upside down. It's a quick and easy read, but I found it quite thought provoking and it's full of great stories.

Exactly Like Me: The Perfect Reference Customer

Most companies think that any satisfied customer is a good reference customer. But the truth is very different, and companies have lost deals because they don't understand what's going on or how to select a good reference. So just what does...

Please delete your first three slides (or move them)

By Alan Armstrong

Raise your hand if your standard pitch deck starts a bit like this:

Marketing Blur: (Information Overload)^10

Your market is overwhelmed with information. What can you do about it?

"One step at a time" can fail you

By Alan Armstrong

Jackie, a colleague for over 15 years, recently shared with me her mantra in times of confusion: "One step at a time". When things get overwhelming, Jackie tunes out the noise and just takes one step at a time.

Forethought or Afterthought? Use Design to Increase Differentiation

“Design” has the ability to differentiate your company and your product, yet few of you are investing in real design. If I were starting a software company, I would start there – with design first, then marketing. (Last year I interviewed a...

The new enterprise boom?

Investors have been down on enterprise software for the last few years, but lately there has been a resurgence of interest in the sector. As Tech Crunch put it, "many investors believe a new wave of more disruptive, more sophisticated cloud-based...

Check out LiteMind for a free eBook

I recently started reading LiteMind, and have been enjoying it very much. The focus of the site is personal development, productivity, freedom, and creativity ... all topics that product managers can benefit from.

Rules and Laws Product Managers Should Understand (part 2)

Continuing from Part 1, here are more Rules and Laws to help Product Managers in their jobs.

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