Ricky Bobby, Will Ferrell’s character in Talladega Nights, had one simple mantra:
if you ain’t first you’re last.
Later in the movie, however, he would learn that his mantra — a piece of received wisdom he got from his dad — wasn’t as reliable as he thought.
Ricky Bobby: Wait, Dad. Don’t you remember the time you told me “If you ain’t first, you’re last”? Reese Bobby: Huh? What are you talking about, Son? Ricky Bobby: That day at school. Reese Bobby: Oh hell, Son, I was high that day. That doesn’t make any sense at all, you can be second, third, fourth… hell you can even be fifth. Ricky Bobby: What? I’ve lived my whole life by that!
Indeed, you don’t have to be the first mover to win the race.
Because the best win-loss analysis insights come from nuanced data points that can’t be captured in a survey question or a CRM dropdown menu.
But beyond that, surveys are just…hard to do right. Too many potential pitfalls that come into play all too often — rendering the findings unreliable.
Problem 1: Survey Fatigue
Just like I used to do in my Grade 11 Chemistry class, by the end of multiple-choice section tests or surveys, you end up choosing at random just to get it over with. But make your survey too short and you won’t collect comprehensive data
Problem 2: Confusing questions
Making the questions clear enough to elicit a thoughtful answer while leaving them sufficiently open-ended to allow for nuance is serious art and science. Unless you’re a professional qualitative researcher, you don’t have the skillset for this.
Problem 3: Whose incentive is it anyways?
Surveying a broad audience usually involves incentivizing respondents. But, in so doing, are you incentivizing the wrong people to answer the survey?
Reliable survey data is hard to come by. And don’t even get us started on CRM data reliability…
You can dive deeper into why win-loss interviews are the winners and ways you can use AI to design, build and deploy your win-loss program.