Unlocking Competitive Advantage: The Impact of Anova Research Programs

Unlocking Competitive Advantage: The Impact of Anova Research Programs

The Anova team is thrilled to share the results of our recent internal client satisfaction study. We’re proud to report that 92% of our clients are satisfied with our work, and 100% say we have met or exceeded their expectations. These statistics speak to our commitment to delivering high-quality services and achieving our clients’ business goals.

We help clients win.

86% of our clients say our unique approach to Win/Loss has helped them win and retain more business, and 88% say we have improved their sales effectiveness. These clients point to our direct interviews with key decision-makers as the path to gain deep insights into their markets, competitors, and customers. One satisfied client said, “The quality of Anova’s interviewing process is great. Other Win/Loss providers rely on web-based and non-personal surveys, which are much less effective. Anova’s interviews are superb.”

We provide clients with a clearer understanding of their competitive landscape.

Our services, whether Win/Loss, Client Satisfaction, or Churn Analysis, have helped our clients better understand their competitors and their markets. 88% of our clients claim that we have helped them to improve their competitive intelligence. This enables them to make data-driven decisions that improve their business. According to another satisfied client, “[Anova] understands our market and provides us with good competitive intelligence. They add meaningful value from a strategic standpoint and are very credible as it relates to understanding our industry.”

We foster collaboration.

79% of our clients say our work has improved cross-functional collaboration within their organization. This is because our services provide a unified understanding of the market, competitors, and customers, which leads to a more coordinated and effective approach to decision-making. As one client said, “The information is valuable. The way that Anova writes up the information and provides insights is valuable. The key part is how we understand our place in the competitive market, our sales approaches, and how our products are perceived. We take this information to heart. Win/Loss is a factor in driving change across our organization.”

At Anova Consulting Group, we take pride in providing our clients with insights that help them make data-driven decisions, win and retain more business, and improve their overall effectiveness. We are committed to delivering high-quality services that align with our clients’ business objectives and exceed their expectations. Our clients’ success is our success, and we work tirelessly to ensure they achieve their goals.

Anova Consulting believes that one of the keys to success lies in the ability to adapt and learn from the challenges we face. These shared beliefs, essentially our corporate ethos, are values we strive to put into action every day. This is the final in a series of blogs that explore Anova’s values through the lens of people we feel embody them.

It happens a lot: a group or team is in crisis mode. Something negative or adverse happened, and people are wondering, “Why did this happen, and who can we blame?”

Like the very best leaders and teammates, former football pro QB Tom Brady never waited to accept accountability. One game, after turning the ball over four times in a loss, Brady admitted to his teammates and fans, “That was on me. I’ve got to be better for my team, for our organization, for our fans. There are different ways to handle adversity, and my way is to take accountability for my actions.”

“Accountability is a life skill that greatly helps with overall life success,” says Dr. Christopher Stankovich, Ph.D., founder of Advanced Human Performance Systems, an athletic counseling and human performance enhancement center. He sees accountability as a successful contract between manager and employee, coach and athlete, and parent and child. “Whether it’s being accountable for training, studying, or making a meeting on time, accountability helps build trust between individuals, and trust leads to stronger overall relationships,” he says. “People that emphasize accountability generally get things done better and faster than those who do not hold themselves accountable.”

People who are assigned responsibilities are empowered with the trust to adequately handle them. They should also accept that they are accountable for those responsibilities, regardless of what happens. “There are ways you can handle adversity,” says Brady. “One is you point fingers at people, which we don’t do. Another is you quit and that’s not what we do either. The last thing is you point at yourself. That’s accountability. That’s what we do.”

It’s also common practice at Anova. We encourage everyone here to take full responsibility for their actions—good, bad, or somewhere in between. Sharing accountability has strengthened us as a company and has helped us sustain many honest, transparent, and high-performing partnerships.

Anova Consulting believes that one of the keys to success lies in the ability to adapt and learn from the challenges we face. These shared beliefs, essentially our corporate ethos, are values we strive to put into action every day. This is the sixth in a series of blogs that explore Anova’s values through the lens of people we feel embody them.

Feedback is present in nearly every worthwhile endeavor. One great example of someone who truly embraces feedback as a gift is the multitalented Lin-Manuel Miranda. Miranda is best known as the creator of the hit musicals In the Heights and Hamilton. But his passion for telling great stories and writing great songs began long before his Broadway success. As a teenager, he would write and perform for family and friends, constantly seeking feedback and constructive criticism from anyone offering it.

In interviews, Miranda has spoken about feedback—both giving it and receiving it—as an integral part of the creative process. He once said, “Your critics are the ones who tell you what you need to hear. The praise doesn’t mean anything.”

A striking example of Miranda’s appreciation for feedback came during the development of Hamilton. During a workshop of the show, he was struggling to write a pivotal moment in the second act. He shared his frustration with director Thomas Kail, who offered him tough love: “You can’t tell people Alexander Hamilton’s entire life story in one song. Figure out what’s important.”

Miranda took Kail’s advice to heart and ultimately wrote the show-stopping number “It’s Quiet Uptown,” which beautifully captures the grief and healing of the Hamilton family after the death of their son.

Miranda’s willingness to embrace feedback doesn’t just apply to his creative work. He’s also been open about his struggles with anxiety and depression and how therapy and feedback have helped him manage those challenges. In an interview with GQ, he said, “The biggest thing that therapy has taught me is the act of listening, whether it’s to my wife, my cast mates, or my collaborators; really, really listening and taking in the information that is being given to you, instead of just waiting for your turn to speak.”

Here at Anova, we share Miranda’s belief that feedback is truly a gift. It’s an integral part of our process, whether we’re conducting win / loss surveys, or customer satisfaction research. We know that sometimes feedback can be tough to hear and difficult to process. But we also know that it’s essential.

Anova Consulting believes that one of the keys to success lies in the ability to adapt and learn from the challenges we face. These shared beliefs, essentially our corporate ethos, are values we strive to put into action every day. This is the fifth in a series of blogs that explore Anova’s values through the lens of people we feel embody them.

Craftsmanship refers to quality. It relates to workmanship. And it refers to the pursuit of excellence in execution. Antonio Lopez Garcia, a distinguished and respected Spanish painter, embodies the concept of craftsmanship through his total commitment to perfection.

Born in Tomelloso, Spain, in 1936, Lopez Garcia is widely regarded as a master of realism. He is best known for producing beautifully detailed paintings that capture the essence of everyday Spanish life, from the moody streets of Madrid to the evocative landscapes of his hometown.

A description of his work in an exhibition at the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston explains Lopez Garcia’s uncanny attention to detail:  “Garcia will put aside a canvas until the light of a particular time of year returns. These long separations from his projects and the inevitable revisions that come from new observations require even more time. Such uncompromising devotion has made his artistic process the stuff of legend.”

In his painting “Gran Via,” for example, Lopez Garcia employs a technique known as hyperrealism, which involves the rendering of objects to create the illusion of reality. The result is an extraordinary portrayal of an eerily empty Madrid street scene. The painting painstakingly records every detail, from the reflections in the windows to the subtle variations in color and light. Interestingly, the painting is dated 1974-1981, as he would only work on it early Sunday mornings when the city’s streets were empty.

Craftsmanship as a concept sets not only the best artists apart from their competitors but the best companies as well. By striving for perfection in their craft, great companies create an organic culture of excellence that permeates every aspect of their business, from product development and customer service to communication. At Anova, we are committed to craftsmanship and feel this type of approach and this attention to detail gives us the best chance to meet our client’s objectives and achieve success of our own.

Anova Consulting believes that one of the keys to success lies in the ability to adapt and learn from the challenges we face. These shared beliefs, essentially our corporate ethos, are values we strive to put into action every day. This is the fourth in a series of blogs that explore Anova’s values through the lens of people we feel embody them.

Cultivating a strong company culture is critically important to ensure a company’s long-term success. Warren Buffett, CEO of Berkshire Hathaway, is renowned for many things. But near the top is his firm belief in the power of a positive company culture. He has built his own company around this very principle.

At the heart of the Buffett approach is that a strong company culture begins with the idea of “good people, great team.” Building a team of talented, motivated, and ethical individuals with shared values and goals is essential to creating a positive work environment. He believes it’s vital to hire people not simply based on their skills and experience but on their cultural fit with the company.

Buffett emphasizes professional development and mentorship. He often takes top executives under his wing and encourages them to develop their own investment philosophies. This has helped to create a culture of innovation and autonomy within Berkshire Hathaway, where employees feel empowered to make decisions and take risks.

Transparency and ethics are other important elements of Buffett’s approach to fostering a positive company culture. He refuses to invest in companies that engage in unethical or illegal practices, and he emphasizes the importance of being transparent with stakeholders. This approach has helped him build trust and credibility with customers, investors, and employees.

Buffett also places great importance on creating a sense of community for his employees. He believes that nurturing strong relationships among team members creates a supportive and engaged work environment. This includes encouraging coworkers to spend time together outside of the office and providing opportunities for team-building.

Anova believes the “good people, great team” ethos and strives to put it into practice with professional development, ethical behavior, transparency, and community-building. We also notice these elements in the company cultures of our most successful clients.

Anova Consulting believes that one of the keys to success lies in the ability to adapt and learn from the challenges we face. These shared beliefs, essentially our corporate ethos, are values we strive to put into action every day. This is the third in a series of blogs that explore Anova’s values through the lens of people we feel embody them.

Craftsmanship, defined as the mastery of a skill through patience, discipline, and continuous improvement, is exemplified by masterful talents that spend years honing the skills required to become exceptional in their field. Julia Child, the celebrated chef who dedicated her life to perfecting the art of French cuisine, exemplified craftsmanship.

Child’s passion for cooking began late in life when she moved to Paris with her husband. She enrolled in the renowned Le Cordon Bleu culinary school, where she spent years perfecting her skills in the art of French cooking. She was known for her meticulous attention to detail and her commitment to learning the complex techniques and flavors of the cuisine. She famously (and patiently!) practiced making omelets for weeks, each time making only slight adjustments to achieve perfection.

After leaving Le Cordon Bleu, Child teamed with two French colleagues to write Mastering the Art of French Cooking, a cookbook that would soon become a classic in the culinary world. The process of writing the book was itself an exercise in craftsmanship, as Child and her colleagues tested and retested recipes to ensure accuracy and quality. There were no shortcuts.

At Anova, we also believe there are no shortcuts. We take a long-term view of success, and we too pay special attention to craftsmanship. Like Child, we strive to maintain a quest for continuous improvement, and we understand that the key to mastery is not just in acquiring a skill but in applying it repeatedly and evolving with changing times and market conditions.

Many of our clients have integrated a similar quest for continuous improvement in the evolution of their “voice of the client” programs. They understand the importance of patience and discipline in pursuing excellence, and they value the art of craftsmanship as much as we do.

Anova Consulting believes that one of the keys to success lies in the ability to adapt and learn from the challenges we face. These shared beliefs, essentially our corporate ethos, are values we strive to put into action every day. This is the second in a series of blogs that explore Anova’s values through the lens of people we feel embody them.

Jerry Seinfeld’s success in the comedy world can, in part, be attributed to his relentless pursuit of feedback and his commitment to using that feedback to hone his stand-up craft.

In his book Seinlanguage, Seinfeld describes how he would always carry a small notebook with him to jot down observations and ideas that he could later consider for his comedy bits. He constantly ran these ideas by fellow comedians and writers, asking for feedback on his material and delivery. The comedian viewed feedback as essential for growth and improvement, and he remained open to constructive criticism.

Seinfeld also embraced feedback in his approach to testing new material. He repeatedly performed new jokes in smaller clubs to gauge the audience’s reaction and make adjustments as needed, often in real-time. This allowed him to hone his material before trying it on large audiences.

His openness to feedback as a tool to refine his craft has paid off in many ways, including multiple Emmys for his hit television show. Seinfeld continues to perform his stand-up routine to sold-out crowds worldwide, and his willingness to improve his material and delivery has solidified his place in comedy history.

At Anova, we share Seinfeld’s belief that feedback is integral to our process. Whether we’re conducting win / loss surveys, or customer satisfaction research, we know that feedback—while sometimes tough to hear—is a gift and an invitation to even greater growth and success.

Anova Consulting believes that one of the keys to success lies in the ability to adapt and learn from the challenges we face. These shared beliefs, essentially our corporate ethos, are values we strive to put into action every day. This is the first in a series of blogs that explore Anova’s values through the lens of people we feel embody them.

 

The key to success lies in the ability to adapt and learn from the challenges we face. It requires the courage to push beyond our comfort zone and embrace adversity with a positive attitude. This approach, known as a “growth mindset,” is illustrated in the work of Carol Dweck, an acclaimed Professor of Psychology at Stanford University.

Dweck’s research highlights the importance of overcoming obstacles, seeking feedback, and believing in the ability to improve performance with hard work and effort. Her work has practical applications in many fields, including education, business, and sports. In her education research, for example, students willing to persevere through difficult tasks improved their grades and developed a love for learning. Similarly, in business, employees who are adaptable, innovative, and resilient in the face of change are also more likely to succeed.

Dweck’s own story is a testament to the power of a growth mindset. She began her academic career as a music major but switched to psychology after discovering her passion for understanding the mind and human behavior. Despite not having a background in psychology, she pursued her interest and eventually became one of the most influential psychologists of her time.

What can we learn here? First, we should have the courage to embrace challenges and to view obstacles as opportunities for growth. Second, we should cultivate a love for learning and be willing to adapt and innovate to remain relevant and successful. Finally, we should maintain a positive attitude and truly believe in our ability to succeed, even in the face of adversity. Anova’s most successful clients embody these qualities to stay competitive and achieve long-term success.

This is the fourth installment in a series of blogs discussing how sales teams win more by demonstrating value through taking a consultative approach. The previous installment explored how sales teams can be more consultative by clearly understanding prospects’ unique needs. This installment discusses a second way sales teams can be consultative. This blog was written by Yosen Wang, Analyst. 

Customize Product Demonstrations and Presentations

It is said that communication is not the words one says, but rather what the audience understands. Once sales teams have done their homework and possess a clear understanding of prospect needs, they must communicate that understanding to their customers. In this data set, successful sales teams communicated understanding of customer needs by tailoring the content of presentations and product demos to specifically address how their solution can solve customer problems and achieve prospects’ goals.

Customization enforces a commitment to the Client and alignment with buyer search criteria. For example, one customer from a winning situation expressed their appreciation for the customized sales process:

The [client] sales team listened to our needs and tailored its presentations to show how [client] would solve our particular needs. Instead of wasting time on lengthy company introductions or on features and functionality that are unimportant to us, the [client] sales team heard what we wanted. It focused on our needs and how [client]would address and solve them.

In another successful presentation, feedback emerged that:

The sales team showed us exactly what requested with the various scenarios that we had asked them to show us. This demonstrated to us that they understood and could address our functional needs.

These two teams approached their presentations from a customer-centered stance, and feedback from prospects illustrates they understood the effort the sales teams took to both research their needs and personalize their presentations to fit those needs.

Click here to read the full case study.

This is the third installment in a series of blogs discussing how sales teams win more by demonstrating value through taking a consultative approach. The first two blogs established how sales teams win more by demonstrating value. Additionally, taking a consultative approach is vital to demonstrating value. This installment discusses the first of three specific ways sales teams can strive to be more consultative. This blog was written by Yosen Wang, Analyst. 

Clearly Understanding Buyer Needs

Consultative sales teams first thoroughly understand the buyers’ specific, unique needs. When Clients won, their perceived ability to understand customer needs was nearly unanimously rated as superior to the top competitor. Understanding buyer needs is the foundation for being consultative as it is the first step to tailoring messaging about how a software solution can solve for those specific needs, thereby creating value and driving wins.

Winning teams approached sales engagements with a customer-centric approach, in which helping to solve the goals of their prospect took precedence over showing off their own solution’s capabilities, some of which may not be important to the prospect’s needs.

Qualitative feedback further supports this idea. For instance, one customer noted in a Client win interview:

The sales process was much more personalized with [client] than with the others. [client] took the time to understand our objectives and come up with what we needed to achieve and what we wanted to achieve. We felt that the other two vendors were trying to change our minds on what we needed in order to fit their product.

Similarly, another prospect cited the ground-up approach a successful sales team took:

We found that [client] has a very different approach to prospective customers. They started from a blank sheet and said, how do we help businesses solve problems in this area? They felt that if they could solve your business problems, the software would sell itself. I feel like others start with a number of seats and then try to figure out how they can get businesses to buy that number of seats.

Customer verbatims illustrate that when prospects’ needs are understood, it not only helps fuel the ability of the sales team to be consultative, but it also enhances the connection the customer feels to the sales team, helping the customer feel comfortable awarding that sales team their business.

In contrast, unsuccessful sales teams often do not take the time to ask the right questions about a prospect’s needs. If they do not ask these important questions, sales teams lose the opportunity to build rapport and connections with the prospect. They also sacrifice valuable information to be used throughout the rest of the sales process. For example, a lost software prospect commented:

[Client]’s approach was to show us everything they offered before finding out what we really needed. I think a better approach would have been to give us a short overview of their offering and then give a more focused presentation and demonstration of the important functions. I was left with the impression that [client]’s solution was all or nothing, and it did not feel like they understood our needs.

Once sales teams have a clear understanding of prospect needs, they are ready to communicate that understanding by customizing sales presentations and demonstrations to address those needs.

Click here to read the full case study.