Knowing your competitors and what they are up to is an area that many businesses haven’t really got a handle on. Competitor analysis sounds great and certainly sounds like something you should be doing but all too often it is used to arm marketing and not sales.
And sales is where it can really pay dividend.
Competitor analysis allows you to think more effectively about your positioning and messaging and also how you target things like special offers, etc. far more effectively. For the most part however, it’s left to anecdotal comments from sales people, not objective observation.
Your sales team will tell you who they compete against; they will tell you the names that they hear time and again when they are talking to prospects and they will also tell you when they are struggling to ‘beat’ a competitor.
They will also tell you how they can’t compete on price (death by discount!).
So what? How do you pre arm anyone who is meeting potential clients/customers so they don't get ambushed and can plan their attack?
Fast and dirty competitor analysis - battlecards!
First of all it is not just about knowing your competitors. It’s also about also knowing those businesses that your customers may perceive as your competitors.
Just because a business doesn’t actually offer a comparable service or product it doesn’t for a moment mean that your potential customers haven’t got themselves confused by their messaging.
Your competitors are all competitors - real and perceived.
The battlecards you create (and maintain) must be short (one page maximum) documents that compare you to any competitors or potential competitors HONESTLY.
This is an internal document so get over yourself and divorce your assessment from the marketing spiel you've developed.
4 sections are needed:
- Landmines - what the competition can do really well - areas we either don't want to tread or need to clear early
- Trenches - what the competitor does as well as we do
- Artillery - what we do that the competitor doesn’t do and why it matters
- Propaganda - what the competition does badly or not at all and why it matters.
Battlecards must be a confidential, internal use only document that all of your sales people can access. They must be updated regularly and must be in a short, bullet point format.
Try to avoid allowing sales people to download and save t