Everyone has heard the saying, "Keep your friends close but your enemies closer." In sales, that adage can make or break your success. Sales are fiercely competitive. Staying in your lane and focusing solely on the impact you can make on the market just won't cut it. Your sales reps must be just as ambitious as your biggest rivals to close deals and boost your bottom line.
Competitive enablement empowers your sales teams to do just that. Like traditional sales enablement, competitive enablement provides your team with actionable information and support. But instead of focusing on your product alone, competitive enablement platforms share information about rivals that can give your reps the upper hand in a sales situation.
Why Is Competitive Enablement Important for Sales Teams?
What is competitive enablement, and do you genuinely need it? The definition of this sales tactic is in its name. The common goal is to equip your teams with the knowledge they need to gain a competitive advantage over your sales rivals.
It doesn't matter what product or service you're trying to sell to prospects. You likely have multiple rivals vying for the same business you are. To beat the competition and come out on top, you must gather as much competitive intel as possible.
Let's look at an example that your sales reps have likely gone through many times. They've reached out to a prospect in hopes of guiding them through the buyer's journey and making a sale. But instead of closing the deal, they're met with several objections revolving around the competition. They might bring up prices, product capabilities, reputation, etc.
How are your reps supposed to respond if you don't have a competitive enablement program? They need that intelligence to handle a prospect's objections and develop a sales plan beyond what the competition can do.
Ultimately, competitive enablement helps your reps and organization stay one step ahead. It allows you to adjust your tactics and respond to an ever-changing market. All the while, your sales team can have all the information they need to tell potential buyers exactly why your product or service beats the competition.
Examples of Competitive Sales Enablement in Action
Competitive enablement programs are easier to establish than you think. There are many approaches to gathering competitive intelligence and putting it to good use. What works for one business doesn't necessarily work for the goals of another.
The good news is that the core concept and the steps you take to get there remain the same.
Analyze Your Competitor’s Web Presence
The best competitive intelligence experts always recommend starting simple and looking at your rivals' online presence. We live in an ever-connected world, and modern businesses can't succeed without a solid digital approach to sales and marketing. Seeing how your competition is doing online can give you valuable insight.
Pay close attention to the competition's overall messaging. Understand the value proposition to potential buyers and work with your marketing teams to develop something better. You can also look at the competition's online strategy to identify pain points, better understand SEO techniques, learn more about their approach to social media marketing, and more.
Source Your Competitor’s Pricing Model
Pricing information is one of the most valuable weapons in your sales battle cards. To understand your competitive landscape, you need to know what your business foes are charging customers for similar products or services. You want to remain competitive, and having baseline pricing information can help you do just that.
The competitor's pricing model is one of those tidbits of information you need to share with everyone on your sales team. It'll help you formulate a sales strategy and address objections as they come.
Listen Carefully When Prospects Discuss Competitors
Here's the thing about competitive intelligence: You don't need to use unethical means to get information. All you have to do is listen.
Competitive insights often come from prospects. You can gain valuable information from listening to objections or hearing the opinions of a potential customer. Here's where having a solid competitive enablement program comes in handy.
Your sales team should jot down every little tidbit they learn and share it among peers as soon as possible. Whether you hear about pricing or current promotions, every nugget of insight has value
Investigate Competitor Product Development and Integrations
Your competitive intelligence leader should also investigate product innovations and evolutions. Product cycles come and go, and most businesses will continue to push their capabilities further with new iterations. Even as you're working hard to stay one step ahead of your rivals, they're already creating the next big release. It's the same as your organization.
There are many best practices for current product releases, but you must be proactive to understand your competition's next move. Investigate new developments and integrations to help your product marketing teams establish a competitive strategy. It ensures your team and company can keep up.
Confirm the Intelligence You’ve Gathered
Once you've gathered the information for your competitive program, you need to validate it. Intel is only valuable if it's accurate. You'd be surprised by what lengths organizations will go to throw off competitors. It's the definition of competitive strategy. You might see planted rumors or false data floating around the sales stratosphere.
Before distributing a single piece of intelligence, check that it's valid. The last thing you want is to develop sales tactics around information that's not correct.
Document and Distribute Competitive Intelligence
Here's where sales enterprise leaders can make a difference in your competitive enablement strategies. Instead of allowing information to flow via hearsay, create an established method of documenting and distributing intelligence.
The key here is to have open lines of communication. Use competitive enablement platforms to achieve inter-departmental sharing. Make things easy to share between the sales and marketing teams, and pave the way for company-wide strategy formation and peer-to-peer enablement.
You can also put the information in competitive battlecards, ensuring that each sales rep has succinct insights they can use on the fly. The goal is to make your intelligence easily accessible so that every agent has the information they need to turn prospects into customers.
Cultivate Peer-to-Peer Enablement for Real-time Insights
Finally, put the structure in place for a culture of peer-to-peer enablement. Your sales leaders should encourage your reps to share what they learn. Intelligence-gathering is an ongoing process. It never stops, and your reps will gather new information frequently. They should feel comfortable and capable of sharing it to support others.
Use an intelligent and connected enablement platform to spread real-time insights. Things change on the fly, and having access to updated information can make all the difference.
Enable Your Team with Valuable Sales Content Insights
Ready to become a formidable opponent and take down the competition? Flockjay lets you put competitive enablement to the test. Flockjay's all-in-one solution empowers your sales teams to share sales content and insights in real-time. No matter where they are or how they work, Flockjay ensures that every team member has the support they need to close a deal.
Check it out and turn your team into a sales powerhouse.