If you are part of a competitive intelligence team or a sales team, Mitch Emerson, Co-Founder, Compelligence, Inc. is sure you are familiar with this scenario: your company has a critical account or a need-to-win customer that your competition is also pitching to. A salesperson on the account team asks the CI analyst for competitive sales help, and the CI analyst says, “Please look at our internal website or Sharepoint site—we have lots of documents that address our competition.”
Great. So now the salesperson has to hunt through many pieces of content that may or may not pertain directly to the customer deal at hand. This does not help win the deal in an efficient fashion. It’s a mistake that he’s seen made in multiple companies: salespeople want help with how to sell against the competition, but what they get is competitive data when what they really need is competitive guidance.
There’s an important distinction here that gets missed between competitive intelligence and competitive guidance: the output from a CI team should not make more work for the consumer of the information. What many sales-supporting CI teams fail to do is to provide the distinct and customized “how-to” that tells sales what they need to say or do in order to win a deal. Sure, you’ve made sales guides and silver bullet sheets and cheat sheets and playbooks and competitor profiles, but the problem with all of that is that no matter how much information is put into them, it’s never just right for each individual deal.