A lot of vendors in the healthcare space wonder how competitive intelligence is used in sales. These vendors – especially if they offer any kind of SaaS – are in a tight situation. They are typically working with a small team of three to five sales directors. Their sales cycles are six months long – or longer – and they have some formidable competitors breathing down their neck.
As a way to give your team a leg up in the crazy world of healthcare, competitive intelligence can be a boon in terms of both background knowledge and skills-building. The key is to make sure that your intel is being translated into specific deliverables. Knowledge may be power – but it is more practical when you make it into something concrete. Here are three deliverables that can help you translate your competitive intel into actionable sales enablement.
Battlecards are like cheat sheets for your sales team. They have critical information like competitor products and features. They also show pricing differences and relevant software integrations. Most importantly, they will give counterpoints for your competitor’s claims, as well as lay out their strengths and weaknesses.
Battlecards are especially useful when your company has several competitors. Your sales team may be able to quickly recall the details about your major competitors, but it’s hard to stay on top of the details for all the minor ones. Yet, since your team may go head-to-head with them at any moment, they need to have the intel at their fingertips. Enter the battlecard – the CliffsNotes of the sales world.
One of the most beneficial deliverables you can create from your intel is a competitor summary. These allow you to put everything you know about your competitor in one place. You can include information on their Board and executive team, their company size, and current messaging. Their product line, trade show schedule, and link bait should all be included in your summary.
Competitor summaries are more extensive than battlecards. Instead of being focused on the immediate needs of a sales call, summaries help provide a long view of each competitor. As such, they can be especially useful to your leadership team.
You never know which competitor you will be up against in a sales call, so it’s important that your sales team stay on top of each competitor. By creating quiz cards, you can translate your competitive intel into a skill-building exercise that keeps your sales team sharp. These quiz cards can range from ways to counter an objection based on which competitor is in the mix, to naming the major strengths/weaknesses of each competitor.
If your team gets together quarterly or annually for focused sales team meetings, these quiz cards can be a fun way to bring everybody up to speed on each competitor. They are a particularly helpful resource when role-playing sales conversations.
Your competitive landscape is continuously changing and it can be time consuming for your sales team to stay on top of it all. Even if they keep current on your top competitors, they are unlikely to be able to do so for the smaller ones. Since your bottom line requires that they stay informed on all your competitors, it is wise to see competitive intelligence research as a maintenance activity necessary to support sales. By translating your intel into useful sales enablement tools, you can ensure your team will continue to win deals and increase your revenue.
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