December 22, 2008

Do you really know your competitors?

Our research suggests that 8 out of 10 sales people don’t know enough about their competitors. Unknowingly that limits their ability, or confidence when it comes to selling. But it is not just sales people that fail to banish confusion among choice-spolit buyers and clearly communicate how their companies are different. It is other people like marketing managers, sales managers and CEOs too, as well as the web sites, presentations and brochures that they use to communicate to customers and prospects about their business.

Why it is important

First your prospects want to know what you can do for them. Second they want to know how it is better than what your competitor has promised. And although you cannot attack your competitor directly (badmouthing the competitor will do you more harm than good) you have to clearly position your company as better than your competitor in terms of some benefit that is important to your customer. This of course presupposes that you know enough about your competitors!

So what is your competitive edge

So what is your X Factor relative to your competitors? What is you compelling competitive advantage? Is there a competitive moate around your business? That is another way of asking if your advantage is sustainable.

Knowing your competitors is essential to maintaining maximum competitive advantage, that includes understanding:

  • Your competitors' products and services – their strengths and weaknesses, features and benefits.
  • Their reputation for customer service and support.
  • Your competitors' sales and marketing plans.
  • The loyalty of your competitors' customers.
  • How a customer rates your competitor after their solution is in place.
  • How well your competitors meet implementation schedules.
  • Which accounts your competitor uses as references, including poor references.

No comments: