Earlier today, I had the pleasure of talking to Sam Niro, Competitive Intelligence Manager @ Talkdesk, about how she creates and rolls out new battlecards. Here's the recording of our conversation:
If I counted correctly, Sam shared 874 actionable tips with the audience. Here are 3 of my favorites:
- Get battlecard feedback from your newest seller
- Evaluate competitor product releases through the lens of revenue
- Limit "us vs. them" content to claims that you can defend with customer stories
1. Get battlecard feedback from your newest seller
Nope, not a typo. When Sam is working on a new battlecard, she asks the least tenured rep on the sales team for their feedback. Here's her rationale:
"They're not yet indoctrinated into our perspective of the competition. They have the fresh eyes that you need to be able to say, 'OK, that makes sense' or 'I don't know if that's going to work.' They have the unique perspective of actively talking to buyers but not yet having the beliefs and biases that develop at a company over time. The less someone has been exposed to your marketing, the more brutally honest they will be about whether or not they think something is going to work."
Of course, Sam also recommends getting feedback from the most tenured sellers, as they can tell you if you're missing anything important. She says product managers provide good feedback, too, as they know what buyers care about better than anyone.
2. Evaluate competitor product releases through the lens of revenue
If your industry is even moderately competitive, your competitors are updating their products all the time. How do you determine which updates warrant communication with your sales team?
Sam's strategy is simple. She asks herself, "Does this pose a significant threat to our revenue?" She answers that question by considering a few things:
- Sales pipeline. If the competitor that made the product update is in several of your open opportunities, then it warrants communication.
- Competitor gaps. If the product update helps the competitor close a gap that your sales team has historically exploited, then it warrants communication.
- Customer requests. If the product update satisfies a request that many of your customers have made, then it warrants communication.
Use these filters — and others like them — to stay focused in a constantly changing environment.
3. Limit "us vs. them" content to claims that you can defend with customer stories
Sales reps often request "us vs. them" content — documents that list all the different reasons why your product is better than its competitors.
PMMs and CI leaders are often reluctant to create this content, as it will inevitably end up in your competitors' hands, thus giving them the opportunity to rebut your claims and potentially make you look untrustworthy to buyers.
Sam says you can mitigate that risk by only making claims that are very clearly defensible — i.e., claims that are backed up by several customer stories. If you can't find proof of at least two customers experiencing the pain point that you're trying to exploit, then you should find another angle.
The secret formula for stellar battlecard adoption
If you found these 3 tips helpful, I strongly suggest you watch the recording of my conversation with Sam. And if you're hungry for more battlecard content, download our latest ebook, The Secret Formula for Stellar Battlecard Adoption.
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