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Benchmark Your Competitive Win Rate [New Data]

Picture of Ellie Mirman
Ellie Mirman on Fri, Nov 15, 2019

Every business has competitors, whether that be status quo or a laundry list of similar companies. How effective we are at winning deals against our competitors is one of the key measures of a successful competitive intelligence (CI) program. And while we’d love to win 100% of sales opportunities, that’s rarely the reality. But how do we know if our 50%, or 30% or 80% win rate is “good” for the industry? Thankfully, we can turn to our peers to benchmark our performance against other companies in similarly competitive markets.

Crayon’s annual State of Competitive Intelligence study dove into exactly that. However, we’re now releasing for the first time those benchmarks around the competitive win rates reported by more than 1,000 CI professionals.

Get the latest data - download the 2020 State of Competitive Intelligence  Report 

Average Competitive Win Rate Across Industries

The average competitive win rate across all respondents was 42%. But as you can see below, the distribution ranged quite a bit in a classic bell curve, with the majority of respondents seeing win rates of 21-50%.

competitive-win-rate-2019

Source: 2019 State of Competitive Intelligence Survey

Percentage of Sales Opportunities That Are Competitive

While win rates fell into a classic bell curve distribution, the percentage of deals that were competitive did not have such a neat distribution. This shows more of the differences from industry to industry. While every business has competitors, the number, size, and type of competitors can vary quite a bit.

SCI-percentagesalesopps

Source: 2019 State of Competitive Intelligence Report

What Influences Competitive Win Rate?

There are many factors that can influence competitive win rate. But perhaps a few relevant variables involve competitive pressure in the market - how many sales opportunities are competitive, and how many competitors do you face in the market?

Win rate varied slightly for companies that faced competitors more frequently. But the win rate range was pretty narrow, from 32% at the low end to 52% at the high end.

competitive-win-rate-vs-competitive-opps-2019

Source: 2019 State of Competitive Intelligence Survey

However, averages can sometimes hide actual differences among the segments. When we look at the specific win rates for each group, we can see that companies that come up against competitors less frequently are more likely to have below average win rates - perhaps because there’s less pressure and competitive sales enablement is less of a priority. Meanwhile, companies that come up against competitors more frequently are more likely to see above average win rates, hopefully a result of more dedicated attention to this challenge.

competitive-win-rate-vs-competitive-opps-stacked-2019

Source: 2019 State of Competitive Intelligence Survey

Could the number of competitors to keep tabs on also influence the effort put towards competitive sales enablement, and ultimately win rate? Maybe. Companies with 26 or more competitors (above the average of 25) were more likely to see above average win rates.

competitive-win-rate-vs-num-competitors-2019

Source: 2019 State of Competitive Intelligence Survey

How to Use These Benchmarks

Benchmarks such as these are helpful for understanding whether or not we’re keeping up with our peers. But don’t stop there - the goal is not to “win just as often as our peers,” the goal is to maximize revenue for our businesses. Especially when our most directly relevant peers are our competitors, the goal is to far exceed their win rates to grow our market share.

A dedicated competitive intelligence program with a focus on sales enablement, as well as enablement of all internal audiences, can be a path to moving this all-important metric. And you can use this metric to make the case for further investment in CI.

For example, if 50% of your sales opportunities are competitive, and you win those deals 30% of the time, and a typical deal is worth $100,000, then a 50% improvement to your win rate can represent $750,000 in additional revenue per quarter when tackling 100 opportunities per quarter.

competitive win rate crayon

Calculate the additional revenue you could win in this Win/Loss Revenue Calculator, a free Google Sheet calculator.

The rate at which our sales teams are able to win competitive deals is a reflection of our effectiveness across product development, marketing, sales enablement, and so much more. Competitive intelligence can help inform all of those areas and can most directly impact our team’s competitive win rate. While competitive intelligence can have wide reaching effects, improving our sales team’s competitive win rate has a clear and direct impact on revenue, which can help achieve the internal buy-in needed to invest in this critical activity.

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Topics: Competitive Intelligence

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