Markets are becoming more competitive, and it’s adding extra hurdles for sales teams to jump over to close deals. As more companies emerge that have the same goal as you, sell a similar product, and have the same target audience, your sales team may be finding themselves in an increasing number of competitive deals. Just because markets are becoming more competitive, doesn’t mean you’re destined to lose more business to a competitor.
To help your sales team tackle these competitive deals, you can provide them with competitive battlecards. Competitive battlecards are small but mighty sales enablement tools that will allow your sales reps to stay on top of the competition and handle any competitive objections that come their way. Let’s walk through everything you need to know to lay out a plan and build competitive battlecards that will prepare your team to out-sell your competition.
What is a Competitive Battlecard?
A competitive battlecard is a sales enablement tool consisting of easy to digest competitive intelligence insights. A battlecard will help your sales rep handle competitive objections as they arise, because it includes information such as strengths, weaknesses, product information, pricing, key talking points, and more. When it comes to competitive intelligence (CI) deliverables, competitive battlecards are often a sales rep’s secret weapon. Sometimes, a battlecard is referred to as a competitor profile or kill sheet — no matter what you call it, it’s a great tool for your team to have on deck.
Getting Started Building Your Competitive Battlecards
You’re probably excited to get started with your competitive battlecards. But, before you start, you have to make a plan. To get started, ask yourself the following questions.
Who are the most important companies/competitors I should focus on? To answer this question, connect with your sales team. Ask them who they come up against the most, and organize your competitive landscape by direct competitors (those you come up against the most), indirect competitors, aspirational competitors, and perceived competitors. A great place to start is by building the battlecard that aligns with the competitor your sales team comes up against the most.
Who needs to be involved in this process? While many people likely want to be involved in the process, you want to be selective when building your battlecard team. Your battlecards won’t be built overnight, but to keep the process as smooth as possible, reduce the number of bottlenecks that could pop up along the way.
What is my timeline? When you’re setting a timeline, it’s okay to be ambitious with this one, but keep it realistic to what you and your team are able to accomplish within the timeline you set.
Where should my sales team consume battlecards? If your sales reps don’t know where battlecards are, they definitely won’t be using them. If battlecards live in random places or are emailed out, they’re easy to lose track of. So, choose the best location for your reps, whether that be your CRM, CMS, or even both.
Elements of a Competitive Battlecard
You can set up your battlecards in a number of ways. What’s important is that you have the information your sales reps need most often, front and center. There is a lot of content that you can include within your battlecard, but here are some examples to get you started as you build out your battlecards.
First and foremost, don’t skip out on the basic information about your competition for your battlecards. Start with a company profile, including company websites, financial information, office locations, partners, and key takeaways that your sales rep can familiarize themselves with.
Sometimes called Kill Points, Silver Bullets, or Questions to Ask – Quick Dismiss tiles include key statements that will help you disqualify your competition early on in a deal. These statements should be brought up early in the sales process so that your sales reps can quickly freeze out any potential competitors in a deal.
Win / Loss Stories
Stories are great for sales reps because they can learn from them and leverage them when a similar situation arises. Loading up your battlecards with win/loss data is a great way to provide that information to your reps. Not only should you provide success stories, but provide loss stories so that your reps will know what signs to look out for. Highlight the key reasons why you have won, or lost, deals in the past. This provides them with an opportunity to catch a potential loss early on, and they’ll be able to steer the deal in a positive direction.
Landmines are topics or questions that place doubt in your competitors’ capabilities. Landmines can be used at any stage of the sales cycle. On your landmines tile, it’s important to list tips for steering the conversations toward your company's strengths, to give you a competitive advantage over your competitors.
Your sales reps need to be ready to handle competitive objections. By creating a tile dedicated to competitive objections, you can list the most common objections that prospects mention during the sales cycles, as well as how to best overcome each objection. Work with your sales team to learn what those top objections are, so that you’re filling the tile with the right statements.
When possible, have your competitors’ pricing information on your battlecard so that your rep can quickly compare while discussing pricing with a prospect. A great way to display pricing in the form of a side-by-side comparison so that your reps can easily see the difference between all solutions.
Current News + Events
It’s important to include competitive insights that are dynamic and constantly changing, but ensure that you’re keeping them up to date. Dynamic battlecard content is information that is updated on your battlecard when it happens. These tiles are updated in real-time, likely pulling information from your competitive intelligence solution and feeding it to your battlecard. These tiles will include updates such as current events, recent news, and the latest customer reviews. For more dynamic battlecard content ideas, check here.
These are just some of the potential insight types for you to include in your competitive battlecards. For even more insights, check out this list of over 35 potential tiles to include in your battlecards.
Best Practices for Building Competitive Battlecards
To ensure that you’re set up for battlecard success, keep in mind these three best practices for building competitive battlecards.
Keep the Content Short & Sweet
You probably have a lot of information about each of your competitors. While a lot of it holds value for your organization, when you share it with your sales team, keep your competitive content short and sweet. If there is too much content to consume on a battlecard, your sales reps may be less likely to utilize them. When your sales reps are accessing their battlecards, they might be digesting the information to prepare for a sales call, or maybe they’re fact-checking an objection while on the phone with a prospect. You want the information to be easy to find, easy to understand, and easy to leverage when your sales reps need it the most.
Make Your Battlecards Dynamic
Your battlecards should be living, continuously updated resources to help your sales team. If your battlecards only consist of manually updated intelligence, your sales reps could accidentally give a prospect outdated intel, and get caught in the middle of a sticky situation. Having outdated or incorrect information on your battlecard is worse than having no information at all. Your sales reps need to build trust with their prospects, and providing prospects with the most accurate, relevant, up-to-date information will help build that relationship.
Meet Your Sales Team Where They Are
As we mentioned, when creating your battlecard plan, you need your sales reps to be able to easily access your battlecards. The best way to ensure that your team is using your battlecards is by hosting them where your team spends the most time, which might be right in your CRM or a sales enablement platform. The 2020 State of Competitive Intelligence found that companies that shared CI via a sales enablement platform were 45% more likely to see revenue impact compared to those that didn’t, and those who shared it via their CRM were 24% more likely to see revenue impact. By storing your competitive intel in your sales enablement platform or CRM, your sales team can access all the information they need, in one centralized location.
Competitive battlecards are one of the most impactful sales enablement tools that you could provide to your sales team. Before you get started, put a plan in place so that you know what to expect every step of the way while building your battlecards. There are many insight types that you can include in your competitive battlecard, so it’s a good place to get started with a combination of basic competitor profiles, quick dismiss statements, win/loss data, landmines, objection handling, pricing, and recent events. These tiles will help your reps navigate any competitive deal. Remember to keep your battlecards straightforward, dynamic, and easy to find, so that your sales team can leverage the information and win more deals.
Topics: Sales Enablement