Competition is heating up in nearly every industry. In 2021, 53% of businesses said the majority of their deals were competitive. That means that your sales team must be prepared for competitive conversations in 2022.
To emerge victoriously in these high-pressure scenarios, your salespeople must have confidence and a strategy in place to navigate them effectively. Otherwise–let’s be honest–your sellers are likely to fail and lose the deal. That’s why competitive intelligence (CI) has become a necessary tool for all sales teams.
In order to get all team members on the same page with CI, leaders must incorporate it into their 2022 sales kickoff agendas. Today’s blog will outline five key ways to do so:
- Give a rundown on your competitive landscape
- Spotlight key wins
- Recognize sellers who won the most competitive deals
- Run breakout sessions to share competitive intel
- Role play competitive conversations
To fulfill the ultimate goal of rising to the top of your category and winning all competitive deals, CI must play a significant role in your sales planning and execution … and that starts with kickoff day!
1. Give a rundown on your competitive landscape
Let’s be honest. Without a deep understanding of your competitive landscape, your sales team will only be partially prepared for their next sales call. Knowing how your landscape has evolved, and how you’ve adjusted to that evolution, can be very valuable in competitive conversations.
To be successful, your sellers need to know (a) who their top competitors are, (b) who their emerging competitors are, and (c) how they stack up. This is where an analysis of your competitive landscape can be extremely helpful, keeping your team up-to-speed on its market. This is a perfect way to open up your sales kickoff meeting and make sure everyone is aligned on where your company stands.
2. Spotlight key wins
There’s no denying the satisfaction that comes from winning a long, hard-fought deal. But, what about when a company switches to you directly from a competitor? I think we can all agree that’s something to celebrate. Not only does this validate that you’re the leader, but it can tell you a whole lot about your company and your rival’s weaknesses.
At your kickoff, showcase your company’s top competitive wins and make sure you hit on these two, key points:
- Challenges they experienced with your competitor that led to churn
- How your company is able to solve these pain points
When your sellers know the answers to those questions, they will not only be better equipped to handle competitive conversations, but they will have that much more confidence in your solution on their next prospective call.
3. Recognize sellers who won the most competitive deals
Sales kickoffs are all about firing up the team and motivating them for the new year, right? Now, imagine the excitement in the room when you spotlight the sellers who won the most competitive deals in 2021.
Not only would that give those sellers a much-deserved pat on the back, but it’d inspire other sales professionals to better educate themselves on their rivals' offerings and follow in those leaders' footsteps. This is also an opportunity to open the floor up to those sellers so that they can share their best practices on navigating head-to-head deals.
4. Run breakout sessions to share competitive intel
Chances are your sellers hold valuable competitive intel and don’t even realize it. A sales kickoff meeting is the perfect space to tap into their knowledge and get the juices flowing about what they’ve learned in the field.
While you should be updating sales enablement materials in real-time to ensure the info is accurate, breakout sessions at your kickoff are a great place for the team to come together to improve them and touch on the main strengths and weaknesses of each rival.
Also, for those sellers who were proactively sharing competitive intel in real-time throughout 2021, be sure to give them kudos and provide the rest of the team with context on why this was such a valuable share.
For example, here’s a scenario that’d be worth sharing (these are made-up companies): “Tommy found out from InfoTodayX that The RFBA Company is transitioning to charging per user rather than a flat rate in mid-2022. A potential buyer, The Tydul Company, was evaluating us and The RFBA Company. Tommy was able to make the connection and relay this info to them, which lead to us winning them as a customer.”
5. Role play competitive conversations
Now, something all sellers are accustomed to… sales role play exercises. While typically they’re focused on your product, switch it up and perform a role play exercise around competitive conversations. For instance, sellers can mimic scenarios when a prospect mentions a competitor or asks about feature or price comparisons.
This will, in turn, lead to better talking points and tracks as well as create familiarity with competitors, leading sellers to address these tough questions confidently under pressure.
Set your sales team up for success in 2022 with a CI platform
To box out emerging companies in your category and maintain your leading position, you must have CI on your side. Imagine you have a comprehensive CI platform that provides you with the sharpest competitive insights, makes your team more scalable, helps you make smarter business decisions, and updates your battlecards in real-time. Pretty valuable stuff, right? Well, Crayon’s got you covered on all fronts!
Request a demo today to learn how our award-winning CI software platform can help your organization build a sustainable business advantage in 2022 and beyond!
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