As of 2022, there are 9,932 martech solutions according to Scott Brinker’s latest marketing technology landscape. From email marketing to social media monitoring to ABM and everything in between. Pretty overwhelming but it also makes sense as there are now more digital channels (remember a world before TikTok?) tracking potential customers wherever they are. Plus with fairly low barriers to entry, tech startups can dream it AND build it.
The number of solutions represented increased by a staggering 24% compared to the 2020 landscape.
All this talk of martech stacks had us thinking about the ideal CI tech stack. As we’re seeing the Compete department grow within organizations, CI needs the right technologies in place to successfully operate. The good news is that most companies have many of these core technologies already and they simply need to integrate them with each other to ensure intel gets shared in the right places. Read on to find out what the ideal CI tech stack looks like…..
Competitive Intelligence platform - A CI platform is, not surprisingly, the center of your CI tech stack. Many companies today are still gathering and tracking intel manually whether that be in google docs or a myriad of spreadsheets - an effort that’s time consuming and laborious. To analyze and distribute intel more efficiently, implement a CI platform that can automatically gather the insights you need. Any successful CI program will have a CI platform as the hub - integrating with other technologies as the spokes - to seamlessly share intel.
CRM - Since account executives and customer-facing team members practically live in CRM platforms, this is an important place for them to access CI data. Salesforce, for instance, can ingest win/loss data when an opportunity closes and that critical information will now be reflected in the Salesforce record. A CRM platform should be table stakes within your CI stack.
Sales Enablement Tools - Think Highspot, Seismic or others. These are the go-to tools for sales reps in need of CI deliverables like battlecards. Putting competitive intel materials into a sales enablement tool helps reps know exactly where to find the CI collateral they need, when they need it.
Conversation Intel Tools - While this category of software solutions hasn’t been around as long as CRM, companies are increasingly relying on solutions like Gong and Chorus to gather and analyze the daily conversations that customer-facing roles are having. This type of information is pure field intel gold. If your team is serious about CI, they need to be serious about including conversation intel tools into the CI tech stack.
Communication Platforms - While we all still use email, communication apps like Slack and Microsoft Teams have become equally as important for interacting with colleagues and for sharing critical information. Your CI tech stack needs a communication platform to similarly share CI insights across the company as well as to push field intel back into your CI platform - all in real-time. Putting CI data into collaboration platforms ensures everyone gets and stays informed on the ins and outs of the competitive landscape.
Of course there are other technologies and categories of tools to consider when it comes to your CI tech stack, but having those listed above and having them work together will provide solid results for your program.
Interested in seeing how a CI platform can improve competitive intelligence at your company? Check out a Crayon demo.
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