If you’re working with a sales team actively involved in competitive deals, you’re probably familiar with battlecards. Battlecards are a fundamental resource to help your sales team win more deals when frequently faced with familiar competitors.
How many battlecards your organization needs will vary from company to company and competitor to competitor. You can find more info related to battlecard best practices in our State of Battlecards report.
In this post, we’re diving into the substance of the battlecard itself and how to write a battlecard that will get used - more often - by your sales reps.
As an aside before we dive in, remember to communicate often with your sales teams on battlecards since different sales members need battlecards for different reasons. A new rep may be using a battlecard for training while a veteran is simply glancing at a battlecard for key differentiation data before heading into a highly competitive deal. Getting constant and consistent feedback before and after creating a battlecard is the best way to ensure you’re creating what a rep needs.
So, What’s in a Good Battlecard?
Here’s a sample list of what sellers expect to find on a typical battlecard. You need to define what details are the most important when it comes to your competitors and that should help guide you on what final details make it into your battlecards.
- Competitor strengths/weaknesses
- Recent wins
- Recent field intel
- Why we win
- Why we lose
- Top questions to ask
- Pricing info
- Company overview
- Key products
- Potential landmines
- Top 3 key messages
- Top 3 differentiators
- Customer count and customer examples
How to Build a Battlecard
Building a better battlecard comes down to the ABC’s - accuracy, brevity, and consistency.
Accuracy - Is the information on your battlecards accurate? The quickest way to lose credibility among your sales team is with outdated information. Keeping battlecards accurate means you’re updating them frequently. According to Alex McDonnell who leads market and competitive intelligence at Airtable, updating competitive intel should be happening all the time: “It's an ongoing process of listening to signals, forming a perspective, and enabling the organization. It's not like we sit down once a quarter to say, ‘OK, time to refresh everything.’” - this 100% applies to battlecards!
Brevity - Scanability is the name of the game - can a rep get what they need with a quick scan? Some scanability is related to the writing itself while format plays an important role too. When it comes to the writing: short, choppy copy is best. Long paragraphs will be ignored so think about what you need to say and how to convey it with a less is more approach. The format of your battlecards is more about preference - there are a few ways to skin a cat so find the format that works best for you and your team. If you need some inspiration, check out these battlecard templates.
Consistency - Using the same format for each of your battlecards will help your sellers find the information they’re looking for as quickly and painlessly as possible. Not only do you need to be consistent with the format of your battlecard but the messaging should also be consistent so that reps can easily digest the information they need when they’re (quickly!) reviewing the latest on a competitor. Elvis Lieban, Senior Product Marketing Manager at Gong aims for consistency with a section in Gong’s battlecards called ‘Just say this’ - the messaging is clear and consistent, leaving no room for ambiguity. (If you want to hear more from Elvis, check out the Ultimate Battlecard Breakdown)
Now that you know how to write a battlecard, you can turn your attention to adoption; ensuring that your sales team is effectively using these critical deliverables.
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