When I was a kid, car commercials puzzled me. I remember asking my dad: Why do they make these? No one is gonna get off the couch and buy a Camry after watching a Toyota commercial.
Which is true — but I was missing the point. Toyota’s goal with their commercials is not to make you get off the couch and head straight to the nearest dealership; their goal is to be the brand that comes to mind when you need a new car.
It’s a long-term investment in what advertisers call “mindshare.” One 30-second TV spot at a time, Toyota will keep reminding you that they exist — because one day, you will need a new car. And when that day comes, Toyota wants you to think of them.
Why CI leaders should behave like Toyota
Imagine a sales rep named Jane. She’s focused on prospecting for the rest of the day, so she has no need for a battlecard right now — but she will need one tomorrow. She has a meeting on the calendar with a buyer who’s seriously considering your top competitor.
So — will it occur to Jane to review the battlecard as she’s preparing for that high-stakes meeting? Will she think of Toyota?
That depends. Have you, as the CI leader, regularly reminded the sales team that the battlecards exist? If so, then yes — Jane will think to review the battlecard. But if not, she’s probably going to enter that meeting without the intel she needs to win.
This is why mindshare is vital. It directly impacts the adoption — and therefore the success — of your CI program.
To capture mindshare, you must over-communicate. Several times a month, you should remind your sellers that the battlecards exist and that they’re here to help.
How do you do that without annoying your sellers? By adhering to the two V’s: value and variety.
A surefire way to annoy your sellers is by copying and pasting the same reminder every two weeks without adding anything new. By the third or fourth reminder, they’ll tune you out.
Every time you remind your sellers about the battlecards, you must give them something of value: an updated talk track, a new customer quote, a new win story with key takeaways — something new or improved that will make it easier for them to win competitive deals.
So rather than saying, “Hey everyone, just another reminder that you can find the battlecards in Highspot,” you can instead say, “Hey everyone, just added a brand new customer quote to the Competitor X battlecard that further validates our differentiators. Go check it out in Highspot!”
Next we have variety, which applies to both who is sending the reminder and how they’re sending the reminder. Every now and then, a seller who has stepped up as a champion of your CI program should be the one who reminds everyone about the battlecards. Not only because the message means more coming from a seller, but it also helps counteract the “tune out” effect that can happen when the same person says the same thing at the same time every week.
The principle of variety also applies to how you remind the sales team about your battlecards. Should you alternate between reminding them with a Slack post and reminding them with an email? No, that would be confusing and probably counterproductive. But in addition to your usual Slack post, maybe you host a monthly “trivia night” where you break the sellers into teams for a friendly competition to see who knows the most about a certain competitor.
Or maybe you join their standing team meeting once a month and deliver a special presentation with a fun theme — like a baseball-themed presentation titled “How to Hit a Home Run When Competitor X Is On the Mound” or a Matt Damon-themed presentation titled “How to Be Wicked Smart About Competitor Y.” Obviously, the theme needs to be familiar to your audience, and it shouldn’t distract from the content of the presentation, but you get the idea — it’s a fun way to mix things up and keep your battlecards top of mind.
- Don’t assume that everyone on your sales team knows about the battlecards. Remind them several times a month.
- Every time you send a reminder, give the sellers something of value: an updated talk track, a new customer quote, a new win story with key takeaways, etc.
- Keep things interesting by collaborating with champions and reminding the sellers about the battlecards in different ways: trivia nights, themed presentations, etc.
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