A sales rep has entered a competitive situation: are they ready to go to battle and win? A lot can go into preparing that sales rep to handle questions, objections, and deliver just the right positioning to tee up a competitive win. From trainings, to on-demand resources, to timely competitive updates, there are a variety of ways to successfully arm your sales team to win over that soon-to-be customer in a competitive situation. Here are nine key sales enablement tools to choose from.
Sales battlecards are one of the classic resources for arming your sales team to win one of those competitive battles. These are resources that summarize key differences and background information on a competitor and outline how to effectively position your solution against theirs. These should be helpful for getting new sales reps up-to-speed on the competition and serve as a quick reference in a competitive situation. Consider phrasing information on the battlecard to be easily read verbatim or copied and pasted into an email for a sales rep to answer, “how are you different?” Bonus tip: This Battlecards 101 article will teach you everything you need to know to build successful battlecards.
Your competitors don’t sit still, and you need to make sure your sales team has the latest critical competitive information. Especially for reps who know their competitors' current state inside and out, they need to be alerted if there are any critical changes. When it comes to competitive intelligence, you want your team to be proactive, not reactive, and definitely never blindsided by the competition. Couple your reference materials with email or chat alerts about critical events like acquisitions, product launches, or product sunsets. If you use a platform like Slack, set up a channel specifically for competitive updates. That way, your team will never miss an update.
Chances are, the high-level competitor information in battlecards won’t cover every competitor question. For this, an FAQs document can be useful for reps to find answers to common (or even not so common) questions about competitors or specific objections. This can be a living document that you add to any time a new question comes up from the field, so that you don’t have to answer the same questions over and over.
There may often be situations where prospects ask for some collateral that covers your differentiators in the market. While many of the other sales enablement materials are internally-facing, you should have a few externally-facing pieces that reiterate the key points for a more public audience. This will also ensure your reps don’t try to cobble these together themselves!
Similar to prospect-facing collateral, email templates are key for enabling your sales team to deliver the right message externally. Having a few templates, or even snippets to include in emails, that cover common “how are you different” types of questions will get them off to a fast start.
Newsletters or email digests can be a helpful complement to the timely alerts mentioned earlier. Not all competitive updates are urgent enough to send an alert at that time, but are still important to keep your sales team in the know. Newsletters can help present a round-up of key updates from the last month and can even reinforce the usage of other enablement materials. For example, consider referencing updates that have been made to battlecards or new collateral published, or even throw in a survey from time to time to get feedback on what’s been most helpful to your team.
Trainings with Role Plays
First-hand experience answering competitive questions is key for learning how to deal with those competitive situations. Just designing sales scripts and passing them to the sales team to learn won’t be the most effective. You need to have your sales team practice with one another – have one person act as the prospect and the other as the sales rep. Practicing the script will allow them to learn it and become more comfortable with it. So, remember to include live trainings as part of your sales enablement program. This will allow reps to build that competitive muscle and help you see how they’re internalizing the information.
Chat for Discussions/Questions
Still, questions are bound to come up about your competitors, so consider having a central place where people can ask - or even answer - questions. This can help you scale up the number of discussions and questions you can handle by having multiple people at the ready to chime in, and offers a way for you to see which discussions are hot topics to address in other materials.
Public-facing website content is also important to consider as part of your enablement program, because it can reinforce the messages you’re sharing through your sales team and collateral. In some cases, you may want to even have competitive comparison pages that show the differences between your solution and your top competitors’ solutions, or pages that talk about the benefits of your solutions over others more generically. If you want to take your collateral to the next level, check out these alternatives to feature comparison checklists.
To best enable your sales team to win competitive deals, a combination of types of resources will give them the best chance of success. If you’re unsure where to start, consider surveying your sales team about their top requests or even starting with a couple of the smaller lift projects on this list. Over time, you can refine and add to your bank of sales enablement tools and help your sales team succeed.
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