Fuze, the modern unified communications as a service (UCaaS) company, strives to power every business conversation in the global enterprise. With such an ambitious mission, it’s no surprise that they’ve encountered fierce and diverse competitors along the way. But the Fuze product marketing team did not shy away from such a challenge, taking on the task of extracting market intelligence to drive sales enablement, product strategy, and marketing programs.
Tackling Competitive Intelligence with a Lean Team
As an innovative UCaaS platform company, Fuze competes with a diverse set of companies that includes communications as a service platforms but also point solutions for business collaboration and communication. The list of relevant companies seemed to be ever-growing - new names popping up on sales calls every week. Staying on top of the wide and varied competitive landscape had become a major challenge for the lean product marketing team.
The first issue was that the team was in a reactive position - sales was often coming to them asking about the latest competitive news item and asking how to respond. With limited resources, the marketing team couldn’t be proactive about their competitive intelligence or sales enablement, and simply tried to field as many requests from the sales team as possible.
“Sales would ask us how to respond to the latest market news before we had even seen it. We were frequently in a reactive position, and that’s when we realized we couldn’t meet the demands of sales with our limited resources. We needed to add more resources or find technology to solve the problem."
Senior Director of Product Marketing at Fuze
The second issue was that the competitive monitoring they had was incredibly noisy. There was an influx of daily alerts but more than half of the alerts were not relevant or meaningful. As a result, they frequently had to sift through hundreds of alerts to pull out an insight, piling onto the challenge of delivering timely intelligence to the sales team.
Shifting to a Proactive and Strategic Competitive Intelligence Program
Prior to Crayon, Rob and his team did not believe there was a software tool that could solve these problems. It wasn’t until they saw Crayon that they realized how this technology could help them overcome their CI challenges and become truly strategic with their competitive intelligence.
Crayon takes care of the monitoring, categorizing, and prioritizing of competitive updates so that the Fuze team can focus on the analysis and action related to those updates. They no longer need to sift through irrelevant alerts, and they are able to get ahead of requests and proactively create recommendations for sales, as well as product, marketing, and executive stakeholders. On top of that, Crayon’s programmatic monitoring approach picks up additional, more subtle, insights that they would have otherwise missed. “The combination of expansive data and human curation keeps the noise down while not missing anything important,” Rob explained.
The result is a more proactive and strategic competitive intelligence program, one that has expanded and become more efficient at the same time. Crayon and competitive intelligence is part of every day for the Fuze team. Rob shared, “Staying on top of competitive and industry moves is something you need to do every day to take advantage of intelligence effectively."
“Crayon provides a timely view into our market so that we can stay in the know and find opportunities to act."
Portfolio Program Manager at Fuze
Driving Strategic and Tactical Actions With Crayon
Leveraging Crayon intel every day has allowed the Fuze team to pick up on subtle competitive moves and engage stakeholders in a timely way. For example, Crayon captured a subtle change on a competitor’s website that indicated a move on one of Fuze’s differentiators. Rob immediately engaged the relevant product managers so that they could determine their strategy and develop a response proactively, instead of waiting to be surprised by an announcement.
This type of strategic conversation happens frequently now. As part of product roadmap discussions, Rob can pull a history of competitors’ moves to show where each company is investing. This level of insight allows Fuze to inform investment decisions with market intelligence to gain a competitive advantage. “The ROI comes down to each of the strategic moves we are able to make based on intel rather than gut,” Rob explained.
The tactical output of Crayon intelligence also plays a central role in the Fuze competitive intelligence program. No longer being blindsided by the competition - or even their own sales team - allows the Fuze team to stay ahead of competitive threats and take advantage of new opportunities. Crayon is now listed as a deliverable to sales and other stakeholders, filling the need to provide complete and timely updates regarding top competitors. “Wrong or outdated intelligence can be more damaging than not having intel at all, because everyone from sales to product to marketing to executive leadership leverages this intel every day,” Rob described. Ultimately, Crayon saves the Fuze team from the high cost of not having the best intelligence on their market.
“Crayon makes our team more scalable. Given limited time and resources, Crayon enables us to leverage larger scale intelligence and cut through the noise other tools have presented. Crayon also finds intelligence we never would have found before.”
- Rob Bois
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