Do you find yourself competing with other vendors to win deals? I’m guessing the answer is yes. Virtually all B2B companies have at least one direct competitor. And whether you’re working at a startup that’s trying to take market share away from more established brands, or you’re working at an enterprise company trying to maintain a dominant position, it pays to track who you’re winning and losing deals to.
If you’re using Salesforce, it’s fairly easy to track who you’re competing against. Just create a custom picklist of all your potential deal competitors. Then, have sales reps log any competitors that prospects mention during a deal. It is absolutely essential to get this competitor data in Salesforce because it can be used to create dashboards based on a variety of competition metrics. And once you know which brands you’re losing deals to, you can pivot your strategy to beat particular competitors.
If you want to beat competitors, the first thing you should be doing is tracking exactly why you’re losing deals. For every closed/lost opportunity, log exactly why these opportunities didn’t close whether it’s due to price, role change, competitor, technical incompatibility, or other issues. Looking for patterns and learning from past losses enables you pivot in ways that will help you win more deals in the future.
If you track which competitors your team is losing deals to, I guarantee you’re going to begin noticing trends. And if you’re losing a lot of deals to a particular competitor, there’s likely a reason why. The first question to ask is if they are beating your company in terms of pricing, feature set or implementation time (here’s where tracking Loss Reason really comes in handy). If a competitor does have a discernible advantage in any of these areas, you can work with marketers to create content that highlights ways that you are better than specific competitors.
As a very basic example, I recently bought a new iPhone from Verizon. At Verizon, they don’t pretend that they offer the lowest prices. However, they are very quick to mention that while Verizon is a bit more expensive, they also offer superior coverage. Their hope is that by highlighting an advantage (better coverage) it can mitigate a disadvantage (higher price). I decided that I’d rather pay a bit more for better coverage.Whether you’re selling phones or complex IT solutions, you need to know where you win. Then, when you’re in a competitive deal, you can try to steer conversations to be about the ways that your offering is superior.
Does your company match well against particular competitors? Tracking which competitors you are consistently beating can indicate additional opportunities for your prospectors to hone in on. If you do well against a specific competitor, your reps could search social media sites for signals that any of their current customers are dissatisfied. If so, it could indicate a good opportunity to reach out.
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Jesse WestDirector of Lifecycle MarketingRevenue.io
Jesse Davis West is Director of Lifecycle Marketing at Revenue.io, focusing on improving the experience and maximizing the lifetime value for customers across their entire journey. Drawing on 11 years of B2B marketing experience, Jesse is passionate about communication, branding and strategic marketing. He also plays a mean lead guitar and can throw down at karaoke.