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Three Ways CMOs are Succeeding with Competitive Intelligence
Competitive Enablement

Three Ways CMOs are Succeeding with Competitive Intelligence

Marketing leaders are under pressure.

Generate pipeline. Build an audience. Improve conversion rates. Hit revenue targets. Create a brand that stands out in the market.

Oh, and do it all with fewer resources than you had the previous year. 

We spoke with Carin Van Vuuren, CMO at Greenhouse Software, and Meagen Eisenberg, CMO at Lacework, about some of the biggest business objectives on their plate and how they’re using competitive intelligence to achieve them. Here’s what they had to share.

You can catch Carin and Meagen’s full conversation at Compete Week here.

1. Align the entire GTM function

As the executive responsible for go-to-market, one of Carin Van Vuuren’s most important jobs is to keep every team within her GTM rowing in the same direction.

But it’s not usually the case. Marketing throwing things over the wall. Sales working on a completely different priority.

That’s where Carin uses competitive intel to bridge the gap.

“There’s a perception that sales and marketing don’t always work well together,” said Carin. “What’s powerful about looking at competitive intelligence through the same lens is it breaks down these barriers.

It makes teams feel like we’re actually going after the same problem and doing it in a way that is aligned with what our goals are. We have a common goal, a common strategy, shared intelligence, and shared victories.”

“We have a common goal, a common strategy, shared intelligence, and shared victories.”

— Carin Van Vuuren, CMO at Greenhouse Software

With a common goal, strategy, and intelligence, Carin’s marketing team can now provide value to reps in the field selling against competitors with responses to use, messaging tweaks, and proven competitive strategies.

(Some of the top CMOs joined Klue at Compete Week to share secrets and tips for leading marketing functions in the most competitive industries. We pulled together six tactical lessons from these experts below.)

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2. Contribute to deal velocity and increase seller confidence

As a CMO, Meagen Eisenberg cares about win rates deeply. She doesn’t shirk the responsibility of this metric solely to sales.

And what gets measured, gets worked on. Meagen measures this, and other deal metrics, as part of the KPIs within her marketing team.

“The way you measure product marketing and competitive intelligence is deal velocity. If you have an impact, you’ll shrink the sales cycle,” said Meagen.

Because of this, the work her competitive intelligence team commits to directly focuses on these outcomes. The work all starts by increasing their sellers’ confidence.

They set the field up to nail discovery, handle objections, understand customer needs, and then position their solution accordingly. 

“You have to be an expert in the space to be confident. That’s a big part of why we spend time on competitive intelligence, battlecards, and have Klue… that confidence builds pipeline and deals.”

“Confidence builds pipeline and deals.”

— Meagen Eisenberg, CMO at Lacework

If you’re arming the field to nail discovery and position your company appropriately, you’ll help the buyer make a quicker decision. And quicker decisions equals more productivity.

“The faster we close a deal, the higher our win rates, the more productive our reps are. If you could do a deal in a month that was taking six months, now you’re doing twelve deals instead of two. I’m looking forward to the increase in productivity.”

3. Support executive decision-making

Markets — and competitors — are always moving.

New customer announcements. New product releases. Acquisitions.

It requires a full focus to bring the most important insights from these movements to the executive team.

“Our competitive team meets with our CEO weekly. They go into new learnings and what we’re seeing in the market. It’s valued all the way to the top,” said Meagen.

This is one of the major inputs to really understand how to direct the company, where we’re going to compete, and where we’re going to play.”

Similarly, Carin’s executive partners keep a finger on the pulse of the market and competitors.

“My colleagues in the C-Suite are using Klue themselves to stay current and understand what the dynamics are within the market,” said Carin.

Another way that both Carin and Meagen are bringing competitive intelligence to the C-Suite is through win-loss analysis.

This involves reviewing the data, trends from win-loss interviews, and even bringing in the seller who ran the deal to get their perspective.

Learn from other CMOs differentiating in their market

If you’ve made it this far, odds are you’re keen to learn what other CMOs leading functions in competitive markets are doing to keep their business ahead.

Some of the top marketing leaders joined Klue at Compete Week to share their best secrets and tips to outperform the competition.

Grab the six tactical lessons from these sessions today.

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