Competitive battlecard templates are tricking you. When you Google “competitive battlecards” you’ll get good looking word docs, pdfs and powerpoints. They have nicely formatted little boxes with pre-set headings just begging to be filled with all of your competitive content. Do you know what this does?
It encourages you to fill space. Competitive battlecards shouldn’t be “filled up”, they should contain the absolute minimum amount of content needed to enable your sales team to convert a prospect into a client. Period.
To provide an alternative to the over-formatted competitive battlecard templates available, we’re starting a new weekly series called Competitive Battlecards 101. The concept is simple: we want to change how you think about making battlecards. Rather than using a single template for all of your competitors, we want to give you the tools to understand each of the individual cards that can be used to build a full battlecard.
Each week, we’ll share one new competitive card to add to your arsenal, diving into the strategy behind each individual card that makes up the full deck you see above. The articles will be short and sweet. No fluff. Just the facts on what the card is, how to build it, and when & why to use it. Subscribe to the series and start reframing how you think about creating competitive battlecards; there’s a smarter way to arm your sales team and it impacts your bottom-line.
To give you a sneak peek at what’s to come, we’ve included the first card below – enjoy.
Competitive Battlecard #1: Approach-to-Market Card
The Approach-to-Market card explores your competitors’ go-to-market strategy. It looks at the verticals they serve, the departments they serve and how they sell. If you can understand how the sales reps you face-off against are selling, you’ll make better decisions about your own sales strategy.
For example, if one of their strategies is to constantly cut prices, that’s good to know and might affect who you target and how you price competitively. Another example concerns a competitor’s marketing approach – say they tend to push proof of concepts. If you know that your prospect will likely be given a proof of concept during the sales cycle, you’ll know that proving ROI could be key to closing the deal against that competitor.
This card doesn’t need to include all aspects of your competitor’s go-to-market strategy. Certain topics- such as product positioning- might be worthy of its own card (don’t worry-we’ll cover this in a future post). Keep it succinct to give your sales reps a quick understanding of how this competitor approaches customers and who they target.
Why should you use this battlecard?
Knowing what to expect from your competitors can help you make better decisions in terms of who to approach, how to approach them, and how to effectively compete against them in the sales cycle. You’ll know where to expect this competitor to pop-up and be able to plan your approach into accounts accordingly.
How do you build the Approach-to-Market battlecard?
This card should contain details on general approach to market, key clients, verticals served, departments served and channel partners.
To build your Approach-to-Market card, Look at the resources available on your competitors website:
- Content such as webinars, blog posts and ebooks will give you an indication of who they are approaching and what value propositions and use cases they focus on.
- Case studies and their client list will add to your understanding of their target verticals and departments served. Look at who is being quoted in their case studies to see who they are targeting with sales and marketing efforts.
- Some companies will directly list their partners on their websites; if not this might require further research.
Do a general web search to find additional marketing and sales collateral to flush out your insights on their strategy. Has senior leadership presented at a professional conference recently? Have they conducted webinars for shareholders? Learn more quick tips on tracking your competitors from this article.
Next up in Competitive Battlecards 101
The Approach-to-Market card is part of our Overview Battlecard Template (click the image below to expand), which is a set of eight of the most commonly used cards we’ve seen across hundreds of battlecards. We’ll cover these cards one by one before moving on to the next full battlecard template.
Ready for more? Next up in our series will be the “Company Overview” card. Subscribe to the series Competitive Battlecards 101 and we’ll send you a new card each week week so you can start building your library of competitive strategies.
If you’ve come this far and you’re still looking for more on battlecards, download our Product Marketers Guide to Creating Battlecards That Win.