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The 7 Biggest Problems Affecting your Competitive Intelligence Framework 
Product Marketing

The 7 Biggest Problems Affecting your Competitive Intelligence Framework 

Imagine sitting down at a restaurant, closing your eyes, and blindly pointing at the menu to decide what you were going to eat that night.

Unless you’re dining at a Michelin-star restaurant, that’s a risky game. An one that I’m not willing to play.

Sure you might enjoy a delicious crab bisque, but you’re just as likely to be served up a cold cucumber soup.

Likewise, it’s nearly impossible to launch competitive intelligence successfully if you jump in blindly without first understanding the problems you’re intending to solve.

This article will share the most common competitive intelligence problems we see at Klue and what you can do to fix them.

Looking for tactical steps to launch your Compete Program? Check out our nine steps — with resources to nail each — below.

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The biggest problems for competitive intelligence programs

7 competitive intelligence problems

1. Poor competitive differentiation

The worst competitive insights are ones that are generic and unusable.

For example, how are your reps supposed to differentiate against competitors with insights that inform them ‘Competitor X has a strong brand’ or ‘Competitor Y was acquired last year’.

Listing basic facts just isn’t going to cut it.

The inverse is also true, however. Oftentimes competitive insights on sales battlecards drill into the minutiae of feature comparisons. Listing out what you each and every widget, isn’t actually helping your revenue teams win competitive deals.

Instad, start with your unique value propositions in the market. These are the broad reasons why you win business, and a clearer starting point for your reps to differentiate. Within that statement, you then weave in features that support this larger point, proof points from customers, and the other pieces of collateral you can use to reinforce your differentiators.

2. Decentralized competitive intelligence

Stop if you’ve heard this before.

There are more variations of battlecards floating around Google docs than Taylor Swift break-up songs.

People across the business are sharing information they hear about competitors in a Slack message, or forward an email, or mention it on a Zoom call. But then it gets lost in the abyss.

Not capturing these points of information within a single source of truth means that your competitive intelligence isn’t as up-to-date or reliable as it could be.

It means that your reps are going to keep searching for insights about your competitors themselves, and spinning up another one-pager or horrible imitation of a battlecard.

And when your reps start doing things like that… well, in the words of T-Swift, your buyer is never, ever, ever, getting back together with you.

3. Internal messaging is inaccurate

We’re all a little guilty of wearing rose-coloured glasses when looking at our own company.

If you truly thought your product sucked compared to alternatives on the market, there’s a good chance you wouldn’t be at the company in the first place.

But, good competitive intelligence provides a dose of reality to partner with this rightful optimism.

Companies that compete effectively understand why they win and why they lose, then align teams across the business by communicating this across leadership.

That clarity can then make its way across your full go-to-market. Marketing messaging and collateral leans into where your product shines best in the eyes of the customer, and sales dig into these same problems.

Haven’t delivered win-loss insights to your leadership team before? Grab and fill-in our win-loss analysis template below 👇

win loss analysis template

4. Competitive information lacks strategic direction

Aforementioned, there’s no value in gathering competitive intelligence without tying it to a clearly defined strategy.

You’ll get lost collecting so much information from so many sources, that you’ll achieve less than my dog when he spends an hour chasing his own tail.

Don’t immediately dive into competitor reviews, websites, and Gong calls! Understand the biggest objectives of your business and the greatest opportunities for competitive intelligence to add.

More often than not, this will involve supporting your revenue teams to close their competitive revenue gap. Align with sales leadership, and even present how your efforts will support their goals with our Competitive Enablement business case template.

5. Competitive intelligence requests coming too late in deals

If you’ve run competitive enablement before, then you’re not naive to think that sudden last-second competitive requests from sales won’t happen.

This isn’t a bad thing! Deal support is a critical value add that Compete programs at Salesforce, Slack, and Highspot hang their hats on.

But, the sooner you can train and support your sellers to handle objections and other competitive scenarios ahead of calls, the greater the chance is that you can help your business outmaneuver the competition.

In our recent report surveying 300+ revenue leaders director-level and above, nearly half said their reps don’t know who they’re competing with until the negotiation stage. 13% said their reps don’t know who they competed with even after the deal closes.

Revenue teams need help identifying and proactively selling against competitors.

6. CRM data is unreliable

If your company’s CRM data is dirty, you’re not alone.

That’s okay — it always is at the beginning. And that fact alone can be a catalyst for change.

Accurate CRM data allows you to:

  • Prioritize competitors
  • Quantify your competitive revenue gap
  • Track emerging threats
  • Improve your win-loss analysis

Watch our on-demand session in the Compete Network community as Tracy Berry shares some of the tactics she uses to clean up CRM data.

7. Your team is too reactive against competitors

If you and your revenue teams constantly feel like you’re on the defensive against competitors… then you’ve got a competitive intelligence problem.

Here are four ways to fix this:

  • Build a module during onboarding to help revenue teams get a baseline understanding of the competitive landscape early.
  • Host open office hours for anyone in the business to bring competitive questions or deals to the table.
  • Work with sales leadership and enablement to make sure that there is a regularly scheduled competitive enablement session with reps on at least a monthly basis.
  • Launch a competitive intelligence newsletter that keeps a pulse on ‘what’s new’ with competitors and why it matters to teams

Identifying competitive problems will lead to finding the solutions

Surfacing the problems that employees face is a starting point that will guide how you determine the key requirements of your competitive intelligence framework.

If you’re experiencing a few of the problems shared above, then check out our resource walking through the nine tactical steps — with additional templates to nail each — below.

And if you’re really serious about beating your competitors, get in touch and learn how Klue can help.

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