Nav

Competitive Intelligence

2 Ways to Make Your Competitive Intelligence Programs Effective

January 17, 2020 by David Washer

Phew! You’ve done the work of setting up a new competitive intelligence (CI) program. Your sales team is pumped. Now, comes the hard part — keeping them engaged so that it sticks. As a product marketer, your CI program is only going to succeed if your sales team embraces it. It doesn’t matter how much work you’ve put into it or how good your presentation was. Your sales team needs to use what you created. And to do that, they have to want it. 

What makes your competitive intelligence programs effective?

There are two key things you can do to help make your competitive intelligence programs for sales effective. First, over-communicate. When compete materials are being refreshed, let the team know. Salespeople want the latest and greatest competitive information. They will be excited, so shout it out! Second, show them how they can access those materials. 

Over-communicate when competitive materials get refreshed

You’ve heard that it takes an average of seven marketing touches to reach a prospect before they convert, right? Same goes for your sales team. Approach your PMM programs like demand generation. You have to keep reminding your team in various ways, through different methods to get them engaged. Always err on the side of over-communication. 

When you are refreshing your competitive intel materials, let your sales team know. Every time. 

Tell them through Slack, email, or wherever they spend most of their time. Use gamification, polls, positive reinforcement techniques to create a little healthy competition. Whatever you do, do it more than once. And then do it again. 

Show Sales how to access refreshed competitive intelligence materials

It’s estimated that 40% of marketing content goes unused by salespeople because they don’t know where to find it.

Let that sink in. That means that 40% of your work is wasted. Probably more. Salespeople are focused on closing deals, as they should be. Anything else is noise. So don’t distract them or expect them to go looking for your sales collateral. 

Read: The One Thing Most Sales Battlecards Get Wrong

Most Salespeople live in your CRM, such as Salesforce or in a sales enablement platform like Highspot. So whether your program is sales battlecards, a pitch deck, win-loss analysis or new positioning keep your up-to-date competitive intel materials where your salespeople are. Then show them how to access it. 

One great way to do this is to create a quick video showing them exactly how to find your materials. You can do this in Zoom or any in-house conferencing tool. It’s simple and super effective for getting your sales team to find what you want them to use. With video, you won’t have to schedule a meeting to teach them so they can watch when it fits in their schedule, not taking time away from selling. 

Keep compete materials updated and your sales team informed

Your sales team is hungry for materials that will help them. They want to use it. But it is up to you to ensure that they know it’s there and they know how to access it. If you provide accurate, up-to-date materials and clear instructions on where they can be found, your sales team will use them. 

Consistent communication will help sales to not only use the materials you create for them but to build trust with them because they know they can depend on you for the information they need when they need it. It’s not Rocket Science, but following these best practices will help lead to your CI program success.