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Win The Deals You Should Have Won: Four Real-Life Lessons From Competitive Deals

Win The Deals You Should Have Won: Four Real-Life Lessons From Competitive Deals

Everyone remembers the one that got away.

The deal that you should have closed. The one that was forecasted as ‘commit’ all quarter.

Only for your buyer to *record scratch* and change their tune.

A few ghosted emails later, and you receive that break-up message: they’ve decided to go with your competitor.

It doesn’t matter if you’re a sales rep, manager, Compete pro, or even the CEO — these are the deals that never leave your memory.

So, Klue spoke with experts who have been a part of hundreds of competitive deal cycles (more wins than break-ups, though) to recount some of the most memorable deals of their careers.

The result?

Four lessons that you can use to win the deals you should have won against the competition.

Focus on value to steer away from feature bake-offs

According to our research, only 30% of revenue leaders believe their reps can show differentiated value effectively within a deal. Jennifer Roberts, Director of Marketing Strategy at ServiceTitan, says one reason for this is that sellers get stuck in a cycle of comparing features.

And she faced this exact problem on a particularly significant deal with an ankle biter that was emerging on the scene.

In this deal, the rep had fallen down the rabbit hole of features and functions. The kind of conversation that doesn’t help the buyer understand the benefit of choosing your solution over a competitor’s.

It was on Jenn and her Compete team to help get the rep out of the weeds:

We were able to work with the AE to come up with a quick dismiss to take them out of the weeds [of feature comparison] and pull the conversation back up to value and close the deal.

— Jennifer Roberts, Director of Marketing Strategy at ServiceTitan

Always position (and reiterate!) your business’ differentiated value internally with your own revenue teams. If you don’t beat this drum, your reps will start to slip back to losing deals on feature selling.

(Pssst: Avoid revenue slipping through the cracks by learning what 300+ revenue leaders are doing to hit targets in a competitive market in our latest report ‘When the Pie Shrinks’)

competitive intelligence report

Share a differentiated point of view in your deal

As a solution-engineer-turned-compete-pro, Pat Wall has seen his fair share of competitor features and capabilities.

But these technical strengths and weaknesses have little impact on buyers unless you develop them into a larger ‘competitive point of view’.

In a recent episode of The Competitive Enablement Show, Pat shared a story of how he got so annoyed with losing to a specific competitor over and over again that he developed a specific demo that was built around this ‘competitive point of view’.

I showed a demo and I said, ‘Here are all the things that we can do.’ And they said, ‘Wow, that’s amazing. We just saw a demo from your competitor and they can’t do anything that you showed me.’

And I knew that because I dug so deep into the competitor that I knew what they could and couldn’t do.

— Patrick Wall, Head of Competitive Intelligence at Imperva

In other words, diligent research on your competitors’ strengths and weaknesses will allow you to proactively (and organically) deposition your competitor and align the buyer’s journey around the way your product sees the world.

All without explicitly calling attention to your competitors.

Tactical competitive intel tips deals hanging in the balance

There’s an outdated trope that tactical competitive intel is less valuable to the business than strategic intelligence.

And it was a trope that Alysse Nockels, Sr. Director of Competitive Intelligence at Palo Alto Networks, was told herself early in her career.

“I was told if I’m not talking to my CEO every day, I should quit my job,” said Alysse on her appearance on the Competitive Enablement Show.

But tactical intel that reps in the field can use today is the intel you need to be able to hit revenue targets this quarter.

This focus on tactical support that Alysse prioritized tipped a multi-million dollar deal, and got the attention of her C-Suite in the process.

We ended up winning a multi-million dollar deal. We won that deal because my team supported them with the intelligence they needed; they gave the sellers the right positioning and told them how to defeat the competitors based on our internal knowledge and testing.

— Alysse Nockels, Sr. Director of Competitive Intelligence at Palo Alto Networks

With 76% of revenue leaders seeing a greater separation between high and low performing reps on their teams in more competitive deals, supporting sellers with competitive insights they can actually use to win more should be your businesses’ main priority.

Sales and competitive enablement need to build a winning partnership

91% of revenue leaders said that their deals have become more competitive this year. Which means two things:

  1. It’s no good lobbing sales battlecards over the fence and hoping a rep uses them.
  2. Reps asking for a feature comparison chart from your compete team isn’t going to help you close.

But working in tandem to differentiate effectively? That’s a winning partnership.

And it’s how Dan Hamilton, VP of Competitive Intelligence at Salesforce, and his team close as many winnable deals as possible.

One of the key parts of our process is we get directly involved in deals. You have to really work with sales and partner with them instead of just talking at them.

I could write our five differentiators to beat company X on a battlecard, but there’s so much nuance in deals. Buyers are different. They weigh things differently. There’s so much context, and you have to help reps narrow those differentiators down to what matters most and also make them relevant.

— Dan Hamilton, VP of Competitive Intelligence at Salesforce

Learn how Dan and the Salesforce compete team prioritizes work, conducts deal support, and more in our live interview in Scottsdale.

If you made it this far…

You’re clearly interested in winning more deals against competitors.

And Klue spoke with 300+ revenue leaders who care about the exact same thing.

We dug into what they’re doing to hit targets in a more competitive market, their priorities, obstacles, and how they’re maintaining efficiency in a competitive market.

Check out what they had to say in our report, When the Pie Shrinks.

competitive intelligence report

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