Smart competitive intelligence is more relevant than ever, but most of the time it’s hobbled by a clunky, outdated workflow. What’s worth highlighting—to C-Suiters who may question its relevance—is that a well-integrated CI program adds value throughout the organization. From onboarding to customer success, CI isn’t just for the big pitch anymore! It’s easy to get an agile CI workflow in place quickly and with a minimal upfront investment of resources. Here are three ways a smart competitive intelligence program can support business objectives across the organization.

Did you know that more than $1,000,000,000 is spent every year in the U.S. hiring and training sales teams? Did you know that it takes almost one-year (one-year!) to onboard a sales rep to the point of being completely independent and productive?

Fact: Smart competitive intelligence can lower the costs of onboarding and training and gets sales reps selling more, faster. 

Integrate CI into sales training assets and processes on day one. Make it easy by finding a way to work with tools that sales reps already know and use, like Salesforce and Slack. Things like competitive sets, sales battlecards and win-loss intel should be available quickly and instantly. Information sticks better when it’s attached to a narrative, so offering the complete competitive overview as a living document during onboarding (and all the time, really) increases the speed with which new reps become familiar with the data. It also makes you look good and build trust. And if you have a way to easily capture any intel they have to share, even better. Get them engaged right away, contributing to the dialogue and the team objectives. 

Did you know that four out of five sales require five follow-up calls? (Most reps throw in the towel after just one call.) Did you know that most—nearly 90%—of customers doubt that sales reps actually understand their needs?

Fact: Smart competitive intelligence wins deals. Period. 

You have ample time with a prospect to make the sale. This wringing of the hands over how to get more face-time with prospects is just a lot of noise from reps who aren’t adding value. Multiple calls, an online demo, maybe an in-person pitch: two to three hours to ask a ton of questions and match your solution to their problem.

So, everything you say from first point of contact to the final pitch should be framed within the context of their needs. Telling a story that they can connect to is what gets you their trust. It has to be organic and it has to be honest. Anecdotal intel dropped into the narrative along the way shows that you’re not wasting their time and that you know your stuff.

Did you know that organizations lose around 40% of customers annually? Did you know that it costs six times as much to gain a new customer as it does to simply retain the one you’ve already got?

Fact: Smart competitive intelligence lowers churn and increases customer satisfaction.

Where do they go, those lost customers? Why do they leave? The short answer is this: it’s not them, it’s you. They left because you did not deliver. Whether in a small way or a spectacular way, you dropped the ball and left room for a competitor to woo them away. That wouldn’t happen if your win-loss program caught gaps in the implementation and servicing process. And imagine what your customer success team could do with instant access to intel of relevant competitors—they’d have unique insight into what may be going on outside of your solution scope and they’d be better prepared to save any accounts heading out the door.