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« The Competitive Enablement Show

Differentiating in the Cyber Security Space | Pat Wall, Imperva

Listen to the episode on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, or wherever you get your podcasts.

πŸ“ The Sparknotes

πŸš„ Stop looking for silver bullets to beat your competitors

“I kept going back and forth, and after a while I realized there are no silver bullets because there are no werewolves.

I need all the silver bullets right now, Johnson!

If CE experts had a nickel for every time their manager asked for three miraculous pieces of information to win more deals, they’d be rich.

But, you learn pretty quickly that not only do silver bullets not exist, they are also the complete wrong way to enable your sales reps.

So when Pat Wall, Head of Competitive Intelligence at Imperva, was tasked with finding silver bullets in a previous role, he quickly realized this was futile.

And when you’re dealing with competition in the cyber security space β€” one of the hottest and most competitive industries β€” you’re going to need to dig deeper.

The right way to go about it?

Take a more comprehensive approach to beating the competition.

Instead of three overarching bullet points, think about how you can come up with:

  • Three kill points against a competitor
  • Three weaknesses your company has against a competitor
  • Three differentiation points
  • Three landmines to lay

This level of detail will give your sales reps all the options they need to handle objections, differentiate, and win those deals.

πŸ“² Competitive experts have to get in the field

“I need to talk to customers. I need to be on deals. Get uncomfortable, go to conferences, talk to people.”

What does yesterday’s competitive intelligence look like?

As Chris Agnoli put it, it’s a one-way conversation where some analyst in a cubicle blasts out information to the entire organization. Information that isn’t dynamic, lacks context, and doesn’t serve a purpose (other than keeping the analyst busy).

The real way to compete and win is through multi-way avenues of communication, sharing, updating and iterating on dynamic intelligence and insight.

On way Pat Wall keeps these avenues of communication open is by getting out from behind his desk and listening in on the action β€” Going to conferences, talking to clients.

And if you’re looking for somewhere to start, talk to technical sales engineers. They’re some of the most passionate competitive intelligence fans in your organization, with tons of information packed in their brains.

Or as Pat likes to call them, Competitive Ninjas πŸ₯·.

πŸ§‘β€πŸ€β€πŸ§‘ Competitive Enablement can enable a whole lot more than just your sales reps

“We’re actually working with our human resources team. We’re actually educating them on who our competitors are and who the market is for our recruiters.

There’s a reason why your competitive enablement program should enable sales first. (Actually, there are at least 5.)

For example, sales is the fastest path to impacting revenue; they’re the hungriest department for competitive intelligence, and they can be your most important ally.

But Competitive Enablement can and should be the responsibility of everyone in your organization β€” not just sales.

Beyond product and product marketing, organizations like Imperva are enabling their human resources and recruiting teams.

The competition for talent in the cyber security, tech, and virtually every other industry is just as fierce as the competition between companies themselves.

Pat gives Imperva’s recruiters easy access and insight into market trends and who the top competitors for talent are.

The result has been establishing a strong relationship with Imperva’s People department and giving recruiters a leg-up on their competitors.

Listen to the episode on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, or wherever you get your podcasts

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What is β€˜The Competitive Enablement Show’?

Welcome to the Competitive Enablement Show. On this podcast, host Adam McQueen is joined by experts in the competitive intelligence industry to talk about innovative strategy, tangible advice and tactics that work, and building a competitive program that impacts the bottom line.