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The Best of Competitive Enablement Show | Season 1

2021 was a year of firsts for competitive enablement.

The first Competitive Enablement Summit, the first Competitive Enablement Maturity Model, and the very first Competitive Enablement podcast.

As we end the year in a reflective mood, we wanted to wrap up with some of our favourite moments from the first season of the Competitive Enablement Show.

And let me tell you — it wasn’t easy picking our favourites.

We had so many fun conversations with so many great product marketers, CEOs, sales reps and more.

There’s no way we could fit all of our favourite moments into one episode, but we tried anyway.

We hope you enjoy listening to the Best of Season 1 of the Competitive Enablement Show.

Not an audiophile? Then check out our summary of the episode below.

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

How to get sales buy-in for your competitive enablement program | Alex Organ

Executive buy-in, sales buy-in, company-wide buy-in. Virtually every competitive enablement expert we talked to emphasized the importance — and sometimes the challenge — of getting your colleagues invested in the competitive program.

It’s a crucial element in the success of your program, and one that should be fostered from the very beginning.

Appropriately, the very first episode of the Competitive Enablement Show was all about how to get buy-in from one of the most important cross-functional partners: sales.

Adam spoke with Alex Organ, customer success manager at Klue, about some of her best strategies for earning sales adoption during the early stages of rolling out a competitive enablement program.

Listen to her clip from the Best of Season 1 below.

Getting buy-in from sales leaders, sales enablement…even the C-suite of different teams is crucial because we’re going to need to use their influence and their leadership to really speak to the value of why we’re asking sales to adopt this new tool.

ALEX ORGAN – CUSTOMER SUCCESS MANAGER AT KLUE

Scaling your competitive program to support a high-growth company: A conversation with Highspot’s Justin Topliff

Lots of our guests this year spearheaded or took charge of competitive programs at companies experiencing massive and fast-moving growth. And often, that growth was due to the success of their competitive enablement programs.

But as companies grow larger and hire more employees, building a culture around a competitive program can be challenging.

How do you get people involved, excited, passionate about competitive intelligence and enablement? And how do you build a culture of sharing?

For Justin Topliff, Senior Product Marketing Manager at Highspot, it’s all about storytelling.

Hear how an ode to a classic Will Ferrel movie turned into the competitive ties that bind at Highspot.

I raced cars for 10 years and I also love the movie Talladega Nights. As I was sitting here thinking, God, how am I going to get everybody, especially in our new higher classes, people who aren’t sales reps interested in competitive intelligence gathering? I decided to snap our story to The Ballad of Ricky Bobby.

JUSTIN TOPLIFF, SENIOR PRODUCT MARKETING MANAGER AT HIGHSPOT

The secret to scaling your competitive program | Clara Smyth, Slack

Scale, scale, scale. The battle-cry of B2B SaaS companies.

Just like Justin Topliff, Slack’s Senior Product Marketing Manager Clara Smyth has learned a thing or two about getting a competitive enablement program off the ground and then making sure it grows in lockstep with the company’s needs for intel.

She joined Adam to talk about her experiences launching and scaling different competitive enablement programs in her career.

They dove into why internal trust is critical for your competitive program to succeed, the three pillars she established during her time at iCIMS to scale their competitive program, the biggest lessons learned in her career, and Clara also spilled the beans on what really gets the exec’s attention when sharing competitive briefs.

I see this actual curve drop off of, you know, you’re going to ramp account executives up on CI, and they’re going to reach a point where they don’t really need you anymore. And that’s when you know you’ve succeeded.

CLARA SMYTH, SENIOR PRODUCT MARKETING MANAGER AT SLACK

Nailing your next win-loss interview | Ryan Sorley, CEO at Doublecheck Research

Just like objection handling in sales can be a make-or-break element of success, establishing an effective win-loss program is part and parcel to a product marketer’s success.

Win-loss analysis and interviews came up a lot during Season 1. Including our first-ever live AMA with a true subject matter expert.

CEO at Doublecheck Research Ryan Sorley joined Adam and 100 other guests to share his win-loss interviews do’s and do not’s, what to do with that data, and how to get the program up and running in the first place.

Listen to Ryan explain that while there may be no “bad questions”, there are definitely mistakes you can avoid by having the right approach.

People will not agree to the interview if they feel like they’re going to be resold or attempted to be resold. So know bad questions to ask…I can’t think of bad questions to ask, but there’s bad things to do for sure.

RYAN SORELY, CEO AT DOUBLECHECK RESEARCH

Enabling sales with winning competitive strategies: a conversation with Airtable’s Alex McDonnell

If you’re looking for advice from one of the competitive enablement OGs, look no further than Alex McDonnell. He’s learned a thing or two in his day building competitive programs at companies like InVision and win-loss programs at Eigenworks.

Now, as the Market Intelligence Lead at Airtable, Alex chatted with Adam about some of his hits and misses throughout his career as a competitive intelligence expert.

Including one miss featured in the Best of Season 1 of the Competitive Enablement Show.

A couple of the takes I had in there were very questionable in terms of what we what we should do about it. And I didn’t run it by anyone before I just blasted it out

ALEX MCDONNELL, MARKET INTELLIGENCE LEAD AT AIRTABLE

Building a competitive newlsetter that actually gets read | Nick Larson, Staffbase

Over and over again, the experts we talked to who have built and fostered competitive programs with cultures of sharing highlight two important channels of communication.

First, the Competitive Intel internal messaging channel. And second, the competitive intel digest.

But how do you make sure the content in the digest is valuable and desirable, such that the newsletter actually gets read?

Adam talked to two experts of authoring intel digests, Banatag’s Nick Larson and Klue’s Brandon Bedford, to find out what makes their newsletters a must-read.

Their secret? Don’t be afraid to have a little fun.

One of my favorite ones to add is complaints about. Working at our competitors on Glassdoor. That doesn’t exactly make reps, you know, more more powerful and deals, but it does help boost their confidence.

NICK LARSON, SENIOR PRODUCT MARKETING MANAGER AT STAFFBASE

How do you Outsell your Competitors? | Anthony Iannarino

Adam may be the fearless host of the Competitive Enablement Show, but he’s humble enough to share the mic.

Enter: Jacob Gebrewold, Account Executive at Klue as guest host. And if a guest host isn’t exciting enough for you, he chatted with one of the legends of competitive selling.

Listen as Anthony Iannarino shares why pricing isn’t the reason a seller loses deals, the value of group coaching to improve a sales team, and what to do on a call before immediately diving into your product.

And check out what Anthony says is the biggest myth in competitive selling below.

Price was part of it. But there were other factors that were part of it, too. Maybe you didn’t create enough value. Maybe you didn’t explain the differentiation well enough.

ANTHONY IANNARINO, AUTHER AND SALES COACH

Why your customers are churning and what you can do about it | Natasha Narayan

Due to the global pandemic, every single episode of the Competitive Enablement Show was recorded via Zoom.

That was until IcebergIQ CEO Natasha Narayan visited Klue HQ and became the first-ever in-person guest!

Natasha and Adam chatted about all things churn-analysis — why your customers didn’t renew their contract.

In the world of B2B SaaS where the difference between a billion- and million-dollar valuation can come down to ARR, finding out what’s driving your customers to leave, and how you can change that, is critical.

Listen to why Natasha’s team has found that your customers might be exploring their options with another company a lot sooner than you might expect.

They’re not necessarily going to give that feedback when they have a call with a rep because it’s really hard to tell somebody about that.

NATASHA NARAYAN, CEO AND CO-FOUNDER AT ICEBERG IQ

How to get executive support for your competitive program | Scot Kim, Director, Lenovo

Without the support of the powers that be, your competitive enablement program risks getting off to a rocky start.

That’s why Adam (virtually) sat down with industry expert Scot Kim to hear Scot talk about the importance of presenting solutions instead of problems to execs, why he uses war rooms for cross-collaboration and their effectiveness, and what it means to address current money and future money when laying out your competitive intelligence program’s objectives.

Hear Scot explain how his competitive program supported his sales teams…shall we say… lackluster performance.

Our win rates were atrocious. Let’s put it that way. And what we’ve done is look at what’s the solution we can to improve the win rates.

SCOT KIM, DIRECTOR AT LENOVO

Enabling product teams with competitive intelligence and earning a strategic voice at the leadership table: a conversation with Unbounce’s Fiona Finn

Sometimes, before you can get organizational investment in your competitive program, you need to invest in it yourself.

For Fiona Finn, getting those quick wins, managing expectations, and then over-delivering on those expectations are sure-fire tactics to setting your program up for success.

She and Adam covered the importance of understanding the needs of different stakeholders, gaining trust in the program, and tailoring your competitive content to the different needs of the individuals that make up your leadership team.

She also gifted us the best pop culture reference of Season 1. So have a listen!

When presenting your leadership team, it’s kind of like the Spice Girls, right? Everyone has their very clear personality. They all have their own interests.

FIONA FINN, DIRECTOR OF MARKETING AT UNBOUNCE

Stay tuned in the new year for Season 2!

With a new year comes new opportunities. And we plan on seizing all those opportunities to continue bringing you the best competitive enablement content on planet earth.

Season 2 of the Competitive Enablement Show starts in January. If you haven’t already, please subscribe wherever you listen to podcasts.

Got ideas for topics you want to see covered? Guests you want to hear from? We’d love to hear from you.

Happy New Year from everyone here at Klue!

What is ‘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.