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How to Launch Your Competitive Program in 90 Days

Director of Competitive Intelligence & Communications at Freshworks Tracy Berry joined Adam to talk about her 30-60-90 day framework for building a compete function.

🧑‍🏫 The first 30 days: Understand

“You need to get your fingers on the pulse of sales, look at your CRM data, and work to start building relationships within the go to market team.”

You can’t be an effective problem solver without truly understanding the reality on the ground. That’s why Tracy says your prime responsibility for the first 30 days on the job is to Understand.

Here are three components you should focus on.

The necessary stuff

  • Training & onboarding
  • Industry crash course
  • Internal academy coursework

Quick wins

  • Build a competitor profile
  • Initiate 30-in-30 interviews
  • Evangelize CI

The fun stuff

  • Site Visits
  • Deal strategy calls
  • Informal water cooler discussions on CI

In the understand phase you’ll be focusing more on background learning than hands-on doing.

But by building a competitor profile, starting to reach out to conduct your 30-in-30 interviews and showing face on site and around the water cooler, you’ll already start feeling like you’re contributing.

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🔍 Days 30 to 60: Evaluate

What you need to do is build a process or a routine or a culture where that information is flowing both ways. And that does not happen overnight.

Now is the time to move past understanding the reality on the ground and begin to actively evaluate it.

It’s in this second phase that you’ll start identifying the biggest gaps — and determine how to close them.

There are four components to the Evaluate phase

30-in-30 interviews

Interview 30 of your colleagues for 30-ish minutes each. Use the same set of questions each time. And analyze the responses to draw out important themes and trends to help define your priorities.

Interview questions

  • What is your history of CI in the context of your role?
  • What is working?
  • What is confusing?
  • What is broken?
  • What is missing/what’s on your wish list?
  • Off the record: if you had a magic wand, where would you wave it?
  • What is your preferred consumption and frequency of deliverables?

Map out the competitive intelligence function

With the intel you collected from your 30 interviews, and the background research you did in the first 30 days, start to map out the current state of your CI function.

Look to understand the existing flow of competitive information, distinguish between tactical (short-term) and strategic (medium-long-term) requirements, and articulate your priorities.

Then, start to ask yourself:

  • What competitive intelligence do we need to collect?
  • How should we collect it?
  • Where do we store it?
  • And how do we share it?

Tools assessment

Do your diligence in finding the best tool that fits your needs. Tracy says there are seven key areas you need to consider:

  1. News aggregation
  2. Competitor monitoring
  3. Website updates
  4. Battlecards
  5. Scenario analysis
  6. Win-loss analysis
  7. Trade show monitoring

Other activities

As you move from the second to third stages of your 90-day plan, finish off the quarter with some hands-on and collaborative efforts.

This could include a sales enablement webinar based on the competitor profile you put together in the first 30 days, and or an of quarter win-loss review.

Learn how ClickUp’s Head of Competitive Intelligence Andrew McCotter-Bicknell nailed his first 90 days on the job

📈 Days 60 to 90: Optimize

“This 30, 60, 90 day plan isn’t just for CI, it’s also not just for a newly established function [it’s for] whenever you’re in a situation where you need to understand your stakeholders and prioritize their needs”

The last third of your 90-day plan is where the wheels get in motion.

There are five ways Tracy has done this in the past.

Sales engagement

Showing up to sales QBRs and participating in sales boot camps reinforces your status and presence as a competitive expert. You’ll also want to be active and engaged in your internal messaging platforms, building a culture of compete.

Create a budget

Build and present a budget taking into consideration things like conferences, trade shows, your new CI tool, win-loss analysis and special projects.

Levelling-up your direct interactions with your stakeholders, mapping out a budget, creating an internal CI brand, finalizing your competitive enablement tool of choice, and building a timeline

Brand CI internally

Work with a designer to build a brand identity around your team’s efforts — think logos and templates.

Finalize solutions provider(s)

Land on the best tool for collaborative competitive enablement. And consider if you’ll need an additional solution to support with special projects.

Build a timeline

Map out the key priorities and schedule of deliverables for your team over the next 12 months. And stick to it!

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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.