Sales battlecards are an enablement resource that help reps gain an understanding of the competitive landscape. Depending on the type of company you are, these could be product comparisons, service comparisons or company comparisons.
Battlecards are a great resource to make as part of your go-to-market preparations. But, on top of that, if you’re seeing the same competitor causing you to lose deals repeatedly, that’s also a good sign that you should put together a sales battlecard.
How to Create Sales Battlecards
When creating sales battlecards, you need a good understanding of both who the competitors are that are most closely tied to what you do and how you can sell against them. For sales battlecards to be effective they need to be not just informational, but also actionable.
You also need to keep in mind that the intended audience of sales battlecards is sales reps. It can be tempting to build out a robust report full of in-depth competitive analysis, but that won’t necessarily be very useful if a rep is just trying to jog their memory about talking points in between calls.
Sales battlecards should be concise, up-to-date and easily accessible. Reps should be able to get value from them in five minutes or less and access them through the tools they’re already living in.
Sales battlecards should include:
- A high-level overview of the company or product you’re competing with
- The sales tactics used by the competitor
- Your competitor’s positioning and messaging and how it differs from yours
- Your competitor’s pricing and packaging
- What has led to you winning against them in the past
- What has caused you to lose against them in the past
Gathering the information you need for your sales battlecards primarily comes down to research. Look at their websites and see how they position themselves and their offerings as well as at the messaging in their other content.
If possible, ask customers who evaluated you and your competitors about the sales process they experienced and why they ultimately chose you. Additionally, ask prospects who chose competitors over you about what led to that decision.
All of that information should be re-evaluated and updated regularly, though how frequently will depend on the competitiveness of your market. If you’re in a super competitive market with new alternatives constantly emerging, you might need to update your battlecards every couple months. On the other hand, if you’re in a more stable market, you might only need to make updates once a year.
You won’t necessarily need to update your sales battlecards every time a competitor launches something new. You’ll need to see how that release impacts your ability to sell against them first. But if something changes that’s critical to how your competitor runs as a business, like a change to their pricing and packaging, a shift in their target market or a company acquisition, then you’ll need to make some updates.
Using Sales Battlecards to Enable Your Team
If you have too many battlecards for reps to keep track of, it can become more of a hindrance than a help. So, you should focus on your three to five biggest competitors — the companies you’re actually losing to, not just who you hypothetically could be losing to.
Roll those out one at a time during a formal meeting. If you launch them all at once, you can create an information overload so it’s better to spread them out and focus on fostering a deep understanding of each individual competitor.
After they’re launched, make sure they are readily available at the point when a rep would most need them in the sales process.
As you update them over time, if there are smaller changes make sure you inform your team about them, for example, if one of your competitors changed their price but it doesn’t change how you’re positioned in comparison to them. For larger changes, where the takeaways for reps about how you compare are no longer the same, then you should do a more formal re-training.
Sales battlecards unify your team’s understanding of what your competitors are doing and how they’re positioning themselves. This reduces assumptions across the team and ensures that your sales reps are as equipped as possible to win competitive deals.
Having the level of intelligence sales battlecards provide enables your team to be smarter about how they position your company and offerings.
Beth is an Inbound Advisor at New Breed with a particular strength in email marketing, optimization, and webpage creation and strategy.