Competitor Strengths & Weaknesses Analysis
How to Complete a Competitor Analysis Report (Part V)
The following is the fifth article of a 6-part series aimed at guiding you through conducting a complete competitor analysis report. In this article, you’ll learn how to recognize your competitors’ strengths and weaknesses and use the data to develop winning Sales Battle Cards. You may follow along by downloading the complimentary competitor analysis template.
Competitor Strengths and Weaknesses
Now you’ll begin your thoroughly honest strength & weakness analysis of your competition. After completing this portion of the competitive analysis, you should be able to take what you’ve learned and apply it to your strategy or product roadmap. The first step is to evaluate your competition from your customer’s point of view. Try to let go of all bias and evaluate the marketplace as a third party would. Think like a customer would, taking all considerations into account. Why would they ultimately choose you over the competition? Is their quality better? Is their design more appealing? Put yourself in the shoes of a consumer and try to discover their competitive advantage. Be sure to take a look at any proprietary features they offer. Finally, develop 3 strong points that you a consumer would consider to be their competitive advantage.
Next, examine their weaknesses. Once again, be objective and dig deep! Just because you believe your competition doesn’t have an exact match of your features, it’s possible that consumers perceive their features as a valid substitute. Your aim is to come up with 3 genuine weaknesses of their practices. Consider taking a look at the product reviews and customer comments for your competitors. Websites such as Glassdoor, Capterra, TrustRadius, Software Advice, and G2 Crowd can all be used to view real customer evaluations for potential strengths and weaknesses you hadn’t considered.
After you have completed the strength and weakness analysis for the competition, it’s time to start thinking about your own competitive advantages, as well as any weak areas where your company can aim to improve. Once again, produce 3 strengths and 3 weaknesses, but this time, evaluate your own company. In the next section, you’ll learn how to use your findings to generate Battle Cards and enable your sales team to win more deals.
Sales Battle Cards
Once you’ve completed the competitor strengths & weaknesses analysis, you can begin to create your sales Battle Cards (A.K.A. battlecards). If you’re not familiar with them, Battle Cards are very valuable in the sales toolkit. Any sales team that finds themselves head-to-head with the competition will find them useful. Don’t skip this section if your company doesn’t currently have Battle Cards – now is the time to create them!
In the previous analysis step, you came up with six points for each competitor – three specific points that make their product great and three that can be considered flaws. You also came up with six points for your own company. We’ll now use these points to formulate five winning kill points – statements your sales team can use to win deals when it’s down to you versus the competition.
Using the competition’s strengths and weaknesses, develop three kill points based off your observations. Your aim is to neutralize each of your competitor’s strengths and emphasize their weaknesses by pointing out how your solution benefits the client better. For example, if your product is very technical and you noted that one of your competitor’s weaknesses is “paid phone support”, but your company offers “free phone support”, your kill point could be “We offer free phone support, so you can speak to us directly at no additional cost”. Your kill points should not mention the competition directly. Don’t worry – if your lead is speaking to you, they’re probably also speaking to the competition and will likely be fully aware of their product and service offering.
Once you’ve developed the first three kill points, formulate two extra kill points based off your company’s proprietary features and the consumer benefits. To be effective, the Battle Cards you share with your sales team should only focus on these five kill points for each competitor; if you share too much information, the details will be lost.
Remember, don’t just focus on features. When consumers make a final decision, they focus on value! You can use these battle cards as a tool to demonstrate the value being offered by your products/services. If you include a feature as a strength, it’s important to analyze exactly why it is a strength. What problem does it solve for your customers, and why exactly is it beneficial? Lastly, don’t just tell your prospects, show them. Use any specific data, you have to leverage your advantage in your kill points.
In the final part of your competitive analysis report, you’ll take a look at the Market Outlook and your company’s Opportunities & Threats.
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