5 Ways to Turn Intelligence into Action
Obviously knowledge is a big part of business success. You need to understand your audience, your competitors, and your overall industry in order to create products that meet a need your customers have. But as crucial as knowledge is, knowing on its own only goes so far. To make a difference (e.g. achieve higher profits—the main difference that matters), knowledge needs to be matched with doing.
5 Ways to Turn Intelligence into Action
AI-powered tools now make it possible to collect and sift through a lot of data. There’s no real excuse anymore for not having access to market intelligence. The means of getting it is just a software product away. But having intelligence doesn’t automatically mean you’ll know what to do with it.
Here are five smart ways to start turning the intelligence you have into greater sales effectiveness and higher win rates.
1. Create up-to-date sales battlecards.
For any complex product, the sales team plays an integral part in getting prospects to truly understand the value and differentiation of your product. That is why it is critical to make sure your sales team has everything they need to demonstrate why your product is better than your competitors.
Sales battlecards are a valuable resource for translating competitive intelligence into a format that’s easy for salespeople to absorb and put to use. You can provide your sales representatives with a quick, helpful summary of everything they need to know about each of the top competitors. Make sure they go into every sales meeting with an understanding of the main strengths and weaknesses your competitors’ products have, as well as a smart counter-argument they can make for every objection the prospect may have.
While creating sales battlecards that reflect your current competitive intelligence is important, it’s not something you should treat as a one-time job. Your competition is constantly evolving. If your sales reps are using battlecards that are out of date (could be a year or sometimes even just a couple months old), they risk walking into sales calls with woefully outdated information.
Success depends on accuracy. You need a system that helps you keep your intelligence up-to-date in real time, makes it easy to update your battlecards as you go, and enables you to get the most recent version to your sales team where they’ll see it. A smart competitive intelligence platform can help make all of that easy. One Kompyte customer was able to implement a more streamlined process for creating up-to-date battlecards and saw a 9% increase in conversion rates against their top competitor within just 45 days.
2. Develop improved sales training.
Battlecards are a powerful way to enable your sales reps, but they’re just one part of creating a well equipped sales team. For every new hire, your training process will have a lot to do with their eventual success. Getting new sales hires up to speed as fast as possible on your product, industry, and competition means you can get them out in the field faster. And the sooner you have smart, prepared people out pitching your target audience, the more sales you’ll make.
Turning the intelligence you have into thorough, up-to-date training materials will give your new hires a shortcut to learning everything they need to know to be successful out in the field. They can start making sales calls fast, and do a better job of it once they do. All of which translates to more sales and higher profits.
3. Identify new markets to target.
If your competitive intelligence suggests a competitor is starting to target a new audience in their marketing, that may be an audience that’s a fit for your solution too. If your market research shows a new industry starting to develop that’s adjacent to the main industries using your product now, there could be growth opportunities in pursuing the businesses within it.
Using intelligence to stay on top of industry trends and patterns can help you spot opportunities like these. A whole new market to target can increase the number of prospective customers by double or more, which means lots of opportunities for more money.
4. Make product updates based on data-backed insights.
Every time a competitor launches a new product or adds a feature to their current product, you want to know about it. Sometimes their changes can inspire improvements to your own products. You can also gain insights into features and updates your audience wants by monitoring what your audience is saying online, and conducting win-loss interviews to learn why some prospects chose another product instead.
As you gain more information through intelligence on what your audience wants to see in your products and what competitors are doing with theirs, your product team can use that information to brainstorm how to make your products better. Product improvements that are based on intelligence you’ve gathered will lead to more sales.
5. Create marketing campaigns in response to competitor tactics.
When you actively monitor the marketing your competitors do, you’ll be in a strong position to create messaging that counters it more effectively. If your main competitor just offered a limited-time sale, why not launch a similar one that offers price matching to their offer? Or if they’ve started heavily promoting a particular feature or upgrade your product does better, craft a marketing campaign that highlights that.
Sometimes this can be direct, if you want to call a competitor out explicitly. But it doesn’t have to be. If you know some of your audience will be exposed to some particular messaging from your competitor, you can make sure your marketing addresses what they’re seeing, even if you don’t make it clear who the campaign is in response to.
Use Your Intelligence Wisely
The intelligence you gather should play a direct role in the decisions and strategies your company deploys. If you gather data only to sit on it, you’ll end up watching as your competitors pass you by. But if you take active steps to put the intelligence you’ve gained to work, you’ll end up with better enablement, more effective sales teams and ultimately better win rates.