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Battle card series (Part 2): Best practices to drive adoption & use
Learn how to drive adoption of your competitive sales battle cards throughout your sales organization. 7-min read
This article is the second of a three-part series on developing winning battle cards. We’ll walk you through how to create, drive the adoption and usage, and update your battle cards. In this post, we provide the six best practices for driving battle card adoption and continued usage with your sales teams. Want to watch our on-demand webinar on how to do this?
Working in sales is tough. Knowing the ins and outs of your competitor’s offering and the distinct advantages your company holds is more critical now than ever before. This can be difficult when sales reps already handle a lot of information and must stay on top of their other work. By giving sales reps the tools they need to be successful, they can not only build morale in the company but help deliver on the company stretch goals quicker. One of those competitive resources is battle cards. These enable salespeople with easy access to quick points about the competitor’s product offering and your company’s value messaging, giving them a leg up on the competition, and driving revenue.
It is easy to assume that by merely providing sales reps with battle cards and other sales assets, they will use them, but that is not always the case. The sales team may feel some battle cards are outdated or lack the information needed to be effective in competitive deals, or they may not even be aware of their existence. In part one and two of this series, we walked through how to create and best practices for updating your sales tools.
However, for various reasons, battle cards may sit unused. If that’s the case, not only are the battle cards are being wasted, but the time and effort that went into creating them have too. Driving initial adoption and continued use is just as important as creating and routinely updating the battle cards themselves. In this article, we will provide 6 best practices for boosting battle card usage and how you can use that adoption to drive a flywheel of continuous competitive feedback.
Make content buyer-centric & functional
Sellers don’t have time to read lengthy battle cards. Battle cards should be functional, short, and concise cheat sheets highlighting key information your sellers care about when seconds count. Include product overviews, pricing, unique selling points, common objections, and counters. Be sure battle cards are aligned with the buyer’s needs, pain points, and the problems you are solving for them. Outline the value matched to their requirements (people buy value, not features). If you are creating a single type of battle card format, ensure they apply to many sales situations.
Ensure battle cards are easily accessible
Storing battle cards in multiple, disconnected places is inefficient especially when sellers could be tackling other tasks. Keep battle cards centralized, and easily accessible from the user’s desktop, the web, within their CRM, if possible, printed in case users prefer a hard copy pinned to their desks. Most importantly, ensure your sellers are aware of the existence of battle cards and know the various paths for accessing them. If you have different versions of battle cards (ex: competitor battle cards, use case battle cards, product battle cards, question based battle cards) be sure to categorize them accordingly. Storing battle cards in multiple, disconnected places is inefficient. Especially when sellers could be tackling other tasks. Keep battle cards centralized and easily accessible from the user’s desktop, the web, within their CRM, etc. to guarantee easy use and access. If possible, you should also have your battle cards printed in case users prefer a hard copy pinned to their desks. Most importantly, ensure your sellers are aware of their existence of battle cards and know the various paths for accessing them. If you have different versions of battle cards (ex. competitor, use case battle cards, product, question-based) be sure to categorize them accordingly.
Integrate with other tools
Simplify processes and ensure efficiency by integrating battle cards into the apps your sellers use every day. Enable your sales reps by delivering battle cards directly within their CRM and notifying them of battle card updates and new versions via Slack. If you use cloud storage such as Google Drive to store complimentary sales assets, make sure these files can be pulled into digital copies of your battle cards.
Provide opportunities for feedback
Intel from the field is critical. While marketers may be doing the research, sellers are having incredibly valuable conversations. Make sure the insights from conversations aren’t lost. Create channels or opportunities to collect and discuss the feedback from the field. Restrict who can update a battle card but encourage collaboration by providing an easy way for sellers to share feedback and for other teams within the company to provide their input (make sure your team is trained on how to provide feedback). Feedback is an excellent source of information. Sellers can provide powerful insights about what prospects are talking about, what they identify as your strengths and weaknesses, how they view the competition, which questions they are asking. Analyze and review feedback to validate information, refine, and improve battle cards
Regularly update competitive information
You don’t want your sellers using outdated battle cards. Battle cards should be considered living documents with content reviewed and updated periodically. It is critical to keep the information up to date. Schedule monthly meetings to audit your tier one competitor battle cards. Ask your sellers what intel they hear in the field, and the questions prospects ask more frequently. Discuss which battle cards are working, which ones aren’t, and which ones need updating. Remove outdated information and improve unused battle cards. Once battle cards are updated, be sure to notify your sellers of updated and new battle cards to ensure they cite the latest, most relevant content. Pro tip: Track dates and version history.
Run sales analytics reports
Most companies have a variety of battle cards. Sales analytics allow you to keep a pulse on how your sellers are interacting with these sales assets, including visibility of the most active reps, which battle cards are used most frequently and which battle cards they are not using at all. If individual battle cards are not being utilized, find out why. Is the content outdated? Are the battle cards missing essential information? There is just too much information for sales reps to own and too little time. Sales reps are naturally competitive and highly motivated to win deals. Make sure you’re providing them with the tools they need to not only compete but compete intelligently. The value of battle cards lies in how you use them. Drive battle card usage and enable your sellers to win more deals with up to date functional battle cards tailored with the information they need. Make sure they are easily accessible and integrated with the tools they use daily for the best possible results.
Our product specialist built a special video to walk you through how to distribute and drive battle cards adoption and usage to increase competitive win rates. Check out the 10 minute video now.
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