As markets become more saturated, it is critical for enterprises to implement competitive intelligence (CI) to empower better decision-making and execution. If you’re unfamiliar with CI, it is the process of capturing, analyzing, and acting on competitive insights to drive internal strategy changes and tactics.
In other words, CI provides you with the knowledge you need to stay one step ahead of your competitors and stand out and win. There are five specific goals that you will be able to achieve through CI to grow your business:
- Boost Your Market Positioning
- Win More Deals
- Upgrade Your Product Roadmap
- Improve Customer Satisfaction
- Enhance Your Long-Term Business Strategy
If you want a firm grasp of what success can look like as you activate CI inside your organization, you’ve come to the right place.
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1. Boost Your Market Positioning
By providing you with the insights you need to better understand what is happening outside the four walls of your company, there’s no doubt that CI can strengthen your market positioning.
As a CMO myself, I know that a question in many marketers’ minds is: How can I showcase that my company’s solution is superior to its alternatives? This is where CI comes into play.
To convince your target audience that your solution is the best, you need to have an all-encompassing view of what your market landscape looks like and how your company stacks up. CI provides you with the intel you need to stay attuned to any rival slogan changes, vertical expansions, product copy updates, and more. In turn, this allows you to make real-time, informed updates to your own positioning to improve your market presence.
For example, let’s say your rival recently updated their slogan to “Helping Small Businesses Succeed.” If your company targets both small and large companies, this could be an opportunity for you to alter your messaging to appeal to large enterprises. CI provides you with the knowledge needed to position your company most effectively and impactfully.
2. Win More Deals
What company doesn’t want to win head-to-head sales deals? Sales reps need to be well-versed in the art of communicating differentiated value and routinely convince prospects that your solution is the strongest available. That’s not plausible in the absence of CI.
CI provides your sales reps with vast intel about their competitors to help them seal the deal. Whether it’s being informed on the lack of integration capabilities a rival has or key pricing differences, CI is the best way to ensure that your sales team is positioning your company in the best light.
Be sure to benchmark your sales metrics before and after implementing CI initiatives, and chances are you’ll see your closing rates improve. For some perspective, the 2021 State of Competitive Intelligence Report found that 53% of sales deals are competitive, and 61% of businesses have seen a direct increase in revenue thanks to CI.
3. Upgrade Your Product Roadmap
For those unfamiliar, a product roadmap outlines the vision, direction, priorities, and progress of a product over time. It’s a plan of action that aligns the organization around short and long-term goals for their product(s), and how they will be achieved. It’s ever-changing based on shifts to your competitive landscape and clearly showcases how your solution has and will evolve over time.
But, when you’re unfamiliar with your competitors’ offerings, your roadmap will fall short. Crucial context will be lacking, and you’ll be ill-equipped to create (and/or improve) a product that stands out.
If your team is harnessed with competitive insights, they will be able to better optimize your product roadmap; more deeply understanding the key differentiators your product encompasses and its market positioning. Once you begin your CI research, you’ll see vast room for improvement in your roadmap and overall product.
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4. Improve Customer Satisfaction
It takes a village to create and close a deal as competition intensifies in competitive industries. While onboarding new customers is an exciting feat, it’s important to remember how easily they can churn. To keep the churn rate low, your customers need to feel satisfied with your product offering and believe that your solution is the strongest option available.
Chances are your customers will receive sales pitches from your competitors–despite already landing on your solution. To retain your customers, you must utilize CI to prove to your accounts the strengths of your solution (and the weaknesses of your competitors).
In this case, it is especially important for your customer success team to have access to your newfound competitive intel. By providing your CS reps with the insights they need, you’ll see churn rates lower, improved customer advocacy for your product, and see more customers confident and pleased that they selected your company to partner with.
5. Enhance Your Long-Term Business Strategy
Every company has a long-term business strategy in place. Understanding the ins and outs of your competitive landscape (and who makes that up) can make your strategy that much stronger, more impactful, and targeted.
When evaluating your overall business strategy, businesses often ask questions like: How are we going to grow revenue and what markets can we break into to grow the business?
CI is key in answering these questions. Your vision for your strategy will be skewed if you don’t understand who your main competitors are and how they’re positioned in the eyes of a prospect. Similarly, you can’t break into a new market without the context of who your competitors would be.
By utilizing the competitive intel you’ve gathered, there’s no doubt that CI can help your business succeed. It will provide you with a clearer vision for your strategy; one that is focused, direct, and well-informed.
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Grow Your Bottom Line
The takeaway is clear: Empower your team with CI and you’ll not only see positive results on the bottom line but success across all functions within your organization.
Arm your team with the insights they need to win, and your company will be a force to be reckoned with.