Making Competitive Analysis Part Of Your Training
Product training is a powerful tool in your sales enablement efforts. Getting your teams up to speed on your offerings has obvious benefits. But what about training them on what else is out there? How important competitive analysis is to your sales success?
Adding competitor product training to your sales enablement plans prepares your team to succeed in a constantly evolving marketplace.
Product Training Gives Your Teams A Competitive Advantage
With product training, we’re generally focused on a deep dive into the ins and outs of our products and services. Your sales reps boost their ability to talk about customer pain points, features, and benefits. It helps them offer better customer support and create a superior buying experience.
Product training has a direct impact on creating long-term client relationships and greater employee retention. But did you know that educating your sales professionals on other companies’ products also contributes to those outcomes? Among other things, competitor product training gives your team a well-rounded understanding of what you offer and how to address it in the market.
Why You Should Consider Competitor Product Training
Three-quarters of companies say competitive intelligence is crucial to their sales process. Competitive intelligence involves gathering information and analyzing the strengths and weaknesses of other key industry players. Your findings give you a sense of where you stand in the market and help you know how to plan for your product’s growth going forward.
Sharing this information with your sales reps will help them understand your strengths and beat out rival offerings. Conducting competitor product training in your organization benefits your sales teams in several ways.
Show The Big Picture
Learning about your industry competitors’ products is another way of learning about your own. Seeing how products like yours are being pitched to and used by customers can reveal more about your own offerings’ potential.
Is there something you’re missing in your sales approach that you see elsewhere? Or is there something you’re doing that others aren’t that you could emphasize as an advantage?
External product knowledge gives your sales reps a deeper understanding of the industry. The big picture view puts your product in context. It helps boost your team’s confidence in being able to pitch your solutions. It also gives them more insight into your customer needs so they can quickly identify and address concerns.
Clarify Your Unique Selling Proposition
Teaching the contrasts between your offerings and your competitors’ shows your reps what makes you stand out from the crowd. If there’s a gap between your solutions and others out there, they can point out how your product fills it.
Using other products and services as benchmarks allows you to identify what makes your company, product, or service unique. When your sales team is clear on what sets you apart, they’ll be better able to speak to your advantages.
Keep Up With Market Trends
Competitive analysis lets you see what’s happening in your industry as a whole. You’ll be able to pinpoint things like what solutions people are searching for, how they’re implementing them, and how they’re spending their budgets.
When your sales teams have a better idea of what people want, they’ll see your products with fresh eyes. They’ll know how to meet clients where they are and may even be able to see new potential target markets.
In short, training your sales professionals on other products gives them a competitive advantage. It improves their confidence, which in turn increases their willingness and ability to make a compelling case for your products and support your customers.
How To Run A Competitive Analysis
It’s clear that understanding the market from more than one angle is helpful. Adding competitor product knowledge to your sales training efforts is a win for the whole organization. So what should your training look like?
Whatever platform you use to deliver your sales training, certain topics should be at the center of it. Providing analysis of the following 5 areas will create a solid foundation for your competitor product training.
1. Direct Competitors
Make sure you clarify who your direct competitors are. Focus on those who do exactly what you do so you’re comparing apples to apples. If they’re not a direct match for your product or service, it’s likely a lot of the benefits they tout and their target market info won’t be as useful. To get a clear picture of what’s going on in the market, avoid referencing competition that’s only vaguely or partially related.
2. Product Range
Understand everything your competitors offer—all the products in all the variations. Knowing all the competing products and services helps you compare your own product more thoroughly. Address things like quality levels, functionality, and reliability. Knowing the range across each of these will help your sales reps zero in on more of your product’s specific advantages.
3. Pricing And Perks
You should know what others in your market are selling and what they offer at that price. Knowing how prices and offerings differ from your own prepares your teams to address them when they talk to customers. They’ll be able to share reasons beyond price to weigh when deciding on a solution.
For example, do you offer similar features at an equal or lower price? If not, does your product have more or better features that offset the cost? Are there benefits that aren’t as clear upfront but matter to the overall experience? Make sure those are prominent on a sales rep’s list of talking points.
4. Target Audiences
Analyze the typical buyer profiles your competitors are selling to. If their audience is an exact match to your own, you can talk about how to speak more directly to that group. If you notice that a competitor is tapping into new demographics, explore why. Consider how your product could be serving this audience as well.
Also, pay attention to use cases. How and when are people using products like yours? What additional ways could you be pitching your own? What other needs could you be serving?
Learning about target personas will help your teams focus their efforts with current clients and reach out to untapped markets.
5. Marketing Strategy
Give an overview of how your competitors talk about their products. Are they leading with one selling or pain point over another? Are they framing their solution with a certain language that resonates with buyers? Knowing how others are approaching the market can help your reps speak to trends and common concerns. It can also show them opportunities to pitch your unique selling proposition.
Your teams will be more prepared to make your messaging stand out when they know the message competitors are consistently sharing with the market.
Training your sales teams on other companies’ products promotes a deeper understanding of how to sell and support your own. Adding competitor product training to your sales enablement efforts gives you an extra advantage. When your reps understand who your competitors are and how they operate, they’ll be able to compete on more than just price.
As you create and implement your competitor product training, remember to update it regularly. It’s important to do regular competitive analysis in an ever-changing market. Set your sales teams up for success by ensuring they always have up-to-date information.