This article is called how Competitive Intelligence helps your sales. You keep putting tenders forward for the business, and you are very confident that you can’t do any better. You have answered the questions well, and you know your product is the best thing since sliced bread.
Weeks later, you can not believe your lousy luck someone else got the contract, but they thanked you for a solid bid. Very gratifying. Over time this scenario continues, you become increasingly frustrated and realise the same competitor is regularly winning bids. Your Managing Director starts asking awkward questions and wants to be involved more in the tender process.
Your sales team (who are keen to keep their jobs), would have you believe that the competitor is buying the business with low pricing, or perhaps they are offering an inducement? It’s likely that neither is true, but you still want answers.
Competitive Intelligence can help
Competitive Intelligence is the process where the tactical and strategic analysis of markets, competitors and industries, allowing decision-makers to make informed long and short term decisions, take advantage of gaps in the market and exploit competitor strengths and weaknesses. So Competitive Intelligence minimises uncertainty, and companies who use CI tend to be less surprised by their competitors’ actions.
Why are you losing out?
If you are continually losing contracts to the same competitor, you need to know why. You need to define your (Key Intelligence) questions to focus your information collection activities and look at several competitors to create robust comparisons. Building a Competitive Intelligence function in your business will encourage your sales and operations teams willingly offer relevant and ongoing information for you to analyse it into valued Intelligence. Working with your suppliers, sales team, operational staff and current clients, you need to find answers to questions like:
- What is the company doing so well?
- What are they doing so right?
- And what are their sales targets?
- What are their pricing policies?
- What does their contract look like?
- Finally, who are their customers, and are they happy with the service they receive?
How are you going to use it?
Once you have gained a picture of your competitive environment, you need to decide how to use it. You can enhance your efforts by prospecting your competitor’s customers, and you will have more success as you will be able to manage your competitor’s strengths and exploit their weaknesses.
As you have collected complaints on your competitors, you know what they are good and bad at doing. If you know their contracts and pricing policies, you can go with confidence and undercut deals. If you know your competitors, then you can headhunt their best staff, the ones that are winning all those tenders.
How Competitive Intelligence helps sales
Everyone has their price, but if you recruit the wrong person without understanding the big picture, you may be relieving your competitor of a problem. This article was called how Competitive Intelligence helps your sales.
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