Who's Your Real Competition?

How do you find your competition? Here’s one place you may not be looking.
Alexandra Kane

Sales and marketing teams put a lot of time, effort, and money into understanding their competitive landscape. We use endless analyses, surveys, market intelligence, agencies, etc. to give us the best understanding of who our competitors are, what they offer, and how they affect our own products. We then use this information to inform sales and marketing strategies.

But there’s one key piece of vital feedback most organizations miss altogether.

What do our customers say when we try to sell something?

It may sound obvious, but many companies are surprised by how ill equipped they are to capture, record, and make sense out of organic customer feedback. Why? Because this information usually comes up on the phone, when your SDR is on the front lines pitching your product. One rep may hear X, another Y, but often there’s no place or system to record these instances in any systematic way.

I’m going to share with you a story about one of our own clients, and how they unearthed a missing piece of data occurring within their own calls.

Our client, a new email marketing software provider, conducted surveys and market research and concluded through all the traditional means that MailChimp was their primary competitor. They knew all about MailChimp’s product–how much it cost, what were its key features, what were its drawbacks–and worked to develop feature parity and benefits against MailChimp. In many ways, MailChimp was their “north star” of competition. Managers trained reps on objection handling specific to MailChimp and developed scripts around how their product was superior. Pricing took MailChimp’s freemium model into consideration. Any customer pushback related to MailChimp, this team could handle.

But after this team started using TalkIQ, they discovered something rather curious. Despite their insistence that MailChimp was the competition, only 4% of their customers ever mentioned MailChimp on a call!

In fact, the data unearthed in the transcriptions showed that a whopping 69% of customers who brought up a competitor mentioned FishBowl–not MailChimp!

This was huge news, and not only to the sales team. First, the sales manager reworked the pitch to include objection handling for FishBowl, which we saw came up much earlier in the process than they originally thought. The marketing team gained a key piece of knowledge that allowed them to tailor their messaging and redo the cost structure. The engineering team also made changes to the product itself, including the addition of one feature often requested by Fishbowl customers.

The results? The team started winning more and more competitive deals. Their understanding of their true competitor and a revamped price structure actually lead to more profit, because they were no longer competing against a freemium model. And the addition of a feature that took engineers one week to build allowed the sales team to sell to previously uninterested clients. Talk about a game changer.

We saw similar trends across other clients’ data as well. After all, the customers your reps call typically bring up competition 2.5x more than the reps. They tell you exactly who you’re competing against and what you need to do to win. The only thing you need to do is listen–and figure out how to capture this information across your organization.

That’s where we come in? Recording, barging in, or listening to every call your rep makes isn’t efficient, nor is it scalable.

Want to know who your real competition is and the other data hidden in your sales calls? Reach out today to learn more.