Part II of a 2-part series helping you coach your sales team on key data they need to know about their competition. Use these questions verbatim or to build upon to have meaningful conversations during sales team training and force some discipline around owning knowledge about the competition.
How do we avoid being commoditized?
Coaching Point: The bottom line here is that your salespeople must never allow your product or service to be compared directly to your competitor’s product or service. You must always find ways to differentiate what you have so that your product or service is not perceived solely as a commodity.
Who has stronger internal advocacy – you or your competitor?
Coaching Point: How can your salespeople develop better, deeper and richer advocacy within existing or target accounts? There is little doubt that the stronger advocacy someone has inside of an account in both depth and quality, the more likely they are to be able to persuade others to purchase their product or service.
Are there impending events or business drivers that favor either our company or the competition?
Coaching Point: Business drivers are things that are occurring in the marketplace that have a significant and direct impact on the timing, quality, quantity and process of the decision as it relates to your product or service. Impending events, for example, will force someone to make a decision faster than they would at any other time.
Are there impending events within your competitors’ organization that could help or hurt you?
Coaching Point: There is also little doubt that reorganization, restructuring and realignment are occurring in every industry in all parts of the world. It should also be obvious that your competition is not going to escape this type of restructuring. In some cases, it will significantly weaken them in the mind of your prospect, while in others it may enhance their strength, give them better purchasing, therefore, pricing power, improve their delivery systems and more.
What will it take for you to win the business against the competition?
Coaching Point: Perhaps this particular point is one that encapsulates all of the previous nine. There is no doubt that only one will win the account and you need to develop your specific strategy that will allow you to be seen as the preferred provider in the mind of your particular prospect or customer.
Yes, coaching your salespeople up on learning what they need to know about their competition is important. But, frankly, knowing their competition is only part of it. They also need to know their own organization, their own personal strengths and weaknesses, their ability to deliver whatever it is that they promise, and their ability to address the specific problems, needs or irritations that their prospects may have. If you would like to learn more about sales training techniques, contact The Brooks Group to start the conversation.