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I'm starting to build our competitive program here at Percolate and I am personally questioning the need for creating a unique sales asset for each competitor.
4 answers
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Katie Gerard
Director of Product Marketing at Klaviyo May 10

It depends on where these requests are coming from! I'm always cautious with competitor specific one pagers because it's so easy for these to get back to the competitor. I've personally seen slides our competitors have made about us and this is a) legally risky b) detrimental to any partnership you might have with your competitor c) super easy to debunk when you see it neatly written down! We do come up with "battlecards" for all our major competitors that Sales can use to quickly respond to some of the most common competitive objections with key talking points.

I'm more supportive on one pagers around specific topics/functionalities/industries that your product supports. These can be especially helpful in buying decsions with many diverse stakeholders, as they can be easily passed around while your buying committee works towards consensus.

One last note on this is make sure to prioritize what you're producing. Some considerations include:

  1. How many people will really use these materials? Is it just a couple loud sales reps asking for this or do you see a more general need?
  2. Are you prepared to not just produce the material, but to actually update it regularly?
  3. Every activity has an opportunity cost. Is this particular piece going to have the most impact vs. something else you could be doing? In order to know this, you'll need to track useage.
Dave Kong
Head of Product Marketing at Scale AI January 16

For requests in general, the very first thing i recommend doing is evaluating if the request is within your defined set of PMM responsibilities. If not, I would turn down the request because accepting those sets an unsustainable precedent. If it does fall within your scope, then I generally look at: 

  • Alignment with PMM or business goal
  • Impact
  • Reuse-ability
  • Effort
  • Confidentiality 

I, actually, no longer let content requestors set the requirements for content. The requirements you’ll often get typically have a narrow point of view and a specific use case built around the current prospect a sales rep is talking too. As the request comes in, I suggesting talking with the requestor, to understand the goals, desired impact, use cases and then determine your own requirements. 

For competitive initiatives, yes- they typically fall in the realm of Product Marketing. However, I would go ahead and define the program as a Product Marketing initiative and not let it be defined largely by “one pager requests”. 

To do that, determine: 

  • What general intelligence is needed? (Most value) - Win/Loss analysis and sales feedback can help with this
  • What format is appropriate? (Least value)

Ask the question: Do you really want to create an external-facing leave-behind that contains competitive intelligence? You can assume that leave behind will be circulated to a competitor.  

What I regularly remind myself of: Product Marketing has the best ears in the company, so it’s up to you to determine if what you’re hearing is really what your company and market needs. 

Hien Phan
Director of Product Marketing at Amplitude November 13

I agreed with David on who is requesting the document. I would think about the buyer journey and the sales process, and ask myself would the leave-behinds or one-pagers move the funnel? I would also confirm my hypothesis with multiple sales reps at different levels of performance. Usually, if there is a problem, it will showcase itself across a wide section of the sales team. I would apply the same methodology to a CS team.  

Dave Daniels
Founder at BrainKraft March 23

First, who is requesting the docs? Is it an internal request (sales) or an external one (buyers)? The key to answering that question is to have knowledge about your buyers and how they buy. I'm guessing that the information in question is already on your company website. Buyers are going there already. 

The short answer is... if a buyer needs it to help them move forward in a buying decision, do it. Otherwise ignore the request, explaining why it's not a good use of company resources. If you don't know what buyers need, you will always be at the whim of the next sales rep who requests a 'one-pager'. 

You also mentioned competitors. Don't create any leave behinds that talk about your competitors. Here's why. You don't want to alert a potential buyer to another vendor they should evaluate. It's great to have insight about competitors to feed positioning, pricing, and sales enablement. But don't shoot yourself in the foot. 

Good luck!