What metric, goal or KPI can you put on providing competitive intelligence to the company or product teams?
Ultimately, the change in win rate against that particular competitor before vs. after your CI project.
There are sub goals and metrics to unpack here:
- QoQ change in the competitor features & functions, and messaging
- The pace at which your product team is able to ship against new intel
- PM survey results on the usefulness of your CI program
This may be a controversial statement, but after seeing CI programs run out of Product, PMM, and Ops at different companies, I think the actual research work belongs in Product -- they're the true owners of what's being scoped and built, and should be invested in delivering a better product. PMM can stil own the pricing/packaging/messaging piece.
This really depends on the actual goal of a CI program, but here are a few ideas:
For the sales team:
- Competitive win rates (pre and post intel)
- Sales confidence on competitive pitching (This is something you can measure using surveys at a regular cadence like quarterly)
For the product team:
- Feature parity if that is what you are focused on
- Competitive differentiation - if you really need a metric you can create a percentage scale and see how that changes over time
For the marketing team
- If you have competitive materials or webpages - measure engagement and conversions
1. Sales confidence - While not a metric measured in SFDC, you can work with enablement to craft a pre and post sales confidence metric to assess how confident reps feel in navigating competitive conversations.
2. Competitive win rate - You're likely already measuring win rate, but competitive win rate will give you a direct KPI to measure the improvment in closing competitive deals.
3. [ Product specific] Reduction in lost deals due to product capabilities - To measure this metric you'll need to be tracking lost reason and have a drop-down for reps to choose "product gap."
Another great question, thanks! I have been in a few roles where my job was to provide market data, competitive intelligence etc to other teams (CEO, Product, Sales etc) within the org. These teams would use this information to make strategic decisions, use them in sales presentations, etc but to put a common metric on providing competitive intelligence was hard. So we would send a quarterly survey to other teams within the org to participate in an anoynmous survey asking them about the usefulness of the competitive intelligence my team was providing. Think of it as a CSAT or a NPS survey to measure if they found your services helpful, will they come back to you etc.
It's great to see companies putting more emphasis on measuring this. It's definitely a challenge, but if competitive investments aren't measured, it's less likely they'll be appreciated or incorporated into key processes.
The ideal measure of competitive intelligence is win rate. Measured on a quarterly basis (and at the close of a quarter) it can indicate if the organization is competing more effectively in qualified opportunities. It's important to note that like most PMM metrics, win rate is complex and can be influenced by many factors: sales training, market factors, product delivery, etc. But, when measured consistently you can see lift over time. The counterbalance to this is that it's directly connected to the company's top line. Higher win rates drives more revenue drives more investment in sales, marketing, and product.
Also, by tying this to opporunities, it gives you any necessary leverage to get competitor data directly into CRM. "Oh, you want to know if we're improving our win rate against Competitor X? Well, there are only 5 opportunities tagged with that data out of 1,000 open opps. I need every opportunity tagged with competition by the time we get to Stage 3 to know how to prioritize this."
Depending on your market and stage, you can get more specific. Win rates in a given segement, or versus a specific competitor or tier of competitor.
Love this question!
I'd think about it in terms of outcomes, and effectiveness.
So I'd look at metrics like:
- Competitive Win Rates
- Usage - To be clear, I like to look at this through the lens of whether the usage of a particular piece of competitive content is impacting the sales cycle and not just pure usage of content.
- Product Feedback/Usage
Depending on the size and stage of your company, you may also have things like:
- Competitive SEO - If you use a tool lke SEMRush then you'll be able to track competitive search positions and rankings compared to where you are, and how it's trending over time.
- Brand / SOV - This is very high-level, but if you work for a company that is well-known or intently focused on building brand it's a metric that is likely tracked.
Since you mentioned your company tracks every project I think this can also depend on the maturity of your CI program. But work backwards and start with the outcome you're trying to drive, and then determine what needs to be measured to achieve that objective.
For the Sales side, you can look at:
- competitive win/loss rates
- win rates of deals that used competitive support or resources vs. did not
- ultimately, market share over time
But for the Product teams or overall company distribution of intelligence, it's tough, because it's not as close to a specific outcome. May need to look at more qualitative measures like positive feedback from your Product teams, saying that your CI helped them make a specific decision faster or more confidently. Good luck!
Competitive win rate is a great north star goal. But it can be challenging to accurately impact that in a positive way in a short amount of time.
A couple other KPIs I've used in the past and that I recommend:
1. Competitor confidence (from the sales team)
2. Project-based contribution
If you can increase the confidence of your sales team when it comes to competitors, you can infer that it will positively impact your competitive win rate. So every 6 month, I send a survey to my entire sales team and ask them to fill it out. Here's what it looks like:
2. Team (e.g. XDR, Account Executive, Customer Success, etc.)
3. How long have you worked at *company*?
4. How confident are you competing against Competitor X? (1 - 5)
5. How confident are you competing against Competitor Y? (1 - 5)
6. How confident are you competing against Competitor Z? (1 - 5)
7. How often do you use competitive collateral like battlecards, one-pagers, etc.?
8. How impactful has our competitive collateral and training been for you?
9. What would help you win more competitive deals? (open text field)
If I've done my job, the answers to 4 - 6 should go up over time, and the answers to 7 and 8 should be "very often" :-) I can't tell you how helpful this has been for me in guiding what I work on with my programs.
And then in terms of project-based contributions, try to find big projects happening in your company. This could be a website revamp, launching a big new product, revamping employee onboarding, etc.
Figure out a way to get involved. If you're revamping the website, maybe look into advising on compare landing pages. If you're launching a new product, make sure the team is equipped with what the landscape offers that's similar. You get the idea. All of these things positively contribute to how your organization goes to market.
Competitive win rate! This requires reps to record (and for your CRM to have a field for) competitor (existing -rip and replace - or exploring - head to head). This is the most direct way to see if you are moving the needle against your core competitors. Secondary metrics may include things like analyst and review site achievement (i.e. G2 ranking) or traffic and search relevance for comparrison pages (i.e. a competitive landing page). This answer is highly dependent on which data exists in your CRM - if competitor is not trackable, secondary metrics are a good proxy / directional indicator.
Terrific question! A few metrics that are key to competitive intel:
Competitive Intel 101 Metrics
1. Sales engagement -- Is your sales team using the competitive content that your team is developing? If you use a sales enablement platform (we use Highspot), getting this data is much easier. Set your OKRs on increasing sales engagement with this type of content.
2. Sales satisfaction -- This is a more qualitative measure, but very important. Find out whether your sales team feels more confident in the conversations they have with prospects and existing customers. If you want a more quantitative measure, consider sending an NPS specific to your competitive intel to your sales team on a quarterly or bi-annual basis.
Advanced Competitive Intel Metrics
3. Impact on sales success -- Once you've established your foundation with #1#1 and #2,#2, you can take it to the next level by measuring the impact of competitive intel content on closed/won and accelerating the sales cycle. You can do this most effectively if your sales team uses an enablement platform that associates content with sales engagements.
4. Impact on product roadmap & GTM strategy -- At its best, competitive intel can influence product roadmap and go-to-market strategy. I recommend qualitative measures to gauge success. Look at the degree to which company strategy is informed by your competitive insights.
: Great competitive intel makes a product marketer an MVP across the company. Count how many high-fives you get from sales, product, customer success, and marketing. If the number is going up-and-to-the-right, you're doing something right.
Teams should be tracking win/loss rates vs specific competitors. This information is most easily gathered and tracked via the sales team (or possibly solutions eng) and stored in a system of record like Salesforce. Additional detail around win/loss reasons when in a competitive situation is key to measuring success. It's not perfect data and should be viewed through a lens of subjectivity. Is there a product gap vs a competitor that led to a win or loss? Was it a pricing decision? Was the seller able to position your product in a way that closed the deal? If PMM and product are prioritizing competitive intel and strategy (this does NOT mean just doing everything that your customers are doing), then you should see improving win/loss rates.
I'm a fan of tracking closed-won rates against a top competitor. It's a good long-term trend to tell if your positioning is working and your product is growing stronger in the areas where it had been weak. I don't track that monthly, but rather quarter over quarter or even year over year as a health barometer.
The end game is for customers to choose your solutions and brand over the competition, so the most meaningful KPI is your win rate against against different competitors when you encounter them in deals. To measure that, you need to make sure your sales team is documenting who they encounter in each opportunity.
As a personal KPI, you could provide a quarterly or even monthly analysis and update with actionable insights and recommendations regarding competition. In my experience, a lot of real-time and one-off competitive intel gets lost. Product development cadence and process is just different than marketing and sales. Documentation and timely injection of information are really important when introducing insights from the marketplace into product development.
You can also set some goals across the customer journey--admittedly, some of these are boxes to check as opposed to metrics to measure.
Top of Funnel: Including competitive differentiation in your primary brand messaging and properties (websites, marketing campaigns, social, etc., wherever you think prospects are gaining awareness and familiarity with you). You can measure your SEO and web performance against close competitors.
Middle of Funnel: Including competitive differentiation in the materials, campaigns and other plays used to get prospects engaged with you and especially in product education materials.
Bottom of Funnel: Enabling the sales team with battlecards, objection handling, rip-and-replace customer stories, and updating sales materials to reflect what has been learned.