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Where do you typically uncover the most competitive insights? What frameworks do you use to get clarity on the competitive position?

5 Answers
Alex McDonnell
Alex McDonnell
Airtable Director, Compete & Partner MarketingSeptember 20

Win/loss interviews have consistently been one of our richest sources. Also, plugging into active deals where we support the sales team (we use Gong and CRM to get alerts on which competitive deals we should help with).

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Jennifer Kay Corridon
Jennifer Kay Corridon
Yelp Product Marketing Expert & MentorJune 20

Here are several key sources and frameworks that I find valuable for gaining clarity on the competitive position.

  1. Market and Competitive Research: This includes studying competitor websites, product documentation, press releases, industry reports, and analyst insights.

  2. User Feedback and Reviews: Actively listening to user feedback and reviews, both from our own customers and those of our competitors. For competitors I look at online forums, social media, reviews, G2, and other similar resources. I also tap into customers that have switched from competitors to hear their first hand experiences.

  3. Customer Interviews and Surveys: I also tap into customers that have switched from competitors to hear their first hand experiences.

  4. Product and Feature Comparisons: This analysis can focus on aspects like functionality, performance, user experience, pricing models, and integrations. It allows me to identify areas where we have a competitive advantage or areas where we need to enhance our offerings.

  5. Sales and Customer Success Insights: Collaborating with the sales and customer success teams provides valuable insights into competitive positioning and customer feedback. They interact directly with prospects and customers, hear objections, and understand competitive wins and losses.

    I'll often synthesize my findings into a presentation that would include a good ol' SWOT analysis.

435 Views
Amanda Groves
Amanda Groves
Crossbeam Senior Director Product MarketingNovember 2

I uncover competitive insights from using social listening tools like Gong and Chorus. My PMM team has filters set up so we can listen for key concepts, competitors, and competitive terms. From there we can see historical data and trends on whether or not our positioning of key differentiators influences closed/won rates overtime. This is helps us proactively understand what is top of mind for our prospects in competitive deal cycles.

Another way to suss out competitive insights is your standard closed/won and closed/lost report by competitor in a CRM like SFDC. This should be run by a Sales leader and shared with product to inform product roadmap/innovations + team enablement.

Finally, analyst relations and third-party review sites are another way to understand intent and competitive playing field. I regularly invest in a smattering of all aforementioned channels to stay in the know and ahead of the game.

341 Views
Sahil Sethi
Sahil Sethi
BetterUp Senior Vice President, Product MarketingOctober 5

A lot depends on your industry, category, nature of competition, quality of sales/product analytics. But here are some common tactics

Source of competitive insights

<> Internet - read competitor website, case studies, product docs etc. Sign up for a free account (if possible). Review aggregators like G2, Trustradius etc. gives you impartial customer perspective on the competition

<> Partners - Not uncommon to see partners run impartial feature comparisons between you and your competitors (they may be partners to both)

<> Sales teams - Often see sales reps bring competitor pitch decks, one pagers, pricing , beta announcements, even winback talking points. They usually get it directly from friendly customers 

<> Win-loss surveys - Two audiences here - customers and sales reps. With customers, you can ran win-loss surveys after you lose a deal to a competitor asking for reasons why they chose a competing offer (combination of dropdown options and freeform text). With sales, you can create a similar workflow where every time a deal is lost to a competitor, it would route a similar survey to the reps. If you are a highly transactional, run-rate business, you can get enough quality data points here over a few weeks pointing to powerful insights. Following that up with deep sales rep interviews for more insights . Also companies like Clozd can run entire win-loss programs for you (Hint: Win-loss insights go way beyond competitive intel and provides actionable insights for product, sales, marketing and all other customer touchpoints)

Your CRM is your best friend here

<> Customers - Find which customers picked you over a competitor (Rip and riplace or a Head-to-head). If they are a friendly, they can share their reasons for choosing you. I’ve seen customers willing to share their internal competitive teardowns

The single most effective tactic i have seen for competitive insights is actually creating an internal slack channel where anyone - sales, marketing, product, CS - can contribute any new learning/insight about a competitor. When done well, these are some of the most engaging, active and insightful slack channels

Frameworks to use

  1. A common framework is plotting the various competitors on a 2X2. e.g. Price on one axis and sophistication on another. Or Segment focus on one (SMB, MM, ENT) and Ease of use on another. The combinations are endless
  2. List a few dimensions of comparison. A few - Ease of Use, Time to value, quality of support, quality of success/onboarding, ease of implementation/setup, partner ecosystem. Feature comparisons vary by the category . Pick the categories used by analysts or review aggregators as a starting point
  3. When it comes to enablement, I like to distill competitive insights down to two things- Where we win and Where we lose. Those are the two most important questions in a win-loss interview. Where we win becomes the basis of traps to lay in discovery questions, or Differentiators to highlight in solution demos. Where we lose helps build the right talking points against the traps laid by the competitor. I find that battlecards, competitive trainings etc. are great but at the end of the day - a smart rep can take those two fundamental pieces of information and use them effectively to win
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Linda Sonne-Harrison

Hi,

I have found that sources of competitive insights differ quite a bit from market category to market category. It's looking at the totality of information - what you find publicly, win-loss data, information from customers or analysts, etc. - that is the path to insights. 

I don't use a "framework" to get clarity on the competitive position but look at:

- What matters to customers? 

- What does my product have that other products don't?

- Where is my product particularly strong? 

For a visual view (especially to communicate with executives and sales leaders), a Harvey ball type chart is useful, that is a matrix of competitors comparing features and functionality for each of the criteria that buyers typically evaluate. 

318 Views
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