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Business development is a complex mix of research, timing, knowledge and crafting a confident, compelling message when called upon, sometimes on a moment’s notice. It’s never easy, and the dynamic of how to sell is changing at warp speed. However, there are some things that may never change in the sales environment, one of which is to know and understand your competition and how your own business stacks up.


Even in today’s shared, crowd sourced economy where big businesses that do not own brick and mortar buildings, factories or even the products they sell, they still need to know about good business development practices, because when the chips are down, sales does cure all.

Create A Competitor Cheat Sheet

Every company that has a sales team, whether it’s one person or one thousand, all of them should have a competitor cheat sheet. This enables them to quickly reference important information when in the middle of a potential sales dialogue. This works best for outbound phone sales, however, it also works for consultative sales and even for marketing teams.

A competitor cheat sheet is a simple list of attributes of your competition as well as how your business intersects and competes in certain areas. That is where the real “sale” happens and also where customers are lost. Here are 5 Tips For Creating a Competitor Cheat Sheet. These are questions designed to get your sales team thinking about the most important attributes of your competitors and your own business.

  1. List the top 5 competitors:
    • Why are they considered a competitor?
    • What do they offer that your business does not?
  2. In what ways are they growing?
    • Are they on to something that you have not thought about yet?
    • Are they growing in ways that you business can easily adopt?
  3. What are their strengths and their weaknesses?
    • List their top strengths that hurt your business the most
    • List their most glaring weaknesses that help your company the most
  4. What objections does your sales team face when a competitor’s name brand is mentioned?
    • List the objections that are occurring during the sales process
    • Each competitor should have a unique list
  5. In what ways can your sales team overcome those objections? –This is the intersection point.
    • This is how your sales team reacts to objections and turns the prospective customer around and purchases from your company
    • Roll-play with several objections. Create a narrative of bullet points and phrases designed to overcome specific objections.
    • In some cases, this is using the qualities and strengths of your business to turn a prospect around


Why The Intersection Point Is So Important

In the B2C and B2B buying process, the prospective buyer typically goes through a consideration stage where they are comparing businesses to one another. It’s critical not only for marketers to know this information to help create more effective content, but it’s even more important the sales team to understand. Why? Because the intersection point I am referring to is exactly when your business offerings are competing with another business. If your team fully understands how to overcome objections faced at this moment and what to say… the taste of sweet success will come even more.

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A Quick Reference Guide For Your Sales Team

The cheat sheet that you create does not need a great deal of information, but it does need enough so that your sales team has a quick reference guide to be placed either on their desk, on their smartphone or even in their memory. Face-to-face business development it still very common and how many small to medium size businesses grow relationships, partnerships and sell their products and services. When your sales team fully understands the information on the competition cheat sheet and how to communicate it convincingly at the intersection point of a prospective sale, this is when their close rate will increase and revenues will increase as well.

Do Marketing Teams Need To Know This?

Absolutely. By going through this exercise for everyone on the marketing team, it allows them to be more knowledgeable about the important ingredients they need to know for developing more effective content. Whether this content is on the website, in eBooks, blogs, online ads, brochures, videos or any sales tool, the marketing message also has the opportunity to meet prospective customers at the intersection point and turn them around. This is where content marketing becomes very important. We know that when marketing content is clear, concise and actionable and the sales team is also trained using some of the same material, they will become more successful in their business development efforts.

YourBrandExposed looks at the business of digital using a creative, analytical, innovative marketing perspective. We’re a consultative and tactical resource for companies looking to leverage the power of digital, web, social and content marketing strategies. Contact us if you’re feeling the digital squeeze on how to best market and grow your company.

Scott MacFarland – Chief Content Marketer | Digital Strategist

HuffingtonPost | Relevance | Natcom Global

Linkedin | Twitter: @scmacfarland


Photo Credit: CC0 License





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