Build Competitive Intelligence to Improve Sales Win Rates

Competitive intelligence (CI) leaders can best deliver CI-influenced sales wins by arming sellers with up-to-date battlecards, product alignment, and a budget that supports success.

Build Competitive Intelligence to Improve Sales Win Rates

Member Challenge

  • Rapid technological advancements: Keeping up with the swift pace of tech innovation and emerging tools, frameworks, and methodologies.
  • Diverse and fragmented competition: Monitoring numerous competitors, from startups to giants, including indirect players and potential entrants.
  • Complex buying cycles: Understanding the multifaceted B2B sales cycle, competitor positioning, and post-sale customer relationship management.
  • Data overload and quality: Managing vast data sources, ensuring relevancy, and maintaining data credibility amidst potential misinformation.

Our Advice

Critical Insight

  • A sales-focused competitive intelligence program is most effective when enabling sellers to improve their win rates against key competitors, stay abreast of changes in the competitive landscape, and be measured by CI-influenced wins.
  • A well-designed competitive intelligence program can help sales teams amplify your product and company capability strengths and overcome your weaknesses during sales interactions, making them more effective at winning deals over key competitors.
  • To remove barriers in competitive intelligence, one must address the main challenge of inadequate executive support by educating stakeholders on CI benefits, ensuring resource acquisition, making reliable data source investments, fostering a collaborative culture, and maintaining ethical and legal compliance.
Competitive intelligence for sales presents a viable, potentially game-changing opportunity if appropriately evaluated and resources (people, processes, resources, and technology) are formally committed and managed throughout all phases of the sales cycle.

Impact and Result

This SoftwareReviews blueprint provides product management or a competitive intelligence team with guidance, tools, sample training agendas, and training output while measuring CI influence in competitive sales situations.

Sales CI is:

  • Gathering and analyzing information about competitors, such as their products, pricing, marketing strategies, sales tactics, strengths, and weaknesses.
  • Using insights gained from CI to inform sales strategy and tactics against key competitors. Outcomes include developing more effective messaging and positioning, identifying pricing and packaging opportunities, and handling competitive threats.
  • Providing sales teams with intelligence on customer needs, preferences, and pain points relative to key competitors to help them tailor their competitive positioning to win more business.
  • Creating a deep understanding of the competitive landscape to inform sales about new competitors as they emerge.
  • Conducted ethically and within legal and regulatory boundaries.

Research & Tools

Name Actions

1. Build Competitive Intelligence to Improve Sales Win Rates Storyboard – Research that shows how using product management can significantly increase win rates and measure the success of CI team funding from management.

By following the step-by-step process, you can learn how to compare the ranking of your product, brand, or company against top competitors using industry benchmarks and best practices.

Name Actions
Build Competitive Intelligence to Improve Sales Win Rates – Phases 1-3

2. Build Competitive Intelligence to Improve Sales Win Rates Market Analysis and Sales Battlecards – A detailed template to guide you in building a CI team to research and provide sales assets to help sales win in a competitive market.

This fully customizable, prebuilt PowerPoint presentation template documents the market analysis results and produces the sales battlecards.

Name Actions
Build Competitive Intelligence to Improve Sales Win Rates Market Analysis and Sales Battlecards

3. Build Competitive Intelligence to Improve Sales Win Rates Executive Presentation – A detailed document that will guide executives to gain feedback on your sales for the CI program and ROI funding.

This guide and presentation template enables you to record feedback from executives and stakeholders on your approach to evaluating CI for sales research and ROI for CI funding.

Name Actions
Build Competitive Intelligence to Improve Sales Win Rates Executive Presentation

4. Build Competitive Intelligence to Improve Sales Win Rates Workbook – A tool to help you research and prioritize competitors and build CD sales data for output into battlecards.

This 12-tab Excel workbook will determine your competitors' strengths and weaknesses as they relate to your sales CI strategy and positioning. Develop competitive criteria, models, and data to help evaluate your desired sales opportunities to correctly position your company and products in your battlecards. The workbook includes budget, win/loss analysis, win/loss ROI, and customer interview questions as well as tracking and external reviews, market share, SWOT, and websites for research.


Name Actions
Build Competitive Intelligence to Improve Sales Win Rates Workbook

Onsite Workshop: Build Competitive Intelligence to Improve Sales Win Rates

Onsite workshops offer an easy way to accelerate your project. If you are unable to do the project yourself, and a Guided Implementation isn't enough, we offer low-cost onsite delivery of our project workshops. We take you through every phase of your project and ensure that you have a roadmap in place to complete your project successfully.

Do-It-Yourself Implementation

The slides in this Best Practice Blueprint will walk you step-by-step through every phase of your project with supporting tools and templates ready for you to use.

Project Accelerator Workshop

You can also use this Best Practice Blueprint to facilitate your own project accelerator workshop within your organization using the workshop slides and facilitation instructions provided in the Appendix.

Module 1: Build CI Team for Sales Engagement

The Purpose

Gain alignment, set goals, objectives, and timelines.

Key Benefits Achieved

CI team plan is defined and the project timelines are identified.

Activities Outputs
1.1 Identify team members, roles, and responsibilities.
  • Documented scope and priorities for sales CI research goals and objectives.
1.2 Establish timelines and project workflow.
  • Documented scope and priorities for sales CI research goals and objectives.
1.3 Document your current budget, resources, goals, and objectives against timelines and the CI sales strategy.
  • Documented scope and priorities for sales CI research goals and objectives.
1.4 Train on SR CI workbook and PowerPoint tools. Modify or add any missing requirements as needed.
  • Assessment of your competitive intelligence position using a guided approach to document your CI Sales research assets.
1.5 Modify customer win/loss questions.
  • Assessment of your competitive intelligence position using a guided approach to document your CI Sales research assets.

Module 2: Build CI Framework

The Purpose

Develop CI assets for sales and market analysis research tools.

Key Benefits Achieved

CI assets tools created and tested for information gathering and analysis.

Activities Outputs
2.1 Continue to Modify SR CI workbook templates to reflect your CI capabilities.
  • Identified and prioritized customer and competitor information for sale.
2.2 Identify top sales reps from the win/loss analysis to group interview them and gather customer contacts.
  • Identified and prioritized customer and competitor information for sale.
2.3 Finish modifying customer questions.
  • Identified and prioritized customer and competitor information for sale.
2.4 Establish CI criteria and battlecard attributes.
  • Identified and prioritized customer and competitor information for sale.

Module 3: Conduct CI Research and Customer Interviews

The Purpose

To understand what the market and customers say about you and your competitors’ company and products.

Key Benefits Achieved

Prefinal documents to test and confirm to meet CI sales needs.

Activities Outputs
3.1 Hold customer interviews and use CI workbook criteria as a research guide (over four weeks).
  • CI research assets to test sales battlecards with sales with proven facts and methods.
3.2 Hold review session after initial three to four interviews to adjust customer interview approach or CI criteria.
  • CI research assets to test sales battlecards with sales with proven facts and methods.

Module 4: Verify Data Sources are Accurate and Interview is Ready

The Purpose

Test, train, and measure CI findings with sales ready.

Key Benefits Achieved

Final preparations are completed.

Activities Outputs
4.1 Review and test draft CI battlecards with a few sales reps.
  • Completed and tested sales battlecards and other CI assets.
4.2 Finalize CI battlecards and plans for training and collaboration.
  • Completed and tested sales battlecards and other CI assets.
4.3 Finalize executive presentation for how the CI Team will be measured for success and future budget/resource requirements.
  • Build CI to Improve Sales Win Rates team presentation.
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