The Competition is any person, vendor, or initiative competing for the same funds or resources you are.
Each of these types of competition requires a different kind of approach.
Rule one of sales is Do Not Knock Your Competition. Seriously, don’t. It’s fine to have a competitive strategy, but if you think openly criticizing your competition is a strategy, you are wrong. Your strategy sucks.
Your natural competitors
Or initiatives that require the same funds or resources
The organization deciding to build it themselves
Your Competitive Strategy should focus on putting you on the front foot over your competition.
There are three areas of your competition to consider:
Political: Who internally within the customer is aligned towards or is favorable to the competition?
Technical: How does our solution match up against the technical elements of the Decision Criteria?
Commercial: How are we articulating the unique value of our solution and/or the lost value of not selecting our solution?
Summary Snapshot of the sales process:
Early: Is there competition in this deal? Who is it?
Mid: What is our competitive strategy? Is it working?
Late: Are we the superior solution? Are we preferred/chosen?
Your competition can be much more than just your rivals with comparative solutions. Your competition can be other people internally fighting for the same resources either to build their own solution to the problem you solve or to invest in solving another issue altogether.
As a result of this complexity, it is essential that you quickly establish who your competition is and what the Political, Technical, and Commercial landscape with the competition looks like.
Once you have a good handle on who your competition is, you have to understand why your solution is better.
Elite Sellers do this by digging deep into the customer’s Pains and needs using Discovery to find differentiators and to set themselves apart.
Knocking the competition directly rarely has a positive outcome for the party being derogatory, and in some cases, it can backfire on them entirely.
Using a Competitive Strategy Plan can help keep all parts of a Competitive Strategy in focus and the Seller on the path to becoming the chosen vendor.