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Conducting Competitor and Market Analysis for Creating Your Sales Strategy

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To create an effective sales strategy, you need to know who your competitors are and how you stand out from them. With this knowledge, you’ll be better able to create a strong value proposition, develop compelling messaging, and choose the right sales techniques.

In this post, we’ll discuss competitive and marketing analyses and how to conduct them to help with creating your sales strategy.

What is a competitive market analysis?

Competitive market analysis involves evaluating the competitive landscape to determine how a business can succeed in the market. Competitive analysis can help a company to develop effective overall business strategies and strategies in areas like product, sales, and marketing. These analyses help businesses understand who their competitors are and how they can position themselves for success.

Why conduct competitor and market analysis?

Why is it important to conduct a competitor and market analysis when creating your sales strategy?

Competitive analysis enables businesses to identify their strengths, weaknesses, and what makes them stand out from the competition. Using this information, companies can determine how best to position themselves to win more sales and which strategies will likely drive the best results.

Beyond sales, competitor market analysis can assist with positioning and targeting for marketing strategies and identifying new market opportunities.

Where to find information for your analysis

Where can you find information for your competitor and market analysis? 

Some information is readily available online. You can, of course, find basic information on your competitors’ websites. Third-party industry analyses and reports are a great source of more impartial details about companies and the market in general. For publicly traded companies, you can also find financial information and reports online.

Another valuable source of competitor information is your sales reps. They have likely talked with leads about competitors and have insights into what your leads think about competitors and how they compare to your business. 

If you don’t have a process set up to collect information about which competitors leads are considering, it’s helpful to start tracking that information in your CRM.

In addition to sales reps, support specialists and other client-facing team members likely have insight into how customers think about your competitors. Additionally, you can interview certain customers who considered or moved over from a competitor.

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What to include in your competitive analysis

How do you conduct competitor and market analysis to help with creating your sales strategy? Here are some steps to follow.

Determine who your competitors are

The first thing you’ll need to do is come up with a list of your competitors. You likely know who your main competitors are, but you can create a more complete list by searching online and gathering information from your sales reps about which companies your leads mention.  

There are several types of competitors to consider:

  • Direct competitors: Your direct competitors meet the same need as you and target the same market. These are the companies you hear about most often from your leads.
  • Indirect competitors: Your indirect competitors will have some overlap with your company in what they offer and who they target, but they won’t match your company’s offers and targets exactly. For example, fast food chains and more standard restaurants meet similar needs but differ somewhat in their offers.
  • Potential competitors: Potential competitors are companies in similar industries who don’t compete with you yet but may move into your space eventually.
  • Partner competitors: Partner competitors don’t compete with you directly but compete with companies you partner with, such as those you subcontract with or those whose technology you use as part of your product or service.

Assess how often you face each competitor

Assessing your competitive relationships further can also help you uncover the best opportunities for improving your positioning.

First, you’ll need to assess how often you’re up against each competitor when working with leads. It’s helpful to track this information in your CRM, and your sales reps can provide additional information about it. 

You can then assess your win and loss rates against each competitor and the size of those deals. This will help you determine your best opportunities when it comes to positioning yourself against competitors. 

Armed with this information, you can prioritize positioning your company against the competitors you face most often and have the most potential revenue to gain from beating more often.

Gather details about your competitors

Once you know which companies you want to look at as part of your competitive analysis, you can begin gathering information about them.

Start with basic information such as their products or services, pricing, and company size. You can use this information to compare your company with competitors and determine how to position yourself.

You can typically find this information online via company websites, profiles, and industry reports.

Research competitors’ sales strategies

You can also research your competitors’ sales strategies as part of your analysis. This information can be challenging to find, but even a little bit of insight can be beneficial in creating your sales strategy.

You may be able to find some relevant information on your competitors’ websites, such as whether they have a partner reselling program. 

The marketing and sales content and materials—such as blog posts, whitepapers, testimonials, and webinars—that companies have on their website may also provide valuable insights. These materials can give you insight into what information competitors typically focus on and how they position themselves.

Sales representatives can also glean useful insights from talking with leads and customers about their experiences with your competitors.

Analyze strengths and weaknesses

Another helpful step is performing SWOT analyses of both your company and competitors. These analyses are valuable for determining how to position yourself against competitors in your sales strategy.

Performing a SWOT analysis involves evaluating your company’s or competitor’s:

  • Strengths: Things your company does especially well and things that help you stand out from competitors
  • Weaknesses: Areas where your company needs improvement or where competitors have an advantage 
  • Opportunities: Chances to improve your company’s position in the market, such as industry trends, shifting customer behavior, or new technologies
  • Threats: External factors that pose a risk or may become a risk to your company, such as supply chain issues, evolving technologies, or increased competition  

To collect this information, work with a variety of people in your organization and consider information you’ve gathered from customers and your competitive research.

Come up with ideas for positioning 

You can then use the information you’ve gathered about your competitors and your assessments of them to determine how best to position yourself. Consider what makes you stand out, who your ideal customers are, and what makes you the right solution for those customers.

You can highlight this positioning in your sales pitches, messaging, and materials and use it to inform sales methods such as which prospects or leads you reach out to and the information you track in your CRM.

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