Destroying the competition with superior analytics

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Destroying the competition with superior analytics

  1. 1. Mark WoodSeptember 10, 2011
  2. 2. 1. Improve the effectiveness of your sales channel(s) You should be able to measure an improvement in win-loss percentage or sales cycle length2. Improve the effectiveness of targeted marketing You should be able to measure an increase in lead generation for specific market segments3. Inform your own decision making as a PM Be careful! Don’t assume the opposing product manager knows the market as well as or better than you do.© Mark Wood 2011. All Rights Reserved.
  3. 3.  Other suggestions for how to measure the effect of Competitive Analysis on business efficiency?© Mark Wood 2011. All Rights Reserved.
  4. 4. Source Credibility How to get it • Buy it • Trade for itTheir product 100% • Have one of their customers give you accessTheir customers & • User groups • CAC/Win-loss • Help forum 75%prospects • Enhancement forum • Blogs, social media • Web site, white papers, etc. • SEC filingsTheir marketing 50% • Their social media feeds • TradeshowsIndustry analysts 50% • Industry analysts libraries • Job boards • SEO analytics/adword buysInternet chatter 25% • LinkedIn.com • Google Alerts • Hire them • Interview/phone screen themTheir employees ** • Dumpster dive© Mark Wood 2011. All Rights Reserved.
  5. 5.  Other data sources? Ways to get them?© Mark Wood 2011. All Rights Reserved.
  6. 6.  Product vs. Product  “My product is a better fit for you than theirs is”  “My product does more”  “My product costs less” Product Line vs. Product Line  “Our product line is [ superior | more integrated ] than theirs” Company vs. Company  “We are a better partner for you (sales, support, services, etc.)”  “Nobody ever got fired for buying IBM”© Mark Wood 2011. All Rights Reserved.
  7. 7.  One for you  Another for internal (sales) consumption  Another (?) for external use Important! Create a taxonomy  I use *any* feature that *any* competitor claims  Objectivity is key here – without this, it’s just a marketing piece  However, use some judgment; market must care© Mark Wood 2011. All Rights Reserved.
  8. 8.  Don’t just do product features  Include relevant product line or company data.  Are you $45B company competing with a startup? Make financial stability an issue. Make “Will they be around tomorrow?” or “Will they be bought by someone you dislike?” issues Identify 3-5 items that form the foundation of your competitive reasoning and are:  Defensible  Demonstrable  Meaningful to the buyer  Avoid hype or BS  This is why you should do this!!© Mark Wood 2011. All Rights Reserved.
  9. 9.  I like to do this off the matrix  Strength: We have it, others don’t  Weakness: We lack it, others have it  Opportunity: We lack it, others lack it, too  Common: We have it, others do, too = table stakes for the market  Threats are things not on the matrix yet Easy to automate in Excel  Set a global threshold ($T$1)  IF (AND(our cell is blank, count of competitors > THRESHOLD), “W”, “”)© Mark Wood 2011. All Rights Reserved.
  10. 10.  When you know  What your strengths are and  How to compete most effectively You can help sales qualify prospects more quickly Try to give them three questions they can ask to identify deals they can win more quickly If used by sales, this can yield better win-loss and shorter sales cycles© Mark Wood 2011. All Rights Reserved.
  11. 11.  You can also poison the mind of the prospect against specific competition when you have this information I like to give sales Five Questions to make sure remain in the mind of the prospect  Subtle: Raise these as important advantages without mentioning competitors explicitly  Not-so-subtle: Say “Ask these guys these questions when they show up”  Important: These must be real issues and not easily refuted. If the competitor can easily bat these away, then your sales team loses credibility© Mark Wood 2011. All Rights Reserved.
  12. 12.  A second-order analysis  Look at the competitive matrix with a competitor’s eye  What would you say if you were the competitor?  How can your sales team respond effectively?  Can you plant your responses in the mind of the prospect before the competition does, so that competition strategy is DOA? I like to give the sales team “Three Issues the Competition Will Raise and How To Respond”© Mark Wood 2011. All Rights Reserved.
  13. 13.  A way to help Marketing is to write positioning documents for each of your products These should  Emphasize your key competitive advantages AND  Help Marketing identify high-quality prospect for the product© Mark Wood 2011. All Rights Reserved.
  14. 14.  Any other assets y’all have created or used effectively?© Mark Wood 2011. All Rights Reserved.
  15. 15.  A solid analysis, with competitor product/service available, takes a full week.  Including time to create sales and marketing assets  Involving QA can sometimes be positive, too I like to try and update assets at least once per year  But you may need to do it more often If you’re successful with Sales and Marketing, they’ll become allies in making time to do this© Mark Wood 2011. All Rights Reserved.
  16. 16.  Thanks for your participation today! Enjoy the rest of ProductCamp.© Mark Wood 2011. All Rights Reserved.

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