How does your sales pipeline score against your nearest and dearest competitors? If you want to be successful, as well as understanding your consumers, you need to analyse the competition.
As sales people, we know that any organisation must understand the outside forces that affect a customer’s decision to buy from you. If you know the products/services your competitors deliver, how quickly they deliver it, for what price and their business processes, you can compete successfully.
Increasing market share is one of the most important objectives in business. You can be certain your rivals are targeting the same prospects as you, but are they also focusing on other markets that you haven’t identified or have a grasp on? If they are, how have they done it?
It’s important to highlight that just concentrating on the sectors you operate in could result in copying like-for-like. It’s essential to check out new entrants into the market as well as existing competitors, and those who indirectly compete with you from related sectors or other countries.
If you’re not tapping into the power of data to supercharge your sales processes, you won’t just be missing the boat – it’ll be over the horizon before you know it.
What is your competition up to?
It’s essential to monitor how your brand’s awareness is building over time in relation to others. Good research allows you to monitor and assess competitive threats – before it’s too late to respond. To gauge how well you’re doing, look at your target universe and see what % of that market you’re capturing. Then, look at how many other companies, i.e. your competitors, are serving that same market. If you only have 5% of the market and there are only 5 companies serving that market, you can be sure you’re missing out.
To build a picture of your competitors, look at areas such as their location, turnover, age, products/services, resources and pricing. If you can find out the average prices for a competitor, you can work backwards from their declared turnover (if available publically) and work out their approximate customer base – how does it compare to yours?
If you carry out a marketing audit on other businesses, you can find out their core messages, information about their brand image and online activity. Other key information includes how much traffic is a competitor’s website getting, where are their visitors coming from and what search terms are used by internet users to find their site?
Create a benchmark for your sales pipeline
Keeping an eye on how your competitors are performing should not be a one-off exercise. There’s always movement in the markets and progress to be made when it comes to increasing your customer/client base. Business never sleeps – and neither does money!
Knowing what the competition is up to and creating a benchmark for your sales pipeline is useful, however, the most important thing to concentrate on is satisfying your customers/clients and offering a kick ass service. Learn from what others are doing but don’t get so distracted that you lose track of your own business and prioritising your sales activities.