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Business Case to Add Competitor Battle-card on SFDC

I'm trying to make a business case to add competitor battlecards to SFDC at the opportunity level. Either we build this internally with our CRM team or we outsource a vendor.

The goal is to empower sales reps to sell against competitors. We would do this by identifying when a client is using a competitor and then being able to proactively surface competitor information for the rep to be used during that client conversation

What I need help with is providing answers to below:

1. How do we test this?
2. How do we get the numbers/data associated with this to validate the costs?
3. How do we measure success?

Would love to hear your thoughts or suggestions, or even your experience of doing this in your companies.

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    • 2
      Profile picture of Macky Bradley
      @mackybradley
      ( 13.3k POINTS )
      1 year ago

      Hi @rnoriega Rodney!

      I can appreciate the idea behind moving your battlecards to the opportunity level within SalesForce.com. I love the idea. I would ask before moving forward. There are so many competitors and the battlecard information changes so fast this day and time. I would strongly suggest finding out how the updates are done. I think you have to have a developer correct? Every time you have an update or a new competitive analysis, you will have to send it for an update. Could be rather expensive I am guessing.
      I don’t think you can measure success, it is more of providing a convenience to your sales team right?
      I would either store these battlecards inside your LMS or getting assistance from the marketing department. Then you can have the salesperson download the latest .pdf battlecard into the notes and attachment section of the opportunity.
      I think I would at least consider doing this method instead.

      I hope this helps…… please let me know what route you decide to go.

      Best,

      Macky

      • 2
        Profile picture of Rodney Noriega
        @rnoriega
        ( 630 POINTS )
        1 year ago

        Thanks Macky. I appreciate the feedback.

        I’m coming from a global multi-product enterprise perspective. We have a CRM team that is prioritizing many projects which are tied to revenue. I would like to proactively surface competitor battlecards at the opportunity level (showcase the top 2-3 competitors based on selection of market and product).

        As you pointed out, competitor battlecards change frequently. Rather than manually making updates (which we do currently), we need updates to happen in real-time. I believe this can be done. There are vendors already doing this like Crayon.

        The challenge I’m experiencing is for this to be on our CRM team’s priority, I need to be able to demonstrate impact of integrating this onto SFDC. Somehow tie usage of these battlecards to influenced revenue (that is, does a rep’s usage of the battlecard result in a closed-won deal?). This is very hard to prove, and for me difficult to communicate the overall value of this that would justify the administrative costs required from our CRM team.

        • 2
          Profile picture of Ryan Ridgway
          @ryanridgway1
          ( 290 POINTS )
          1 year ago

          Hey Rodney, my 2c here:
          – On implementing this project, Battlecards could be created as a custom SFDC object that’s updated based on new findings. This way, there never has to be any manual updating on an opp level, rather a few brief changes could be made monthly.
          – As a business use case and trying to plead ROI, I would try to communicate this in terms of opportunity cost i.e. “what does this cost us if we don’t make the change. Like you said, a bit hard to quantify but if you could pitch it as a time-saving opportunity, that may be more quantifiable. Such as “Right now, we’re looking this up manually in a PDF/outside system. By having the competitor battle cards native within SFDC, it saves us 20 seconds per conversation. I have 10 conversations daily where this need arises. There are also 20 others who experience the same. 30 sec x 10 convo’s x 20 team members x 240 working days per year = 24,000 minutes / 400 hours saved per year. Avg. cost per hour for AE’s/individual contributors is $35, so this would save us $14,000 on this aspect alone. That’s not taking into consideration the increased conversion due to better objection handling on the spot.”

          These are fictitious #’s but hopefully that makes sense, lol. Hope this is remotely helpful! – Ryan

          • 1
            Profile picture of Rodney Noriega
            @rnoriega
            ( 630 POINTS )
            1 year ago

            Good call Ryan. Tracking lost productivity time is a good way to validate an internal business case. It means I need to interview reps on how often competitive conversations come up, how they’re currently using their time to gather competitive intel, what sources they’re using, and so on. A great needs analysis opportunity.

        • 0
          Profile picture of Macky Bradley
          @mackybradley
          ( 13.3k POINTS )
          1 year ago

          Hey @rnoriega I researched your response, and thank you by the way. It appears as if SalesForce.Com has a direct integration with Crayon. So there is no headaches except the initial set up?
          So , I would say since there is a direct integration and it does not have to be sent to the developers each time- go for it!
          BOSTON – Oct. 30, 2018 – Crayon, the market and competitive intelligence platform company that enables businesses to track, analyze, and act based on market movements, is arming sales teams with dynamic Battlecards integrated with Salesforce CRM and the world’s first real-time, programmatic competitive intelligence engine, the largest source of real-time competitive intelligence. Crayon monitors more than 300 million pages across 7.6 million domains and 2.4 million companies, and applies algorithmic and machine learning techniques to synthesize and extract actionable competitive intelligence insights for customers.

          Crayon Battlecards allow businesses to easily create, distribute, and measure battlecards that are wired to the latest market movements, allowing them to win more competitive deals while dramatically cutting time to collect and update intel.

          Jonah Quote for BC Press Release

          “The number one problem with today’s battlecards is that they’re perpetually out of date,” said Jonah Lopin, CEO and co-founder at Crayon. “Teams spend countless hours crafting these battlecards, but they become stale days orweeks after they hit publish. Your competitive set doesn’t sit still, and you’ve got to stay in sync. That’s why Crayon is wiring battlecards directly to our real-time market intelligence engine, so that sales teams always have up-to-date, reliable competitive insights that win business.”

          Restaurant POS and management software company Upserve uses Crayon intel to keep up with competitor product updates in a hyper-competitive market. They shared, “By staying on top of our competitors, we’ve been able to arm our sales team with actionable insights that they can act on immediately. As a result of Crayon, our win rate against our top five biggest competitors has improved by 54%.”
          https://www.crayon.co/news/20181030/crayon-launches-battlecards

    • 2
      Profile picture of John Moon
      @johnmoon
      ( 1k POINT )
      1 year ago

      Hi Rodney,

      Interesting project! Full disclosure, Kiite (the company I work for) sells software suited for this kind of use case, but I can share in broad strokes what we’ve seen be useful.

      Because battlecards do change so frequently, I think reps benefit from not only having information pushed from the top down, but also being able to share tribal knowledge across teams in an agile way. This not only has the advantage of getting the most up-to-date info, but you get better buy-in from the frontline reps when they’re contributing toward the knowledge base and they can remix the knowledge for their own uses.

      Some examples of knowledge sharing:

      1) Customer success reps could share with sales reps specific customer stories about switching over, with customer quotes on why, or what specifically about your product have been strengths.

      2) Sales reps could cut out snippets of particularly useful phrasing or ways they handled objections with regard to customers who are considering competitors – and then being able to share that natively in your playbook or battlecard software that lives inside a Salesforce tab.

      Depending on how granular you want your reps to get (may not be practical if your reps are dealing with very high volumes but might be useful if their approach is more targeted), it could be useful if reps could take these battlecards that get surfaced or that they search, and prep those ahead of time in a neat, organized way.

      I agree with the other posters that it’d be difficult to directly validate costs/ROI in terms of metrics. If you have a big enough team, you could always try a pilot first, making sure to implement a system across marketing, customer success and sales, ideally with a good mix of experience and performance levels so you have a good comparison.

      Hope that was somewhat useful. Would be interested to hear what you end up implementing!

      • 1
        Profile picture of Rodney Noriega
        @rnoriega
        ( 630 POINTS )
        1 year ago

        Thanks for the great feedback John. Great points on knowledge sharing. It didn’t even cross my mind, but you’re absolutely right. Give reps the opportunity to collaborate and they’ll be more engaged as they take ownership of their process.

    • 3
      Profile picture of Amy Hrehovcik
      @amyhre
      ( 4.1k POINTS )
      1 year ago

      This is fabulous, Rodney. Your sellers are lucky to have you. I’m going to push back a little here. Let’s just assume I know you are smart and “totally get it” given your question about one of the BEST competitive advantages you can get your team AND your extreme-early adopter status here in this new community. Sorry this is a tad long too. I think it’s worth the read, but I’m biased so, you tell me.

      Good News: Given how you’ve phrased your question, I would guestimate your business case potential to be approximately 5 times greater than what you currently think it is. No joke. Feel free to hit me up at amyhrehovcik@gmail.com and I can help you wizard the sh*t out of it or we continue the convo right here. Or not. Whatevs.

      Bad News: We are missing a few KEY pieces of information that are needed to answers. For example:

      What is the actual business problem here? Who is experiencing it? How do you know it’s a problem? How do you know competitive intelligence is the solution? How are sellers currently getting/using CI? What is the current costs for competitive intelligence? What additional costs are you attempting to validate? The price to purchase the competitive intelligence itself or the technology to use battle cards? What about the TIME costs at play? Who are you looking to validate these costs to? Sales leadership obviously, but what about marketing or product? (Other teams need, want, and use competitive intelligence, I assure you. The more the merrier, mind you. Bigger budgets to draw from once you eventually build that business case.)

      You get the idea.

      The purpose of a business case is to inform a business DECISION for a business PROBLEM. Therefore I would respectfully ask, what are you trying to do? What’s the business problem you’re solving for? Why do you think more competitive intel for sellers will solve your problem?

      Again, empowering sellers with competitive intelligence — a GREAT thing — touches on MANY potential business problems. Similarly, battle cards are one of MANY ways competitive intelligence could empower sellers. Heck, battle cards could be leveraged in MANY ways during the buying journey.

      And sellers are one of MANY functions that could use (and help pay for) competitive intelligence. Again, I can ramble off like 42 reasons how or why competitive intel is relevant to an ORGANIZATION, not just sellers. If you’re looking to make a business case about investing in competitive intel, I would pull from AS MANY BUDGETS AS POSSIBLE. Get as many “functionality requests” as possible.

      Six final thoughts for the people.

      Most people think business cases and or ROI is an A vs. B decision exclusively. This is wrong. ROI is actually an A vs. B, C, or D decision. “D”, my personal favorite, equals “Do Nothing”. Doing nothing is a decision made Every. Single. Day. The quantifying the costs to do nothing are mad-fun. (google opportunity cost)

      Beware straight data pulls from salesforce as a source of truth for ‘win-loss’ data. For example, at my last company, the ONLY validation rule they built into their Salesforce instance was at the end of the opportunity. Specifically, if you wanted to close an opportunity, you were forced to select a reason as to why the deal did not close. Sadly (for Leadership), Sales Ops neglected to include the “I don’t know, I was ghosted” option. Read: the closed-lost data was beyond BAAAADDDD. You’re better off making no decision than a decision based on BAD data.

      If you’re purporting to aid sellers, make sure to ASK THEM if, how, or why competitive intel is relevant for them. Ask THEM if they ever feel blindsided during opportunities by the presence of a competitor. Ask THEM if they’re asking about the other tools the prospect is evaluating during the buying process? Et cetera.

      When I make business cases, I’m looking to touch on as many directors and director budgets as possible. It will only increase your chances of a yes. Make sure to look at competitive intel and the organization as a whole, not just something for the sellers. ASK the questions to sales managers. Marketers. Product. L&D (hopefully we’re training new hires on the competitive landscape during onboarding.)
      Figure out how to measure TIME. The time it takes people to do this research is TREMENDOUS.

      CI is one of the BEST data streams to crowdsource internally. Give the team a place to catalog what they’re learning in real-time.

      Make sure to TEACH YOUR SELLERS how to use competitive intel or else everything you do and or buy is for naught. Similarly, if this is about deals being cataloged as ‘closed lost’ due to competitor by the sellers, TEACH THEM how to get the REAL reason why the opportunity did not close. Buyers ALWAYS give this answer. It’s easy to give. It’s also RARELY the real reason.

      • 0
        Profile picture of Rodney Noriega
        @rnoriega
        ( 630 POINTS )
        1 year ago

        Thanks Amy. I really enjoyed reading this. So many useful nuggets of info.

        The big takeaway from your feedback is to flush out the actual business problem. Admittedly I’m going straight for the CI solution without even uncovering and measuring the impact of the problem. I strongly believe the problem exists. It just needs to be validated, and you’ve asked some really great questions to help me get going.

        • 0
          Profile picture of Rodney Noriega
          @rnoriega
          ( 630 POINTS )
          1 year ago

          @amyhre will take this offline and send you an email

          • 0
            Profile picture of Amy Hrehovcik
            @amyhre
            ( 4.1k POINTS )
            1 year ago

            Looking forward to it!

            • 0
              Profile picture of Amy Hrehovcik
              @amyhre
              ( 4.1k POINTS )
              1 year ago

              PS: Read on of the above answers, Rodney. Let the public record show, you can absolutely the measure the success or impact of EVERYTHING.

              I think the above commenter meant to communicate that a lagging indicator like new revenue created does not work because CI is only a correlating factor for the win, not the cause of the win (aka causation).

              Again, there are quite a few success metrics you can position and or pitch to your leadership team — to use to report back after the fact — which will absolutely prove out the impact of a competitive intelligence investment.

    • 0
      Profile picture of Olivier Tytgat
      @olivier-salesenabler
      ( 515 POINTS )
      1 year ago

      Might be a little bit “short-sighted” but is it an option to have some reps using them (as a pdf file or whatever) and simply track if their closing has gone up?
      Some things to take into account:
      – Are they able to have a better conversation based on that? (KPI: does the prospect/lead show more interest now?)
      – Have they discovered new info about that competitor?
      – Does it help them to decide internally? (Ben Franklin close)

      Let me know what you think!

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