How much does your sales team know about your competitors?
The chance is that even if they know some information about these important items, they probably don’t know enough. Your sales reps need to be well-versed in all things related to your competitors’ products, features, and services and how they're compared to your own.
Your potential clients are likely to ask you questions about your competitors to see if you can offer them something better. This is why sales battlecards are necessary for your sales reps to use to win deals. They help your sales team to “battle” against your competitor so you can beat your competitors to the deal.
Let's review some essential information about sales battlecards with tips and templates.
What Is a Sales Battlecard?
Sales battlecards are essentially small snippets of important information presented in a concise way that center on your customers, your product, the market, and especially your competition. The information on a sales battlecard can be presented as text, videos, or graphics.
Think of sales battlecards as a cheat sheet for several important factors involved in working toward the close of a sale. They can help your business in a variety of ways.
The Benefits of Using a Sales Battlecard
They Target the Competition.
Knowing your competitors is a great way to differentiate yourself from them.
Sales battlecards give you an opportunity to thoroughly research your competitors so you can give your potential clients an accurate idea of how you stack up against them on sales calls.
They Help Sales Reps Win Deals.
People want information, and they want it fast. A salesperson who is prepared to answer any and all questions while providing value has a greater chance of winning deals.
Sales battlecards are an easy way for your sales team to have the information they need at their fingertips.
They Boost Your Sales Reps’ Confidence.
It can take a while for your sales reps to remember the ins and outs of what your company offers and how those offerings can help future clients more so than the competition.
Some sales team members may feel more confident when they have a simple sheet they can use at any moment to answer questions or concerns that may come up in a sales call meeting.
They Keep Your Sales Teams Ready for Anything.
Sales battlecards are a compilation of several pieces of information from various departments in your organization.
This way there is no back and forth between your leads and your sales team. They won’t have to stop a conversation to do research on key information because they’ll already know when they review the battlecard.
How Sales Uses Battlecards
Sales teams can use battlecards during a variety of sales situations. Each sales team member uses battlecards differently, but the two main ways they are used are:
- To reference before sales prospecting calls.
- To use during sales calls.
The cards are supposed to be key pieces of reference information that help to enhance the knowledge of a sales team member to help close a sale.
Types of Sales Battlecards
The way sales use battlecards also depends on the type of battlecard they are using. Here are a few different types of battlecards
Competitor battlecards include relevant information about a company’s competitors such as their market value, solution overview, and annual run rate. You can do a single competitor analysis, a multi-competitor analysis, or a side-by-side comparison.
Product battlecards include all the information about your product features that sales reps need to know.
These cards are full of information and answers to questions that potential customers could ask the salesperson.
Value Proposition-Based Battlecards
This battlecard focuses on capturing the information on target customers to help provide them value.
This battlecard is a highly-detailed card that includes everything a salesperson needs to know so they don’t have to look elsewhere for information.
How to Create a Sales Battlecard: 8 Simple Steps
Here are the basic steps you can take to kickstart your sales battlecard creation:
1. Talk to Your Sales Team About Their Needs.
Before you create your battlecard, you’ll need to talk to your sales team to see what challenges you need to address.
Here are some possible challenges you can address:
- There may be a specific competitor that your sales reps have a hard time selling against.
- New salespeople may need more guidance on your value propositions or competitive advantage.
- Your team might be struggling to break into a new target market.
- The details, features, and benefits of a new product aren’t widely known or are difficult to describe by your sales team members.
2. Set Specific Goals.
At surface level, battlecards are intended to help sales teams close more deals. Based on the challenges you found above, try to figure out what goals align with the information you can add to the battlecards.
Some examples of goals you may set include:
- Increase upsell success by 15 percent.
- Keep 10 percent more deals instead of losing them to a competitor.
- Bring in five new customers per quarter.
3. Collect Key Details.
Details are needed from each department to create great battlecards. Collect details from sales, marketing, customer service, and subject matter experts to make your message that much more impactful.
For example, your sales team can give you insights on prospect objections, and the marketing team can give you details on value propositions that have high conversion rates.
4. Use a Battlecard Template.
Battlecard templates save you time spent creating one from scratch. All you have to do is plug details into the template for your business and your competitors.
There are templates for each type of battlecard that you may use.
5. Pick Your Categories.
You need to select the areas you excel in, and you need to assess the ways in which your competitors outperform you.
Some of the areas or topic categories you can compare your brand to your competitors include:
Make sure your comparison is honest so that you can explain why a competitor is better than you in a certain area. Your prospects will appreciate your honesty, and they will set proper expectations of what you can provide them.
6. Choose Your Competitors.
Make a list of your competitors and select the ones that come up in your buyer’s journey the most often. Once you choose your competitors, you can decide whether or not to use a one-to-one battlecard or a multi-competitor card.
If a competitor is a passing mention in early conversations but not endgame threats, then you can include them in a multi-competitor battlecard.
Competitors that pose a threat in the endgame of a deal require a one-to-one battlecard.
7. Conduct Thorough Research.
Make sure your research about your competitors is thorough so you don’t tell your prospects incorrect information about them.
Battlecards are a team effort so check with other teams across your organization.
Sales teams know who your competitors are, marketing knows about their reviews, brands, and online presence, and your customer support team knows why they may be losing clients.
Take notes on the things they say about your competitors, and check out your competitors’ websites to find out more information, such as objective facts and details.
You may also consider searching for mentions of your competitors on social media or on other news media sites.
Once you conduct the necessary research, you’ll have enough information about each of your competitors to make a battlecard that is detailed and helpful.
8. Update Your Content Regularly.
Things change. You may update your products and features, or your competitors may change.
Battlecards are an ongoing project, and you must refresh the consistently to update your information as well as your competitors’ information. This ensures you have the correct information on them at all times for your sales team.
Creating a sales battlecard is just the first step. You also need to know how to use them to help you reach the goals and objectives you established.
How to Use a Battlecard in Sales: Tips and Best Practices
Battlecards aren't something you can master your first time around, but try using these tips and best practices to help you make the most out of your cards:
Keep the Information on the Card Short and Concise.
Only include necessary information on your battlecard.
Sales team members should be able to find what they are looking for fast. They can’t do this if the information is too dense.
Store Them in a Central Location.
Battlecards won’t do your team any good unless they can access the battlecards at any and all times.
A good place to store them could be in your Google drive, your CRM, or your sales enablement platform.
Measure How Often the Cards Are Used.
Measuring the view count of your cards is important so you can cross-reference them with your wins.
Make sure you store them in a place that counts the views so you know how often your sales reps use them. This helps you to figure out if your battlecards are effective.
Include Responses to Common Objections or FAQs.
It is important for your sales reps to respond to common objections in the best possible way each time they come up.
Include sample responses on the battlecard so reps aren’t caught off guard by questions or objections again. They should know just what to say to continue the conversation until they can close the deal.
Provide Use Cases or Examples.
Some people will want to know how your solutions work beyond you telling them that they do. They will want proof. Do your sales reps know about your use cases off the top of their heads?
Include use cases from different industries to provide your sales team with concrete facts and stats about the real-life benefits your product or service provides.
Your Free Sales Battlecard Templates
Here are three templates you can use to build your own sales battlecards:
The multi-competitor analysis template is good for comparing your business to multiple competitors. They don’t include detailed information on every competitor. Instead, they are overviews of each competitor.
These cards are used most often in the beginning stages of a sale when prospects need a lot of information given to them.
Here are some questions to consider for the multi-competitor analysis battlecard:
- Is the product line worth the price?
- Does the product line have high-quality products?
- Can products be customized to customer fit?
- Do products generate notable value?
- Is the company renowned for its service?
- Do the products have new or updated features?
- How does your company match up to your competitors based on the above questions?
Single Competitor Analysis
A single competitor analysis provides you with an in-depth look at your competitor so you can see their position in the marketplace.
This helps you position yourself better so you know what strengths you have that can overtake your competitors and help you win more deals.
Here are some questions to answer when you draft a single competitor battlecard:
- What are your competitor’s key products?
- Where are they located?
- How many employees do they have?
- What is their annual revenue?
- What is their pricing model?
- What are their strengths and weaknesses?
- What are a few of their use cases or customer references?
- How do you respond to a potential client when this competitor is brought up on a sales call?
- What new updates does your competitor have in the media?
This battlecard template allows you to see exactly how your company stacks up with a competitor.
You can choose key features to compare regarding your product, services, or company as a whole to see if one of you meets the criteria. Then, you can select yes or no and then explain why your company does or does not meet the criteria.
Here are some questions you may consider when you draft a side-by-side comparison battlecard:
- What features do you have that your competitor doesn’t?
- Does your pricing match up to your competitor’s or is it more affordable?
- Do you or your competitor provide excellent service that keeps customers coming back?
- What are the benefits of your product over your competitor’s?
- Why do your competitor’s strengths not outweigh what you offer?
Sales battlecards are vital pieces of marketing collateral that can help sales teams achieve their goals.
Each business can tailor their battlecards to fit their business objectives and tweak them as often as they see fit. The battlecards should work for your sales people without extensive training. Remember to keep the battlecards short so your sales reps don't have to sort through 50 pages of information.
When you create these helpful assets, you're equipping your team to conduct more impactful conversations and turn prospects into satisfied customers.