Who creates competitive talk tracks for you?

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adam waid
adam waid Member Posts: 1 Navigator
edited October 2023 in CS Org Conversations
Hi Leaders-

It seems like CS is always left to defend themselves against competitors selling into their customers. I'm curious who creates talk tracks for you against you competition? Does your sales enablement team help you? Do you do it yourself? Do you feel supported by your organization to fight back against competition?

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  • Adam Houghton
    Adam Houghton Member Posts: 7 Seeker
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    Hey @adam waid - I've got a good perspective on this as it's part of what our platform does and while sales is the primary audience that gets enablement against competitors, we're seeing more and more teams support the customer-facing teams be it CSMs, Services, or other functions that need to be equipped to answer competitor questions to help protect and defend revenue.

    This is 100% a product marketing responsibility to create this type of content and they are already creating similar content for sales. Sales enablement likely has that content and distributes it through a CMS of some sort. If CS doesn't have access to the content sales has to sell to prospects, that's challenge 1 to address. It's a big problem to solve for many CS teams. Sales gets all the enablement in many companies with CS being an afterthought which in a SaaS model is so flawed yet so common. We're all going to change that!

    High level, what we see the best customers doing is ensuring CSMs are competitively enabled to do the following:

    • spot the competitor (your customer may use specific feature names or phrases that help you detect a competitor is in play)
    • quick dismiss (once you identify a competitor, what are the talk tracks to quickly dismiss them and move on)
    • objection handling (a bit more detailed than the quick dismiss but how to lead with your messaging and value, something product marketing is good at compared to responding with feature comparisons, something sales is told not to do but does too often in virtually every company)
    • stories on why we win (shareable links to assets that serve as social proof - sales 100% has these and uses them all the time and in many companies CS doesn't even know they exist)

    This at a high level will get you 80% of the way there.

  • Brian Hartley
    Brian Hartley Member Posts: 185 Expert
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    We were fortunate to hire a competitive analyst and that is all he does; research and develop talk tracks as it relates to the competition.

  • Jeffrey Kushmerek
    Jeffrey Kushmerek Member Posts: 96 Expert
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    I usually relied on the Product Marketing team. Nothing wrong with telling the customer you will get back to them and then getting them the info.

  • TJ Adams
    TJ Adams Member Posts: 4 Navigator
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    In my career it's been a combination of pre-sales engineering (earlier stages) then eventually a competitive intelligence team was formed and finally product marketing matured at some point. I think a lot of this answer really depends on how your org is being built out and what stage you are in.

  • Nathan Petersen
    Nathan Petersen Member Posts: 11 Contributor
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    My team handles this very similarly to how Amandeep outlined in his comment. The CS team is consulted about why a product is needed. and we provide early feedback to anticipated FAQ's on a product. but when a competitor starts bashing us, we have marketing and Product sort out how best to respond to frame things correctly.

  • Patrick Ruster
    Patrick Ruster Member Posts: 8 Seeker
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    One of the mandates of our Sales Ops & Marketing teams are to create and curate 'Battle Cards' that contain competitive information that Sales and CS can leverage when engaging in discussions around our competition.

    We use a SaaS product called Klue to curate and share this data internally. Screenshot below with some of the core datapoints we think about.