We get asked all the time: How to crush the competition with battle cards and role-playing? The way to improve competitive win rates is to create competitive playbooks and battle cards reinforced with training and certification. Why not strive to “Crush the Competition” on every deal, every time. Create a team of top performers who’s win rates skyrocket, rather than eat away at quota attainment and market share.
Goal: Enable every sales person to confidently overcome competitive strengths and plant competitive traps.
What if we told you there’s a proven way to quickly improve competitive win rates by 20% to 30%? Consistently competing to win is hard work. The secret is to focus on rep competence and confidence. Focus on how reps knock down competitors by repositioning perceived strengths that conflict with a buyer’s needs and wants. Regardless of size, it’s time to stop being defensive against the “fear, uncertainty, and doubt” (FUD) competitors are saying about you, and assert the leadership position in conversations.
When I was at Salesforce, we crushed Microsoft and Oracle in every deal because we were scrappy, creative and armed. My friend Sheevaun Thatcher during her sales enablement leadership at Host Analytics created a winning competitive strategy that resulted in dramatic results in win rates. The transformation happened in days. Here’s how she did it:
Step 1: Document Your Competitor’s Strengths and Weaknesses
Start by focusing on top competitive strengths. Embrace them, don’t pretend they don’t exist. Focus on your buyer needs and why this
strength isn’t important to them. Capture the questions reps can ask to plant traps, forever locking out your competition. Build a culture of
overcoming objections and planting traps, versus aimlessly bashing the competition.
Step 2: Share Coaching Videos and Battle Cards
Turn the videos into role-playing exercises in Huddles with real deal scenarios. Make sure everyone watches the videos and shares what’s working and what’s not working against each competitor. Have teams practice blending discovery questions with competitive trap questions. Bringing all your teams together will improve the confidence of the reps, which leads to immediate results.
Step 3: Role-Play and Practice
The way to make this stick is to have every rep make a video of one objection and one trap or practice in a team meeting, in round-robin fashion with their front-line managers. The power of practicing objections and traps is great and the benefits of peer-to-peer reviews and feedback are tremendous. Have your front-line managers facilitate the role-playing in their weekly team meetings. Creating structured Huddles for your teams will help drive consistency and accountability.
Step 4: Certify Reps on Crushing The Competition
The way to do the certification is to have every rep video record one objection and one trap. Make all the videos centrally available for peer review. The power of practicing objections and traps is great. The benefits of peer-to-peer reviews are tremendous. An open-transparent certification process will also result in the richest library of crowdsourced objections and traps. After the certification is done, if peer-to-peer scoring and engagement takes off like it always done, you will have created rich content that will serve your organization way beyond this activity.
Summary: Crush the Competition To-Dos
- Document strengths and and weaknesses and plant traps to overcome objections
- Share coaching videos
- Make role-playing and practice part of the culture
- Empower your front-line managers Competitive Coaching Huddles
- Certify your teams by having them record short videos and peer reviews
Here’s a video of Sheevaun Thatcher sharing how she executed this enablement program and the results they experienced. Sheevaun and her teams continue to lead the way in enablement innovation and outcomes.