How well do you know your competitor's business? Have you taken the time to look at them as a business or just the products and services that they offer? In this blog, we will explain how to run the best competitor analysis. Competitor Analysis so good that you will increase your sales win rates and ensure that your team is at a competitive advantage for a long time to come.
What is Competitor Analysis?
Competitor Analysis is the science of understanding your competitors such that you are able to outmaneuver and outsell them. It involves researching various aspects of their business, from looking at their product or service to comparing their business models, sales teams, and more.
Strategies for running the best competitor analysis.
There are multiple elements of a competitor's business that are useful to understand when running competitor analysis, here are the key places that we recommend studying.
Their product or service.
The most obvious place to start is by looking at what the competitor sells. It is important to have a detailed understanding and therefore sufficient time and effort need to be allocated to this area.
Look for what the product or service does that is different from you. Are there areas that are notably different and might be perceived to be better than what you provide? Are you able to interview existing customers? Are you able to go and test the product or service yourself?
Their pricing strategy.
How does your competitor price their product or service? Do they package them in different ways? Are they running promotions or do they run a specific promotion at a certain time of year? The more that you can understand their pricing tactics and strategy, the better placed you and your team will be when you need to sell against them.
The sales team.
When you are watching a sport, you will no doubt expect the team with the best players to have the best chance of winning. Have you looked at your competitors in the same way? Have you assessed them man for man, woman for woman, against your team? If not, you should.
Look at them in detail - from age to experience and from education to awards. Look at the size and shape of the teams. Are you being outperformed or are you being overrun?
Where are they based? Are their offices or stores located in areas that put them at a competitive advantage? Is there anything that you can learn from how they are set up?
Who do they partner with? What advantages might this bring to them? Where are those partners based? How do they go to market and sell your competitor's products or services? Does your partner strategy outperform theirs - and if not, what do you need to do to make sure that it does in the future?
Their website and online strategy.
Take a look at their website and how this looks compared to your own. How does the messaging look? Are they making any specific claims? Do they sell their products or services via the website and if so, how easy is it to use the site and go through the purchase process?
Once you have looked at the site itself, take a look at the performance of the website and get under the covers. Look at how much traffic it is generating. Find out what keywords they are using to attract traffic. Are they advertising on the web? If so, what are they advertising and what keywords are they buying? This is a little more complicated so you may need some expert guidance here but it can be a game-changer for your performance against them.
Competitor SWOT Analysis
Once you have completed a comprehensive review of each of the areas above, a SWOT analysis of each competitor will then drive out the key aspects of your research and give you a good overview of the competitive situation.
Strengths - what are your strengths against the business? How can you leverage these and exploit them? How can you ensure that your sales and marketing team are leveraging them properly? Are you able to do anything to magnify any of the areas and really put your competitor under even more pressure?
Weaknesses - where are you obviously falling short? Where are your competitors taking advantage and where do you need to shore up your defenses?
Opportunities - based upon what you have found out, where are the opportunities for your business to do better or do more? Let's build a plan to really go after the opportunities and put your competitor on the back foot.
Threats - be honest and call out all the potential threats, if you don't spend time thinking about this, you can be sure that your competitors will be thinking about them and you will quickly be under pressure as a result.
Tips for running competitor analysis
Look at one competitor at a time - it's important to spend time and effort on one partner at a time. Why do we recommend this? Whoever is researching the partner needs to live and breathe them. They need to go deep and do so without any distractions. Also, when they report back, your team needs to really digest what they say and then act on this. Having too many competitors being analyzed at one time just makes things more confusing than it needs to be.
Have someone run the competitor analysis for you - an external viewpoint is really important for competitor analysis so we recommend finding someone to run this process for you. Why do we suggest this? Having an external vendor or consultant running this for you ensures that they get the complete and unbiased picture. They can interview clients and get honest answers that your team simply can't. They can interact with the competitor's teams or their partners. Furthermore, what they learn is completely fresh and free of any bias.
Take all aspects into consideration and leave no stone unturned - as you will know, even small little differences can be really exploited for competitive advantage. It's therefore important to really go deep on each of the areas that we outlined above. We have seen customers lose deal after deal because a competitor was exploiting a really small chink in their armor.
Competitor Analysis should be a key activity of any professional business no matter what product or service you are selling. The more that you can know your competitors, the better chance you have of plotting a way to lose less and win more. Time and money spent on a professional competitor analysis process will lead to better bottom-line performance.
Sales Team Services offer a comprehensive Competitor Analysis Service so please get in touch we can help.