How Can I Use Competitive Intelligence to My Advantage?

Jamie Shanks
Jamie Shanks

Competitive Intelligence

Attention sales professionals! If you expect to dial everyone in your prospect list to discover new opportunities, chances are you are still likely missing most of them in your patch (geographic or vertical).

In most organizations, the responsibility for competitive intelligence typically resides inside marketing departments. Charts, info graphics, SWOT analysis, and other data points are gathered and presented. This is extremely valuable and helps sales professionals gain a deeper understanding of what makes their company’s brand and offerings unique.

But what about competitive intelligence by account? Or (here’s a hairy thought) by deal? If this sounds impossible, it is not. Smart organizations using Social Selling techniques are doing this every day to uncover net new opportunities in existing accounts and discovering new accounts in the process.

A SVP of Sales at a major technology organization shared this with me recently: “We expect all of our sales reps to make at least 50-75 dials per day and generate about 25-30 appointments per month.” That is a high octane goal that all sales professionals in the company are measured by.

On your quest to become the best sales professional you can be, you will invariably hit a few roadblocks in the form of prospects not discovering you. Perhaps your target prospect was in a meeting or on lunch when you called and left a message. This is not necessarily your fault; how can you expect to know everything going on with every single account in your territory? Slippage is par for the course for most of us.

The good news is that with Social Selling, you can keep apprised of all of your prospects and competitors using LinkedIn and see what they are up to. You can see information being shared, connections being made, and much, much more. Imagine having a report being delivered to you on a daily/weekly basis that outlines this. When a process this powerful is automated, sales professionals can stay focused on what they do best.

If you are not the first in the door you can, at the bare minimum, know how to try and position yourself in accounts with the right information. Positioning your firm’s products and services accordingly will yield more meaningful insights than simply picking up the phone and calling to introduce yourself. The latter will not make you stand out from the crowd.

Once you start to use LinkedIn intelligently, you can discover opportunities that your competitors are pursuing and initiate a conversation with prospects that is contextual. How’s that for practicality? Chances for engagement increase tremendously using this approach.

The Bottom Line

If you cannot be first in the door, be smarter. Use the knowledge you have uncovered and pivot yourself so that prospects can see a value in working with you.

To see how this strategy can work in detail for you, feel free to contact me by clicking below to learn more. You can also look into our 42 LinkedIn Tips to learn how to make LinkedIn even more invaluable than it already is.

Amar Sheth


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