Your field level are in the business of transacting on a daily frequency. How do you adapt and react to what’s going on in the field prior to your next quarterly planning session?

Understanding What’s Taking Place on the Ground

 

You’re probably familiar with the concept of competitive intelligence and you can leverage that to know your strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats.

 

Often times organizations take a thirty-thousand foot view when it comes how they view their competition as a part of their corporate strategic initiatives, which causes Sales Enablement teams to have a long tail perspective that is adjusted during your quarterly planning sessions.

 

However, your field level are in the business of transacting on a daily frequency. So how do you adapt and react to what’s going on in the field prior to your next quarterly planning session?

 

You do so by leveraging the field to better understand and react to the threats & opportunities at the rep level in conjunction with your overarching corporate strategy. Here’s how, during your interactions with your field reps, you need to create a communication cadence and construct that aligns with a SWOT analysis. The framework can be as simple as four questions to gather current data points on the what’s going well, what’s not going well, where the reps see the path of least resistance, and what challenges they’re facing.

 

Download the Battle Card Template to build a one page communiques that encapsulate the SWOT framework into a talk track, utilize this communique to help your field reps during their day to day operations, and fully evaluate all of your services to be ready for battle.

 

Leveraging the SWOT Framework for Your Enablement Material

 

Now that you’ve got a measurable framework that is scalable across your field organization, you are armed with the data points, and knowledge to create content that that can enable your field reps with what they are facing in their day to day operations. The benefit to this approach is that you are creating proactive value drivers for both yourself and your sales organization instead of reactive value drivers from the content you produce.

 

Adapting Your Sales Enablement Content into Executable Battle Cards

 

The next step is to produce the content that is digestible into a format that does not warrant a steep learning curve, and can be scaled across different tenure levels within your field sales organization. As a Sales Enablement leader, you have to cater to new hires and experienced reps alike, so ensuring that the rep’s competitive feedback can be translated into a value driving message for your customers requires an efficient medium to get that message across. After all, given the dynamic nature of the field, static messaging strategies will only cause stagnation from a sales enablement perspective.

 

So, what is this medium? At SBI, we refer to them as Battle Cards. These are simple, easy to understand, and more importantly easy to memorize one page communiques that encapsulate the SWOT framework into a talk track to help your field reps during their day to day operations.

 

You’re probably asking yourself, what goes into these battle cards? How should I leverage the SWOT framework to create a message that drives the value proposition of my company?

 

Simply put, it’s a matter of answering the following questions that in your brand’s voice to in order to drive content that highlights the differential values from the feedback you’ve received from the field:

 

  • Strengths– What’s our current strengths at the moment, and how is the market reacting it to it? Is it our product, service, price? – Whatever it may be, needs to be a part of the talk track your reps are being trained on, so create a positive message around your current strengths and ensure that it is socialized across your field sales organization.

     

  • Weaknesses– Truth be told, no one revels in discussing their weaknesses, but those that find the strength to do so come across as more genuine and trustworthy, which you want your reps to come across as. So, the question to address isn’t necessarily what you, or your leadership team view as weaknesses, but rather the perceived weaknesses in the market. For example, you may have a service issue that has been addressed but served as a lagging reputational hazard. Have your reps address it in their talk tracks and put a concise message in your battle card.

     

  • Opportunities- Now we’re arriving at a section that should remain internal to your organization. This component of the battle card is to keep your reps focused on their targets. You will need to coordinate with your Sales Ops leader and the reps themselves to keep them focused on their goals and where they are likely to succeed the most. The question to answer here is, where is the best opportunity for each individual rep to succeed?

     

  • Threats- Your competitor’s are in the business of growing their market and often it’s at the expense of yours, so don’t feel gun shy here. This is where competitive intel will help you the most in terms of your messaging. Since buyers have alternative options, you want to highlight the differential value of your product and services, and why you’re the better choice. Let’s say you aware of production issues from your main rival and they can’t meet your customers needs… have your reps address it. Perhaps there is a post-sales service issue, there’s no harm in relaying a point in order to overcome an objection.

     

Now that you’ve implemented a framework and content strategy, you will need to follow-up and iterate. Battle cards are an evolving medium that require revisions in order to keep up with the market. The intel that you received from the field, is what you need to create effective battle cards. After all, your field reps are your front line, and they are closer to the action than your board room colleagues.

 

Download the Battle Card Template to build a one page communiques that encapsulate the SWOT framework into a talk track, utilize this communique to help your field reps during their day to day operations, and fully evaluate all of your services to be ready for battle.

 

 

Additional Resources

 

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Adrian Mussanna

Leverages expertise in digital marketing and analytics to help clients make their number.

Adrian leverages his venture capital and digital consulting background to help clients implement achievable solutions in an era of digital disruption. His experience in scaling start-ups across multiple verticals gives him the ability to apply achievable data-driven solutions. His focus is on helping clients execute the emerging best practices needed to succeed where the point of sale starts at digital discovery.

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