How well do you understand your competition? And do you know how to beat them? Beating the competition is not just the responsibility of sales. It is not just the responsibility of marketing. It’s the responsibility of every key function in the organization.
To win consistently you need strategic alignment. What do we mean by that? The alignment of all the key strategies inside the organization. This, and only this, ensures you have the greatest chance of beating the competition.
Best in class sales teams cannot do it alone. The days of “sending in the closer” are gone. Instead, the ability to beat the competition comes down to function by function competitive advantage. This competitive advantage is the difference between making and missing your number. How can you be sure you make sure you have what it takes to win?
Defining Your Competition
It starts with definition. Do you know your competition well enough to develop win strategies? No market is without competition. You have to be prepared to compete and more importantly, win. You must understand your competition. And have a clearly defined strategy on how to beat them. Equally important – you must also understand how they are going to try to beat you.
Some simple questions to ask yourself here include:
- Who are your competitors in each market?
- How do your competitors beat you?
- How do you beat your competitors?
- What is my value proposition?
- How are we, as an organization, driving our differentiation?
Tactics vs. Strategy
Another risk when facing competition is tactics masquerading as strategy. The tactic based approach of years past is dangerous. Being efficient at tactics means companies fall into one of two buckets, as shown by the graphic below. They either thrive or die quickly. Their faith is sealed by their strategy. On the other hand, companies with effective strategies either thrive or survive. Certainly, its better be good at strategy than tactics but in a perfect world, the two intersect and your company lands smacked up in the upper right hand quadrant where there’s a brilliant plan that’s brilliantly executed.
What does this have to do with beating the competition? The alignment between functions is the differentiator between those companies where in the survive category and those who were not.
Beating your competition starts with internal alignment. It starts with the corporate strategy; proper allocation of your resources. In this case resources are defined as people, time and money. This trickles down to the product strategy, marketing strategy, sales strategy and talent strategy. These functions must work together and be in strategic alignment in order to win.
Your organization will always face competition. Strategic alignment will help be better prepared. Prepared to compete and ultimately win. If you need help understanding your competition, download our playbook here. It will guide you in defining competitors, and developing a plan to win.