In his Master’s of Impact series, Klue’s VP of Product Marketing, Vincent Lo, spoke toTracy Berry about how she built out a competitive intelligence program at Service Max.
If you’re looking to set up a competitive intelligence program or level up your existing program in 2021, you’re not alone. Our recent report shows that 64% of businesses are planning to increase their competitive intelligence efforts in the next 12 months.
In either case, we want to share how you can set up your competitive program to drive more ROI in the new year.
We recently hosted a webinar with Tracy Berry, Sr. Competitive Strategy Manager at Service Max. She dove into the 30-60-90 day framework she used to establish an effective competitive intelligence program at ServiceMax. Here’s how it works:
● 30 days: Understand how your current competitive function works.
● 60 days: Evaluate the strengths, weaknesses, and gaps in your competitive program.
● 90 days: Optimize user adoption across the company and set expectations for the program
30 days: Understand how your current competitive function works
In order to establish a strong competitive intelligence program, it’s important to first understand how the current function operates. The first thirty days are about learning, identifying the key stakeholders, and getting an idea of current gaps where your competitive program can deliver the most value.
● Step 1: Learn about the industry, how your company’s product fits in the market landscape, and the biggest competitors in your space.
● Step 2: Build quick wins by providing initial competitor insights to increase buy-in.
● Step 3: Gauge sentiment about the current competitive intelligence program and be a fly on the wall for strategic meetings like quarterly business reviews, pricing decisions, and internal discussions before a demo call.
By the end of thirty days you should be able to deliver a quick win with competitor insights like creating a profile on a lesser known, emerging competitor. This is a good method to begin some early competitive research and get initial buy-in from your stakeholders. The first thirty days are heavily focused on both learning about the market landscape and digging into the competitive problems the company currently faces.
60 days: Evaluate the strengths, weaknesses, and gaps in your competitive program
After identifying key stakeholders and gauging the temperature of how the organization currently views their competitive process, it’s time to do a full evaluation. Conduct longer interviews with stakeholders to get a strong understanding of exactly where the competitive process is falling short and what they want in order to be more effective in their role.
● Step 4: Use “30-in-30” interviews with key stakeholders to identify strengths, weaknesses, and gaps. Talk to people from different departments to get a sense of what they need from competitive intelligence. Identifying these needs and current gaps should establish the key requirements for your competitive function.
● Step 5: Map out the current competitive intelligence structure and highlight the gaps that your new function will fill. The most common problems we see in competitive structures is that intel is hard to find, it is in the minds of a few people, and out-of-date.
● Step 6: Assess the value of competitive intelligence tools available to you
● Step 7: Provide deeper competitive analysis that enables employees to tactically use the information. This is an extension from the insights that you unearthed during the first thirty days.
By the end of sixty days you should be able to have a clear understanding how the current competitive function operates and its shortcomings. These findings will determine the key requirements of your new program. You’ll also begin to provide deeper competitive analysis that enables teams to use the initial competitive insights gathered. Explain why the intel matters, who it matters to, and how they can use it as leverage against a competitor.
90days: Optimize function with new strategies and procedures
The evaluation stage requires a lot of research and preparation in order to identify the shortcomings in your current competitive structure. The final thirty days are about optimizing your program by providing solutions as to how these gaps will be filled moving forward. It is the
In this period it is crucial to solidify buy-in amongst teams, identify external and internal needs to round out your program, and establish expectations, timelines, and measurements of success to decision-makers.
● Step 8: Engage with the sales team to increase user adoption and set up regular win/loss analysis. You’ll need to be a constant presence on whatever platform salespeople are communicating with one another and providing competitive solutions to the problems they are encountering in the field. Also, develop strong relationships with senior sales leaders across different regional teams.
● Step 9: Outline budget requirements and measurements for program success to decision makers. Give them a clear idea as to what they are investing in and how this enhanced program will drive ROI.
● Step 10: Brand competitive intelligence so it sticks with consumers. This is a subtle way to get employees familiarized with competitive intelligence.
● Step 11: Finalize solution providers to make the competitive process more efficient.
● Step 12: Build a project timeline that sets roll-out expectations for decision makers and then establish a regular cadence of information sharing for the organization. Providing intel with regularity is another method to strengthen trust with stakeholders.
By the end of ninety days you should have anew competitive function roadmap laid out that revolves around a central repository of competitive information.You’ve now built out a strategy that will satisfy the key requirements that were identified, and can begin the execution phase.
Execute your plan around the competitive framework
There’s a lot that goes into building a competitive function. These ninety days are a starting point that provide a framework, however there is still plenty of execution that needs to be done.
Learn about the different sources of competitive intel you can gather, and how best in class CI programs are driving real bottom-line impact with our ‘Guide to Competitive Intelligence’.
If you'd like to learn more, please visit: https://klue.com/blog/competitive-intelligence-program