Something that I found very useful are Battle Cards for sales teams. Battle Cards provides handy information that a sales team can use against competition when talking to clients. These are slightly larger than flash cards, but still up to just 1 page long that can be pinned up on the desk or taken along.
There 2 kinds of Battle Cards that have worked well for me.
1. Company level Battle Cards
These are at a company level against competing companies. I cover 4 main points for each competitor:
- Competitor USP: This covers they key unique selling points (USP) of the competing company and calls out what they claim they are good at. What are the points that they usually highlight in their sales pitch.
- Company Differentiators: What are our company differentiators and how to address the USP of competitors
- Anticipated Landmines: The competitor might be really good at something that our company cannot deliver. It is suggested that the sales team steer clear of this conversation as we cannot with that particular battle. So anticipate these landmines and avoid them
- Landmines to lay: There could be other points that our company is really good at and the competing company does not match up or do badly at. Bring these features out and the sales teams can leave the client with the thought of what they would miss if they decide to go with the competitor.
2. Product level Battle Cards
These are very similar to the above cards but at a product level. Your company might have different products and you need to help your sales team pitch each product. These Battle Cards assume that the reader has sufficient knowledge about how the product works and is only looking for how to pitch these against competing products. The points I usually cover in these are:
- Product Overview: Brief 2-3 lines about what the product does. Again, this is not the place to understand the product in detail and assumes that the reader already know the product in detail. This covers a short 1 liner about the product that sales teams can use the introduce the client to the product
- Client Pitch: The product might have a different pitch for the different segments of clients that it can work for. Here I cover a 3-4 bullets of why each type of client should use the product.
- Top Differentiators: Your product might have 3-4 main points that usually differentiates it from other products out there. You could also create it for individual competing products out there, but then you might have 1 product battle card per competitor.
- Objection Handling: I cover the most common questions or objections heard in the field and provide the recommended answer for each of these questions. I do not cover too many questions as it gets hard to read so many, but just the top 5.
I also tend to support each of the above battle cards with a 1 pager on Objection Handling questions and answers. I update these regularly to keep them relevant and reflect the perception of the market. I also take the top questions and make blogs, webinars on them or update the website content to reflect these. If these are not changing constantly, I take that as a sign that the external messaging is not being communicated effectively as the client perception is not changing. However, some questions like pricing might never change and will always have to be kept on.