Battle cards are a staple of sales teams. These cheat sheets provide concise breakdowns of a competitor’s marketing strategy, key sales messages, product info, positioning, and unique value propositions to use when selling against competitors. Here’s an example battle card from CloudLinux:
With the right information, these documents can be huge helps for reps. The Forte Consultancy Group provides a solid outline for developing a battle card and provides a concise breakdown of all the topic areas that should be included:
Battle Cards provide reps with a sales-ready response to critical and common prospect questions. A rep may be able to field questions about their specific offering, but positioning a product against a competitor’s can be tricky if they aren’t a heavy user themselves.
By providing your team with an effective and well-researched competitive battle card, you are giving them a framework to sell in a uniform manner that aligns with existing and proven marketing messages.
The proper positioning comes from extensive research from competitor websites, interviewing experienced reps, loyal customers that abandoned competitors, channel partners, and any competitor marketing material you can get your hands on.
A key differentiator between a strong battle card and a not-so-good one is social proof. Social proof is a psychological phenomenon that occurs when people conform to the actions or beliefs of others under the assumption that those actions or beliefs are the correct choice. One person stating something negative they’ve heard about a product is hearsay and it can easily be ignored, but twenty people… that’s a trend. If you are going to back up your product as the correct choice for a prospect against an enterprise competitor, social proof can help seal the deal. Glassdoor.com can provide a gold mine of social proof and detailed competitive intelligence that can be used to turn a doubtful prospect into a committed buyer.
This employee review was written by a Security Admin and it gives us a few pieces of competitive intel:
Let’s say you get an email from a prospect telling you they are going with Competitor X.You know that your product is a better fit and that the prospect cares deeply about security since they have a ton at stake. Armed with this information from Glassdoor, you can call them up and say:
Seller: Hey, I read your last email. I know you’re thinking of going with Competitor X, but I wanted let you know that even if you don’t go with us, I think you would benefit from reconsidering your options and looking at another partner. You told me on our first call that you take security seriously. In the last year Competitor X has started outsourcing security to a third-party firm and laying off their internal security teams.
Prospect: I didn’t hear or read anything about that, how do you know about this?
Seller: All of it’s on their Glassdoor, it looks like the changes may have ruffled some feathers there. Let me send you a few links that will bring some other issues to light.
If you are looking for specific issues in a company to build up your battle card, do a site: search in Google using the following query:
site:www.glassdoor.com/Reviews/Employee-Review-[Companyname] AND “keyword”
So if i wanted to look up Hooli, and search for product issues, I would search for:
site:www.glassdoor.com/Reviews/Employee-Review-Hooli product issues
This tactic works best when going up against single product companies, but it can work for many different industries.
Remember: Glassdoor can be filled with embellished stories from former employees, but there is often legitimate competitive intelligence buried in these reviews. We’ve blurred out the titles to focus on the relevant info:
A strong sales battle card is designed to shift perspective, not tear down and trash talk. Companies overcome obstacles and challenges. They grow and adapt over time. If you are going to use this tactic for competitive intelligence, it’s crucial that you use recent reviews to minimize the risk of presenting outdated information to prospects.
Reviews from Glassdoor can give a ‘no holds barred’ look at a company from the trenches. However, when building your sales battle card, you need to be certain the issues you cite are trends on their Glassdoor and not just a few ex-employees with a grudge. If it’s one or two reviews that say “support had issues” — well, whose support team doesn’t hit the occasional snag? But if there are consistent patterns and recurring themes that appear to be systematic, you may be able to use that information.