Quote – Don’t let business control your life

Drive thy business, let not thy business drive thee. — Benjamin Franklin

— Benjamin Franklin

What Is A Competitor Battle Card?

In theory, competitor battle cards are not that hard to put together. All it takes is a little bit of content to use to persuade clients in a sales environment. What many people find is that being concise is a challenge. It takes some time and practice, but with a little bit of planning and overall know-how about the industry, any person can start putting together cards that work.

What are competitor battle cards?

The simplest way to describe competitor battle cards is that they are short, to the point pieces of information about a business that paints them in a positive light directly against the competition. Videos, graphs, spreadsheets and simple text are all used on different cards.

Once these battle cards are put together, they are given to the entire sales team. When they are in any type of battle against the competition when talking to a potential client, they can easily refer to these cards for quick rebuttals.

It’s important to stay very current with these battle cards at all times. A company doesn’t wanna have too many, but they do want to have a little bit of variety, so sales representatives do not sound repetitive to the people they are talking to.

It depends on each business how these cards are put together. Some companies do it as a team effort, while others will have a few specific people focus on what needs including.

The importance of in-depth research?

Putting battle cards together is easy, but only after thorough research is done. To create the best battle cards possible, in-depth research on every single competitor needs doing. Knowing the competition is crucial for success in this world. A good starting point is every competitor’s website, but going beyond that and understanding them is going to give businesses an edge.

Research the general market and potential customers as well. Every business’s competitor battle cards are going to be slightly different depending on what they are selling. Being able to relate to locals will always give a sales team an edge if done correctly. Most customers want to know that they are dealing with a company that feels like part of the community.

How are competitor battle cards used?

Once the cards are put together, it’s time to make sure the sales team understands exactly how they are used. It’s one thing to relay information to a potential client, but it’s another to do it at just the right time.

Sales representatives can practice when do use certain cards. There are identifiers when opportunities arise, and they need to pounce on that. Some questions lead the discussion in the right way. When a sales representative controls part of the conversation, they can shine.

New competitors are always going to be rising, and old competitors might fall by the wayside. What worked a year or two ago might no longer be a valuable battle card at all. Businesses need to focus on the tools that work. It’s not so much about the number of battle cards, but the quality.

A Quick Guide to Creating Competition Battle Cards

Why Use Competition Battle Cards?

During the B2B sales and marketing processes, if there’s one question that the buyer is sure to ask, it will be some variation of “how does your product stack up against X competition?” Maybe the prospect is interested in a certain feature, price, or benefit – regardless of the specifics, your reps need to speak intelligently about how your product or service compares.

The struggle is that in any B2B sales role, there’s a lot of information to remember. The ability to retain every nuance of their product or service is no large feat, let alone the details of every competition.

That’s where competition battle cards come in. They’re essentially a cheat sheet for your sales reps. When a prospect brings up the competition, the rep can open the battle card and have instant access to that company’s product information and disadvantages in a quick, digestible format.

Instead of the classic “I’ll get back to you on that one,” the rep can speak with authority on how your company’s strengths differentiate from your competitions.

How to Develop Your Battle Competition Cards

Step One: Pick the Competition

Maybe you’re in a crowded market, and you have 50 businesses that could be called true competitions. Do you really need 50 battle cards? Maybe, maybe not, but don’t get in over your head. Start with the top five competitions that come up most in conversation. Don’t forget the biggest competition of all – status quo. Use these to test out your battle cards, finesse the design/information, and only then expand to the full sphere of competition.

Step Two: Research

Put on your detective hat – it’s time to start digging into your competition’s dirt. Try to find out pricing, service fees, product descriptions, general business data, etc. Some of the information will be available on their website, but other good sources for information are any company webinars they offer, Glassdoor employee reviews, and customer reviews via G2 Crowd or TechValidate.

Step Three: Review

Once you’ve compiled the research, it’s time to identify their strengths, weaknesses, and best responses to those strengths and weaknesses. The battle card should include more than just the company’s pricing structure, for example – it should state clearly whether or not they’re cheaper or more expensive than your company, and if cheaper, a clear response for why your higher price is worth it for the prospect.

Competition Battle Card Best Practices to Remember

Don’t Stuff Battle Cards with Fluff

The sign of a good battle card is one that reps actually use, so the goal for anyone creating a battle card is to fill it with information that’s actually relevant. Especially when using a template, it’s easy to fill the page with random information that, while accurate, will not help the reps during sales calls. A lot of battle card templates include a spot for the competition’s address, for example. If you think it’s likely that the rep will need that information, then include it! If not, there’s no reason to waste that valuable real estate on irrelevant info.

Keep Battle Cards Clean

The design that is. You may be tempted to put every bit of strategic research you were able to find into the template, but keep in mind that a battle card crammed with text isn’t going to serve its purpose. The design should be minimal and very easily scannable so that reps can get the insight they need at a glance. Remember that the sales rep will likely be multitasking while they access this information – holding a conversation with the prospect while searching for that competitive golden nugget that will help him or her close the deal.

Best Practices for Leveraging Battle Cards

Establish Expectations

These battle cards are a resource for sales reps, but they’re also a way for your company to ensure a unified response to questions about competitions. It’s important that the sales team knows not only that the battle cards are available, but also that using them is expected.

Centralize Access and Track Usage of Battle Cards

If you want reps to use the battle cards, you must make them easily accessible. You may want to consider uploading all of the battle cards to a cloud-based sales content library that serves as a one-stop-shop for sales rep resources. One of the great things about centralized content libraries is that you can see how often the battle cards are being used (and by whom). It’s a great way to track the effectiveness of the efforts and see which competitions are coming up most in conversation.

Keep Battle Cards Updated

An outdated battle card is worse than having no battle card at all. If a rep confidently states a competitor’s prices are higher than they are (based on old data), and the prospect finds out differently, that prospect will no longer trust anything the rep says. Make it a standard process to review the battle cards on a regular basis.

Include Battle Cards in Training

Any new sales rep should have a solid understanding of the competition, so be sure to leverage the battle cards as a training tool as well as a sales tool.

How You Prepare For The Day Impacts Your Perform

The concept of working from home or freelancing is becoming quite popular. As regular jobs become very demanding and even uncertain, there are thousands of men and women who prefer working out of the home. While working from home is certainly a great idea for supplementing the main income, there are many who still do not believe that it could be the main source of income for earning the bread and butter for the family. While the debate still continues, we will now be looking at a different aspect of work from home.

When we are in a regular nine to five job, we have to follow a rigid routine whether we like it or not. We need to wake up at a particular time, complete our daily morning chores in a hurry, and get ready to travel to our workplace. There are specific dress codes in some organizations that have to be followed. Even otherwise, we cannot afford to go to our workplace in our nightgowns or other such casual attire. We do give quite a bit of importance to the way we dress. It does impact the way we look and the way people perceive and think about us. According to experts, it also could impact the way in which our work efficiency is in the workplace.

Home-Based Work And Dress Sense

In this article, we will try and find out how the way we dress could also impact our freelancing work and work that is done from the comfort of our home. We also will try and find answers to the question of how to prepare for the day when working out of the home. This will be useful to housewives and women in particular who are happier working from home taking care of their children and family. Even many men find it convenient and less stressful when they work from home on a freelance basis. Freelancing is also referred to as telecommuting, and those who belong to this category are increasing quite rapidly. According to some studies, the number of telecommuting workforce in American has increased by a whopping 80% from 2005 to 2012. Hence, there is no denying the fact that working from home has certainly taken roots, and it will continue to grow quite strongly.

Should I Dress Up Formally?

When working from home, many of us tend to take things easily, and often, there is a laidback attitude to it. While this might look convenient and easy, according to experts, the way we dress for our work has a role to play as far as our efficiency and productivity are concerned. Switching from working at an office to working in a home could be a challenge, and it is a big change. Hence, you should try and answer the question of whether you should dress up formally even while working from home.

Yes Dressing Does Impact Your Work From Home

Though there is not much of a consensus on our work-from-home productivity and the way we dress, studies have pointed out that there are certain types of clothing that can influence the psychological process of the wearer. It also could alter his or her perception. People who work from home and who are also formally dressed tend to become more serious and more focused on their work. It does not mean that the person has to wear blazers, tie, and shoes, but he or she should look formal when they look at themselves in the mirror. Wearing informal and home-dresses often tends to make a person-friendly, laid back, and this could have a ripple effect and could impact the way in which you work.

Why Being Dressed For The Occasion Helps

The way we look and the way we dress has a direct bearing on our productivity level. However, this does not mean that we should be uncomfortably dressed in our endeavor to look formal. There is nothing wrong being in Pajamas provided it is neat, pressed and not crumpled and dirty. Getting on to your workstation straight from your bed should be avoided. There are some basic lessons in the discipline that one should follow. If you look at workers and even business persons in countries like India and China, they treat their workplace as a place of worship. Hence, they believe that they should go to their place of worship neat and clean. They are of the firm opinion that they should open their computers and their telecommuting set up after they have taken their bath or after they have freshened up.

The Proof Of The Pudding Lies In Eating

There are many people who are of the opinion that being dressed casually does not impact performance at home in any manner whatsoever. They also do have a point, but one should know the difference between being casually dressed and being downright lazy and unkempt. The latter should be avoided at all costs. If there are people who still believe that dress does not have a role to play, let them try out three different scenarios.

  • You could try and be in your normal office dress, perhaps without a blazer or tie. You could start working and find out as to how it feels after a couple of hours of work.
  • You could be in your casual clothes but be sure that it is comfortable and cozy. A T-shirt with jeans is a perfect example of being casually dressed.
  • You could be in your nightgown or pajamas which you might have used for your nights’ sleep. Try working with these dresses on.

There are research studies to prove that the level of concentration and focus is certainly much higher in the first two types of dresses. This is perhaps because of the subconscious mind that tells your conscious mind to perform better when you are either formally dressed or casually dressed with decent outfits.

Conclusion

In fine, though many people may not agree that the way we dress in our homes has a role to play in our freelancing and home-based assignments, science and logic prove otherwise. Hence, there is nothing wrong being decently dressed when you are at your workstation. You should learn to respect and revere your work. Yes, there are also other things like the ambiance and work environment that you have. It should not be noisy, and the ambiance should allow you to concentrate on your work properly. It all boils down to individual mindsets and other attributes. At the end of it all, it does make sense to be decently dressed without going overboard and imposing strict dressing codes on you while working from home.

Quote – never wait for inspiration

I am a believer in regular work, and [I] never wait for inspiration.

— Jack London

Quote – strong, effective writing is concise

Vigorous [strong, effective] writing is concise. A sentence should contain no unnecessary words, a paragraph no unnecessary sentences, for the same reason that a drawing should have no unnecessary lines and a machine no unnecessary parts.

— William Strunk, Jr.

Writing tip – How inspiration improves writing quality

Everyone has different sources of inspiration. As a writer, inspiration is not optional; it’s the irresistible force that drags you the computer and influences you to write something that may change the world. As a blog writer, you must somehow find inspiration for as long as you have to keep your blog updated with high-quality content. 

There are many benefits to writing when you’re inspired. Finding inspiration for your writing work will help you generate fresh ideas, as well as maintain a smooth flow of ideas. Below are some ways on how inspiration improves writing quality.

1. The Writing and Language Will Flow More Naturally


Although there are several ways you can use to structure your information when coming up with a manuscript, your article will sound and feel more natural if you write it when you’re inspired. Inspiration helps you to write in a natural tone, with a natural flow of ideas. But remember to remain on topic as it’s easy to slip into a comfortable writing style, which may move your ideas away from your target audience. 

2. Idea Generation Will Be Easy



Seeking inspiration from your favorite writers will assist with idea generation as soon as their words start rousing your mind. The benefit of writing when you’re inspired by your favorite writers, of whom you’re well versed with their style is that you’ll be able to keep track and relate your ideas. Inspiration will let your mind wander and generate ideas related to whatever your planning to write about with ease. You can list down all the ideas and filter them based on their relevance, connections, and how they relate with your main theme. Being Inspired may even promote the generation of new and unique ideas that are better than what you might have written without inspiration. 

3. Inspiration Will Improve the Quality of Your Writings.

If you’ve ever wanted to improve the quality of your writings, the best thing to do is look for inspiration. You don’t need a specific trainer, theme, or topic to do this. Inspiration will help you generate lots of ideas and themes, and it will be up to you to choose the best idea based on your type of audience. The more you get inspired, the more you get ideas that can be developed into something unique and more complete.

4. Inspiration Increases Creativity.

Everyone was born creative, but being inspired will open your mind to a whole new world of creativity. Being inspired will make your mind wander, which will feed your mind with crazy ideas. Letting your imagination wander will give you unique ideas that your readers would enjoy reading. The crazier the ideas, the better. The more you’re inspired to experiment with different opportunities, styles, and possibilities, the more creative you’ll become. Being inspired is a great way to increase your creativity levels. 

5. Being Inspired Helps You to Stay Organized.


Writing when you’re inspired helps in keeping your thoughts comprehensible and organized. You can explain in detail the feelings and opinions you had about a specific occasion. You’ll remember the events in detail if you the inspiration to write the article was from a specific event, and you won’t lose track of your ideas even if you continue writing after a few days, weeks, or months. 

By writing articles that are particular to certain topics, inspiration can make you achieve and organize your thoughts in a better way. You can seek inspiration from life events, e.g., the time you graduated from high school or even a business you once had that failed, and the reasons behind the failure. Whatever you decide to write about, being inspired when writing helps you organize your thoughts into points and phrases that make sense and relate more to your readers.

6. Inspiration Helps in Maintaining Focus

Inspiration also keeps the writers’ mind focused on the theme. We usually think we can control our thoughts, but a recent study revealed that negative thoughts act as a barrier to self-growth. This is because the mind is prone to doubt and vacillation, which makes it prone to distraction. Often as a writer, you may feel a deep inner sensation to complete your article, the mind will go along with your ideas at first before you run out of ideas and start encountering obstacles in achieving your goal. Inspiration will keep your mind focused until when you achieve your final goal. 

7. Being Inspired Motivates You

Having inspirational thoughts while writing your articles motivates you to complete the article in time. Being inspired while writing your articles will benefit not only you but also your audience. Although the reasons or source of your inspiration may vary, the intense need or desire to accomplish your wishes through writing is usually consistent regardless of the drive behind them.

8. Inspiration Gives Writers a Sense of Direction

Inspiration normally has specific needs, urges, or desires, which somewhat predetermine the actions and direction taken in your writing. Knowing what you want to achieve as you write will enable you to focus and compose your article in a more coordinated fashion. This will act as a guide in how you structure and express your ideas.

9. Inspiration Gives Your Writings a Purpose

Having inspired thoughts when writing will remind you of exactly what you want to achieve, you’re your writing and the best way to do it. Without being inspired, it would be impossible to stick to your main agenda. Inspiring thoughts will remind you of the purpose of your writing, which in turn improves the quality of your writing. 

10. Inspiration Gets the Job Done Within a Short Time. 

When you’re inspired, writing will be faster because the ideas are fresh and already in your mind. Although sometimes generating ideas and expressing them in words might seem difficult, focusing on the reward instead will motivate you to get the job done within a short while. Just think of the reward you’re getting from writing that blog post, or what you’ll lose by not publishing a high-quality blog post, and use them as a source of inspiration.

The need for writing when you’re inspired is important if you expect to succeed in improving the quality of your articles. The ability to think and come up with high-quality articles is critical for the success of an article writer, and finding daily inspiration before writing will help you produce high-quality blog posts for your readers. As you’ve seen, inspiration is the ‘motor’ that propels your content to greater heights. You can seek inspiration from the people around you, music, poems, the natural world, or even from your inner resources.