Systems thinking teaches us that there are two types of ComplexitySystems thinking teaches us that there are two types of Complexity – The ”detail complexity” of many variables and “dynamic complexity” when “cause and effect” are not close in time and space, and obvious interventions do not produce expected outcomes. Systems thinking teaches us that there are two types of Complexity— Peter M. Senge
[Personal mastery] means approaching one’s life as creative work, living life from a creative as opposed to a reactive viewpoint.— Peter M. Senge
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
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.
Read nothing that you do not care to remember, and remember nothing you do not mean to use.— Professor John Stuart Blackie
Good pictures are not created by chance. One has to be equipped with basic principles of composition. The arrangement of the elements in a picture can be influenced to catch the attention of the viewers. When taking a photo, you need to consider the position of each and every element in the picture.
One very important skill in photography is called “center of interest.” Centering involves placing the subject in the center of the frame. It is not necessarily that the subjects to be exactly centered. Some subjects which are centered can still use the rule of thirds.
Why use the principle of center of interest?
Here are the reasons why every photographer should apply “center of interest” in their photography work:
To draw attention to the subject
For you to draw attention
in an effective way to the point of interest, try centering, especially when
the composition is busy and when there are many similar objects that compete
for attention. This is because eyes will always go straight to the center stage
of the image. Centering different and strong subjects helps draw attention
Also, when there are few items in the composition, you can place the object at the center of the image. If you want to take photographs of stand-alone objects without showing the background and foreground and the subject filling the frame, centering will focus on the subject itself and help toward the overall aesthetics of the final product.
To create a sense of space or size
In order to create a sense of space and size, centering can be used. When a subject surrounded by either smaller or larger objects is centered, the size of the subject is emphasized. For example, if a house photographed in the middle of a big pasture area, a sense of ‘smallness’ is created.
Centering can as well be used to create a sense of belonging to a space or a sense of loss. If you photograph a child surrounded by many toys, you create an atmosphere where the child belongs to space which is around them. Equally, if you photograph a child surrounded by toys and a small empty space around the child before the toys , a sense of loss and separation is created.
In both pictures, the child is the center of attention. The blank space in the second image would be centered with the child as it becomes part of the center of attention and the barrier to the toys.
To overcome location difficulties
Some subjects or backgrounds/foregrounds will not allow you to compose according to the golden ratio or rule of thirds. In some instances, the only photograph you can take is a centered one.
In other cases, the background or foreground objects may be distracting or when an element to the side of subject intrudes on the image and the subject is not centered. When such events occur, you should center the subject.
A centered subject commands more positive attention than a subject with a lamppost behind his/her head.
History maketh a young man to be old, without either wrinkles or gray hairs,—privileging him with the experience of age, without either the infirmities or inconveniences thereof.— Thomas Fuller
The best use of self demands that it be understood.— Frank Channing Haddock