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.

Peek, Peak, And Pique – What’s the Difference?

Often Misused Words

The English language can be a bit tricky, especially with a lot of words that sound the same but have a different meaning. These words are known as homophones. Even though peek and pique share the same pronunciation, they both have their unique meaning and usage.

Peak

The word peek can be used as either a verb, adjective or a noun. The word Peak is by definition as reach the highest, the topmost point something, or a sharp or pointed end of something. For example:

  • There is a bird sitting on the peak of the barn roof.
  • The mountain peak is covered in snow.
  • Our web site saw its peak traffic today in the noon hour.

Peek

The word peek can be used as either a verb or a noun. Peek is by definition a quick glance or a look at something. It usually refers to a quick glance from a hidden location at something that shouldn’t be seen. For example, it’s often used when kids are trying to have a look at hidden Christmas presents:

  • The kid was able to peek at the presents since the door was slightly ajar.

It is often used in conjunction with the word “sneak”, in which cases it can be misspelled as “peak”.

  • Did you watch the sneak peek of that new TV show?

When used in verb form, peek is used without an object.

  • Ben peeked behind the curtain.

Pique

On the other hand, pique is a completely different word that can have multiple meanings. Pique originates from a French word that means to prick/sting someone. It’s most often used as a verb that means to excite or stimulate someone’s interest and curiosity. 

  • That new movie really piqued my curiosity. 

You will often see the sentence “pique a person’s curiosity” misspelled as “peek a person’s curiosity”. This is wrong, as you are piquing/exciting someone, not taking a quick glance at his interest.

The noun pique can also denote a feeling of irritation or resentment. 

John found himself in a pique after disliking the movie.

When used as a verb, it means to displease or anger someone. Whatever the case, pique can be used both with or without an object.

  • Out of pique, I can become a really unpleasant person.

Conclusion

Knowing the differences between these words is crucial to avoid misuse. While peek is connected with sight, pique refers to interest/displeasure, Peak is to be or achieve the top or tip of something.

The Difference Between Hearing And Listening

Listening impacts how we relate to the natural world and especially with regard to social interactions. Hearing really is about receiving sound via the years, which for most of us is done pretty much without much consideration or concentration.  People spend most of their time hearing and not actually listening. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but it can become a bad habit, especially, if those missed opportunities to listen and to mentally process the information presented to us deprives us of opportunities to succeed in life or lease to avoid some unwanted outcomes.

Listening is a more intermittent process and requires the listener to not only receive sounds but to recognize them as having some meaning, to mentally process that information, and ultimately to act on the information.

People frequently hear but far less frequently listen. The active processes and listening of recognizing the value of the sounds we hear, the significance of the circumstances in which they find themselves, and that some form of action or response is required occurs less often than it should.

The Key component which distinguishes hearing from listening is that listening requires mental processing and appropriate action. There is an old adage that “information is power quotes”, this is only true in the case of hearing, if we do more than hear, and take the next step to listen whereby we use the information that we gathered from hearing and apply mental processes to determine what is meaningful, valuable, and requires action either immediate or more strategic and long term.

Time Management – focus

Focus is concentrating your efforts across time to a limited number of objectives, which can be supported to achieve goals.

What Is the Difference Between Science Fiction and Fantasy?

SciFi Alien World
SciFi Alien World

When discussing various writing genres, it is common for people – both writers and readers – to lump science fiction and fantasy together under the catchall term “speculative fiction.” On a general level, this comparison between these two genres is accurate. However, these two very close kins are inherently different on many levels. Let us look at the difference between science fiction and fantasy creations.

Science Fiction Vs. Fantasy: Identifying Major Literary Differences

Possibilities
Possibilities

1. Possibility Vs. Impossibility

Science fiction, also commonly known as Sci-fi, is a fiction literature genre whose storyline and elements are imaginary but are based on science and scientific facts. Sci-fi novels and novellas follow a logical and plausible theme and prose that has scientific backing.

Follow a logical and plausible theme means that the occurrences and events presented in sci-fi literature are possible to occur. Science fiction needs to be set in the future where technologies used may not be available but are still not beyond the realm of scientific theory. It is essential that sci-fi creations make sense within the natural laws of the universe so that the readers can connect the now and the future.

On the other hand, fantasy as a genre deals with mythical, magical, or supernatural occurrences that have no scientific backing or explanation and cannot possibly occur in our real world. Fantasy stories told in an imagined world, often entirely different from our own, which involves a mystical base.

For example, a sci-fi creation may present a space ship that travels faster than light. The writer would hope that in tomorrow’s world, such technologies can be possible owing to advancement in science and technology. On the contrary, fantasy creations might present human characters with abilities to fly or are bulletproof, something that does not and is likely not to exist in our reality.

Mythical Unicorn

Mythical Unicorn

2. Concept

Science fiction deals with scientific concepts while fantasy creations are merely written on the foundation of imaginative ideas.

Heroine Using magic

Heroine Using magic

3. Heroes And Heroines

Fantasy and sci-fi creations have different types of heroes and heroines. With fantasy creations, the heroes are usually mythical creatures or humans with supernatural powers.

The use of mythical creatures or supernatural humans is however different with Sci-fi creations which present real human heroes with unique talents and skill sets that make them formidable risk takers, valuable leaders or effective problem solvers which help them succeed in the end.

Futuristic City Skyline

Futuristic City Skyline

4. The Setting

Often, science fiction works are almost always in the future. A sci-fi story would extrapolate our world across time and explore what would happen in the advent of new futuristic technologies. Pundits maintain that today’s disruptive technologies such as artificial intelligence, robotics, and virtual realities were envisioned and inspired by yesterday’s sci-fi works.

On the other hand, fantasy literature setting is almost always in a world so different from ours, and often in the past. This past could be ancient or medieval, and often involving magic. Fantasy works present an alternate world with mythical occurrences that would only be possible through imagination.

Science Fiction Vs. Fantasy


Science Fiction Vs. Fantasy

Conclusion

Understanding these science fiction vs. fantasy differences will help you create or choose a clarified genre that satisfies your readers. Often, readers look for specific literary identifying marks in a fantasy or sci-fi novel.

Being aware of the difference between science fiction and fantasy can help you blend and shade these two genres to create literary works that can move readers seamlessly between the possibilities and the impossibilities.

Related References

Blogging – is the HTML keyword meta tag dead?

Yes; most of the major browsers will recognize and accept the HTML keyword meta tag.

To the major search engines use the keyword meta tag?

Basically, no. Most of the major search engines simply ignore the HTML keyword meta tag or worse yet simply use it as a means to penalize your site, if they decide the keywords you chose to use do not closely enough relate to your content.

Are the HTML keyword meta tags worth putting a lot of work into?

Short answer, is no. If your intent is doing your keyword research is to create HTML keyword meta-tags, then you are basically wasting your time.

Then what is the value of keywords?

If you think of keyword research is identifying your focus words for your blog article, then there is value in doing keyword research. The value comes not from adding HTML keyword meta-tags, but rather through integrating your keywords ( focus words) into your blog article title, headers, and body content. These focus words can also be added to media metadata and used as part of your tactful repetition approach to content.

Conclusion

For all intents and purposes, HTML keyword meta-tags are useless from an HTML coding standpoint. However, doing keyword (focus words) research can be valuable in tuning the language of your blog article to optimize the focus of your blog post.

Related References

Writing an Article vs. Writing a Blog Post: What’s the Difference?

Have you ever wondered what the difference between writing a blog and writing an article is? Today, the words “blog” and “article” are often used interchangeably and almost synonymously, so much that the line between the two is virtually nonexistent. Although the two make up a quality online strategy, blog posts and articles are entirely different.

One of the most common questions is: is a blog considered an article? To answer this, you’ll need to be aware of the difference between blog posts and articles. Blog posts are meant to be posted on a weblog (blog), while an article can be published on any traditional media or digital publication such as a website. Now folks, let us see some of the other difference between article and blog post, shall we?

Facts Vs. Personal Opinion

This is one of the biggest differences between article and blog posts. Ideally, an article is supposed to be factual and clear of personal opinion. Article writing should focus more on reporting, providing statistics, facts and information.

On the other hands, blogs posting are generally informal and impersonal in nature. A nice blog should be more conversational, more interactive, casual and should draw in the reader by encouraging them to be more active.

SEO Keywords Requirements Vary

Typically, blog posts are meant to rank higher in search engines. They capitalize on SEO keywords to create a more robust SERP that will reach a wider audience. When writing a blog, it is important to take into consideration the use of SEO keywords to create better traction that will have the most significant impact on your digital strategies.

With articles, SEO is not the primary focus and can be quite insignificant especially when they’re not online-based. Even when an article is published online, there is less emphasis on SEO keywords.

Article Vs. Blog Posts Length and Style

Blog posts are basically short, often ranging from 300 to 1000 words. Blog posts are meant to be quick and snappy and should get the point across in the most concise way. In a generation whose interest in verbose literature has fallen behind, blog posts should take less reader’s time and should be easy to read on the go. They should be written in a more casual tone, that is involving and not overly complicated. Use of slang, sentence fragments, and short paragraphs is accepted in blogging.

On the other hand, articles have no standard length. They can be anywhere between 300 words to 5000 words long. They should have flawless grammar and spelling. Articles follow a more sophisticated, journalistic writing style. They explore a topic in-depth, which makes them more extensive.

How and When to Use Articles and Blogs?

Today, businesses looking to grow their online relevance must generate quality content. This may be in the form of blog posts or articles.

Articles are best placed on websites of businesses which need to keep their clients abreast with up-to-date information quickly and regularly. Blog posting is best suited where your goals include an increase in your stature as an industry thought leader, growing your brand recognition and creating better visibility on search engines.

But, really, these rules are not cast on a stone!

Unlike in the past, we are experiencing a blog-article convergence where blog posts are increasingly becoming factual and well researched. We also have longer posts that are going past the SEO keyword needs to create value for the readers. 1,000 (and even 2000) words blog posts have become fairly standard. With new Google algorithms, it is becoming important to create blog posts that deliver more value, are longer and which are more professional.

You can use the different nuances to article writing and blog writing to create a truly robust SERP. You can include both types of content on your website to amp your engagements and SEO.

While their styles may be different, the message conveyed through your article and blog posts should be consistent so that your branding efforts are not sabotaged. Your overall marketing goals and digital marketing strategies will help you determine whether to use blog posts, articles or both.

Related References