What gunpowder did for war, the printing-press has done for the mind; and the statesman is no longer clad in the steel of special education, but every reading [person] is his judge.— Wendell Phillips
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.
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There’s nothing more frustrating than scrolling through 100 pages of a book looking for something specific when there is no table of contents (TOC). While most authors treat it as an afterthought, it’s an important part of the package. A table of content displays the big ideas in a non-fictional book and where to find them. If you’re writing a book about `The Devil in the City’, you want the reader to have a quick reference guide of the contents. Obviously, this is a strong selling point so failing to include a table of contents (TOC) will make your book less marketable. Let me walk you through the importance of a table of contents (TOC).
Makes navigation a breeze
Readers need a reference point to locate all the important information. A TOC contains numbers which come in handy when viewing the soft copy of the word document. If your idea has no direction, your message may take a meandering path. It’s worth mentioning that a book without a clearly defined table of contents (TOC) can make the readers get lost along the way.
A detailed TOC is the perfect way of taking the reader where he or she wants to travel. He can focus on the most essential information and skip the most irrelevant. If you have a challenge with the structure, that problem needs to be solved before you work on your table of contents (TOC). Read on and learn more.
The Table of Contents Informs the reader And Tells what the book is about
Without a strong table of contents (TOC), the reader will have a rough time following your story. It’s imperative that you ensure the table of contents (TOC) supports the idea fully and benefits the readers. Not only that, the chapters should be worded in a way that makes the reader feel as if they are in the book itself. A non-fictional book needs a sound structure, so you want a table of contents (TOC) that supports the manuscript. Even better, the straight lines on the table direct the reader’s eyes. He can quickly grasp the idea rather than hunting through the text.
Gives the reader the scope and completeness of the book
A table of contents (TOC) is found on the page before the start of the book. It gives a brief description of the chapters and the page number. If it’s misaligned or misplaced, the entire content won’t function optimally. Note: the list chapters are the backbone of the book’s outline.
Without a clear table of contents (TOC), the reader will put down the non-fictional book – if they pick it up at all. Needless to say, they will give a bad review. It’s important that you create a structure that fleshes out and is unique in its category. If your book is in eBook format, the reader will prefer to have a table of contents (TOC) tied to a chapter.
Allows the reader to repeat the major parts of the book
If you’re downloading eBook on your mobile device, it becomes quite easy to look for what you want – you can read summaries and jump through chapters. More interestingly, you’re redirected to the table of contents (TOC) by tapping the same icon. While all the information on the book may be useful, some parts may be more eye-catching. At some point, a book to be finished because everything cannot be included in the book. When writing the table of content, be sure to nail down the real essence of the book.
Indicates the author’s style
If the table of content is smart and witty, the reader will know the manuscript features creative writing. To ensure you bring a wow factor to your audience, you should add a little originality. More clearly, a nonfictional book requires the writer to think about the reader.
The TOC will allow the reader to skim and understand the message the writer wants to put across. If it resembles a certain style, chances are that the rest of the book features the same writing. Therefore, before you sit down and write imagine it exists on Amazon or in a nearby bookstore.
Let’s be honest: there is more to a non-fictional book than a catchy cover. The table of contents shows the reader what lies within the book. The table of contents can make the difference between an average and a great book. Without preparation, you’ll not get the results you want. Unlike a glossary or an index, writing a table of content is a piece of cake. It’s all about compiling a list of the parts – sections, chapters, and sub-chapters. Remember, young readers, are always drawn to books that give information about something they’ve always wondered about.