SalesSales battlecards & how to use them (with examples)

September 30, 2021by Rebekah Gellert
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Research is an essential part of any inside sales role. In order to maximize your chances of engaging prospects, delivering your messaging, booking appointments, and closing sales is knowing who you are selling to.

It’s about knowing their position within a company, the industry they work in, and the myriad of other factors that will impact their behavior and the outcome of your sales outreach. Failing to do so is one of the biggest pitfalls salespeople encounter.

So how do we prevent this? One tool that can help you maximize your chances of sales success is battlecards.

These equip you with comprehensive, readily available information to aid you in your sales outreach, knowing exactly what parts of your offering to highlight whenever a key competitor gets name dropped.

This will allow you to better communicate the benefits of your product or service, providing a vital asset that will evolve and continue to provide value over time.

In today's blog

We will explain what battlecards are, how to create them, and how to use them effectively.

In today's blog

We will explain what battlecards are, how to create them, and how to use them effectively.

Battlecards 101

Stepping into the ring.

There’s a reason why the term battlecard sounds adversarial. This is your weapon to help triumph over competitors, knowing which weak points to strike when a prospect is considering which company to do business with. It’s important to remember that battlecards don’t replace your call scripts – they serve as a companion.

Your battlecard should be a one-page resource, comparing your company’s offering with other competitors operating in the same industry. A battlecard needs to give you all the information you require in the quickest and clearest way possible, letting you see how your company measures up against competitors in key areas such as price, performance, features, and time to deliver.

Without a battlecard, you could be left scrambling for a response to questions during your sales outreach. This can be a particular worry when engaging in a phone or video call as you need to be timely and confident in your responses.

The last thing you want is to give false information or make up facts and numbers on the spot. This is poor sales practice and will only lead to prospects having a misconception of what you can actually offer them. It can lead to dissatisfied customers who require more effort to manage, decreasing their lifetime value. It will likely lead to negative reviews too, as well as lost referral business, and a higher churn rate.

Having a battlecard ready will allow you to convey the benefits of your offering clearly in contrast with rival companies. When combined with active listening, you can tailor your responses for maximum impact.

Your battlecard will also include information on your competitors, allowing you to demonstrate in-depth knowledge of your industry. These typically come into play during the consideration stage of the sales pipeline, once prospects have searched for a solution to their business challenges and have begun to compare different options. It’s likely they know what they want, though might want a better idea of the price and features available from different companies.

Sales battlecards can be adapted for a number of purposes. They don’t necessarily need to be used exclusively for prospect-facing interactions, also serving as a great resource for reps to learn and internalize the competitive advantages of your company’s offering. They can also also be adjusted in scope, narrowed down to focus on two companies, or broadened to give you a view of the competitive landscape.

How to create a Battlecard

Creating battlecards doesn’t have to be complicated though it can take some time to put together.

Prepare for this reality, especially if you are looking to compare your company’s offering with that of several or more competitors.

Which competitors should you include in your battlecards? Through experience, you’ll begin to learn which companies to keep tabs on – namely, the ones you have lost business to. It’s likely you’ll develop a gut instinct for this, though you should also be reviewing the data your inside sales team collects to help identify competitors.

However, in doing your research and making sure the information on your battlecard is as accurate and up to date as possible, you will increase its effectiveness. There is no such thing as being over-prepared.

Battlecards will look different depending on their function. If you want a battlecard that provides in-depth information and statistics on a single competitor, make sure it includes key information detailing how long they’ve been established, their location, and size of their company, as well as an estimate on their annual revenue and number of customers.

Another section will focus on the top products and services they provide, breaking down their pricing model. This overview will be helpful in familiarizing you with competitors, what challenges they can help your prospects overcome, what solutions they offer and how these compare to your own. It’s also important to keep tabs on recent news and updates surrounding these companies, whether they’ve announced new products, recently experienced corporate alignment changes, formed strategic partnerships etc.

However, the most crucial part of any battlecard is its list of competitor strengths and weaknesses. Research their products carefully, look for technical comparisons with your own products, read reviews etc. Are there issues with quality or performance? Is their product missing features? List these pros and cons on your battlecard.

Don’t stop there. Being able to identify a competitor’s strengths and weaknesses is only useful if you have a response to follow up with, tailoring your sales messaging to highlight a competitive advantage you might have to close a sale.

For example, you’ll need to have a response ready for when a prospect brings up a competitor who has a known strength compared to your own offering. Similarly, when highlighting the weakness of a competitor, make sure you have the substance to back up these claims, using relevant case studies as well as customer testimonials.

Stuck for ideas?

If you don’t know where to start then don’t worry, there are plenty of battlecard templates available, ready for you to insert the information of your company and that of your competitors. The best battlecard templates are clearly presented, allowing you to quickly scan them and retrieve the information you need. Highlight key sections, include tables and checklists – customize battlecards to make them as concise and readable as possible. Try and keep them consistent with your company brand, as well.

What tools are there?

There are plenty of tools such as Owler and ZoomInfo and other free online resources that provide the most recent updates & news.

What tools are there?

There are plenty of tools such as Owler and ZoomInfo and other free online resources that provide the most recent updates & news.

I’ve created my Battlecards, what’s next?

Like ICPs and BuyerDNA profiles, generating battlecards isn’t a one-and-done process.

They need to be updated regularly to reflect the way markets constantly change and businesses evolve.

One of your competitors could revise the features of one of their key products or perhaps change their pricing model. It could impact your sales pitch if you try to target a part of your competitor’s offering that has drastically changed.

To make sure your battlecards are up to date, it is recommended that you carry out a monthly analysis. It’s best practice to subscribe to any target company insights and make sure you’ve researched the bullet points on your cards prior to any engagement with your prospects.

Your inside sales team should work to collect and share data that you can then use to sharpen your battlecards. Keep track of industry news, read reviews, gauge sentiment via social media mentions, and conduct primary research via your account who may have insights into working with other companies in your industry.

Beyond creating battlecards, staying engaged with the latest developments surrounding your competitors can provide valuable insights.

Ready for battle?

Persuasion is a salesperson’s weapon of choice but nothing sharpens its edges better than a well-crafted battlecard.

Invest the time in researching your competitors and you’ll reap the benefits by arming yourself with the information needed to clearly and confidently illustrate your advantages over competitors, steering your prospects closer to closing a deal.

If done properly, battlecards will allow you to empower your pitches and handle any queries your prospects may throw at you.

Keep your battlecards updated.

That’s just as important is keeping them concise and to-the-point, making sure you retrieve the key highlights with a quick scan.

Keep your battlecards updated.

That’s just as important is keeping them concise and to-the-point, making sure you retrieve the key highlights with a quick scan.

Rebekah Gellert Inside Out
Originally from Norway, Rebekah’s was raised in the Tampa Bay area. From her first job at 16, she found success with Sales and Marketing exclusively. Although it didn’t go in the direction of music videos and commercials as her childhood dreams had hoped, her experience in the financial industry and real estate enabled her to establish her own company and travel. With focus on digital and social media marketing, advertising, brand awareness, content, and brand design, her motto is “don’t present a problem without offering a solution.” She follows the idealogy of “proactive, not reactive”, and enjoys analytical processes, working under pressure, and finding order in chaos. Following the sale of her company, Rebekah currently holds the position of Head of Marketing and Sales Enablement and resides in Downtown St. Petersburg.

Rebekah Gellert

Originally from Norway, Rebekah's was raised in the Tampa Bay area. From her first job at 16, she found success with Sales and Marketing exclusively. Although it didn’t go in the direction of music videos and commercials as her childhood dreams had hoped, her experience in the financial industry and real estate enabled her to establish her own company and travel. With focus on digital and social media marketing, advertising, brand awareness, content, and brand design, her motto is “don’t present a problem without offering a solution.” She follows the idealogy of “proactive, not reactive”, and enjoys analytical processes, working under pressure, and finding order in chaos. Following the sale of her company, Rebekah currently holds the position of Head of Marketing and Sales Enablement and resides in Downtown St. Petersburg.

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Rebekah Gellert Inside Out
Originally from Norway, Rebekah’s was raised in the Tampa Bay area. From her first job at 16, she found success with Sales and Marketing exclusively. Although it didn’t go in the direction of music videos and commercials as her childhood dreams had hoped, her experience in the financial industry and real estate enabled her to establish her own company and travel. With focus on digital and social media marketing, advertising, brand awareness, content, and brand design, her motto is “don’t present a problem without offering a solution.” She follows the idealogy of “proactive, not reactive”, and enjoys analytical processes, working under pressure, and finding order in chaos. Following the sale of her company, Rebekah currently holds the position of Head of Marketing and Sales Enablement and resides in Downtown St. Petersburg.