Sales Battlecards & How to Use Them (With Examples)
Research is an essential part of any inside sales role. To boost your chances of engaging prospects, delivering your messaging, booking appointments, and closing sales… you need to know who you are selling to.
It’s about knowing their position within a company. Their marketing strategy. The industry they work in. And all other factors that will impact their behavior and the outcome of your sales outreach. Failing to do so is one of the biggest pitfalls sales reps encounter.
So how do we prevent this? One tool that can help you maximize your chances of sales success is competitor battle cards.
These equip you with broad, readily available information to aid you in your sales outreach. They help you to know 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 this blog, we’ll explain what sales battle cards are, how to create them, why they can be key differentiators for your win rates.
Stepping into the ring.
There’s a reason why the term battlecard sounds adverse. This is your weapon to help triumph over competitors. It helps you know 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. It should compare 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. It should let you see how your company measures up in key areas such as price, performance, features, and time to deliver.
Without a battlecard, you’ll 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.
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 confusion over what you can actually offer buyers. It can lead to edgy 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.
Your battlecard will also include information on your competitors. This will allow you to show an 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. 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 always need to be used just for prospect-facing interactions. Battle cards also serve as a great resource for reps to learn 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 your competitors.
What competitive intelligence 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.
Battlecards will look different depending on their function. If you want one that provides in-depth information and statistics on a single competitor, make sure it includes key information. How long have they been established? What’s their location? What’s the size of their company? Answer these basics, as well as an estimate on their annual revenue and number of customers.
The Products & Services.
Product battle cards will focus on the top products and services they provide, breaking down their pricing model. This overview will be helpful in helping you understand 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.
Competitor Strengths & Weaknesses.
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. Be sure to tailor your sales messaging to highlight a competitive advantage you might have to close a sale.
You’ll need to have a response ready for when a prospect brings up a competitor who has a known advantage. Also, when highlighting the weakness of a competitor, make sure you have the substance to back up these claims. We advise using relevant case studies as well as customer reviews.
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.
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 Buyer Personas, building battlecards isn’t a one-and-done process.
They need to be updated regularly to reflect the way markets constantly change. One of your competitors could revise the features of one of their key products. This could impact your sales pitch if you try to target a part of their 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. 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. 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 customer support queries your prospects may throw at you.
Experienced Client Delivery/Innovation Manager, Director of Operations and Purveyor of Tech-Industry Processes with a demonstrated history of working in the Computer Software and Technology Industries. Skilled in Consumer Electronics, Tech Trends and Analytics, Tech Best Practices, Six Sigma, Technical Support, Sales, Sales Management, Project Management and Team Building. Always looking for innovations to make tomorrow’s dreams possible today!