B2B Revenue Acceleration
B2B Revenue Acceleration

Episode · 2 years ago

37: How Well Do You Know Your Competition? w/ Chris Geisert

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

There’s only one letter between losing and closing a deal. It’s also the first letter in competition. And guess what?

You should know your competition.

Assuming your sales team knows your product, your services, and your value, the next step is to equip them with knowledge about their competitors. This enables them to address questions the customer may not even be asking yet, but they’re certainly considering. “Well, the other company does xyz....”

On this episode of the B2B Revenue Acceleration podcast, Chris Geisert delivers powerful tactics on battle cards, when to review your competitors, and when to focus on your own product or service.

Chris is the CMO at Lockpath, where they help customers from SMB to enterprise manage risk (a.k.a., GRC or integrated risk management). Chris’s expertise rests on his 25 years in marketing, in everything from the regional theme park industry, to the agency side to AOL, B2B, and B2C. His breadth of experience has given him a wide-eyed view of marketing and sales, and competitive analysis.

You're listening to be to B RevenueAcceleration, a podcast dedicated helping software executives stay on thecutting edge of sales and marketing in their industry. Let's get into the show, welcome to EB Revenue Acceleration. Myname is Dancybrook, and I have the pleasure to welcome here today, ChrisGisit, who is CMO of Lock Path Chris Higt? How are you doing doing wellDaniel Pleasure to be here in good morning morning, good so the topic fortoday's episode is getting to know your competition, but before we go into theconversation Chris, could you please introduce yourself the company and abit about your role and background a lot pass? Yeah. Absolutely. As youmentioned my name s Chrisgays your good morning. Everyone, as you mentioned onthe Co here at Lockpath, we're a software company that helps any sizecompany really from SMB to enterprise, bring order to the chaos of managingrisk. Ow, it's been called GRC or integrated risk management will take astraightforward approach and to help...

...people identify, understand, manage andthen report on their risk and then simplify that entire process for acustomers. Yeah. You ask a little bit about my background. I've been inmarketing for more than twenty five years. I started out in the regionaltheme park industry here in the US, and then I was director of brand promotionsand sponsorships for America Online back in the the lates and early twsand,I've been on the agency side, I've een on the corporate side, bt o be businessto consumer large corporations and even small startups. So you know my wifesays I just can't hold a job, but you know I feel, like I've gotten goodexperience on a number of sides of the table in have enjoyed it. So you knowhere at Lock Path. You asked about a marketing team. We've got a team ofnine folks and were responsible for all legon efforts, content creation,branding efforts. We also support all the other departments for any of ouroutward facing materials. So you know the competitive piece that we're goingto talk about today really will fit well, whether it's battle cards orresearch. It's definitely a focus area...

...for us absolutely and I think, drawingon that experience that you've had from multiple rols different sides of themarketing fencelles on the agency titside the Vendarside, whether it'sBEC Bto, beat. Naturally, that's GIVIG, you a lot of exposure into how we canattract customers, how you can influence organization businesses toessentially come closer to it, your organization, so I guess Gressiv. Welook at that and a know that viewing competitives exclusively as adversariesis kind of shortsighted, if you like, and often it can be damaging because alot of the time compestovs could also be partners, but companies obviouslyneed to be repared to fight their competition and marketing teams pay animportant role in identifying customers or competitors. I should say buildingstrategies to influence and ultimately win them as as business for yourorganization. If we look at at what are the aspects that you would suggest ofyour competition, that you believe you need to be aware of or monitor or beable to, I guess get ahead of the game.

Well, get ahead of the competition.What do you think really important from that perspective? You know I yo make agreat point in that you can't just look at all of your competition asadvestarial. There is always something to learn from from everyone, and youknow we kind of take the stance that we never mentioned competitors in any ofour marketing, but it's always good to learn about what they're saying andknow what they're doing he starts off as basic as you know, do you understandand do you know their core product offering? You know what are some oftheir key messages and how does that compare to to archy messages who Ithink or who I believe is ther their target? What are some of theirstrengths and weaknesses? You know that we've heard in the marketplaces we winand lose deals to our competitors just going to happen, you're not going towin every deal that you enter. So what can you take from that prospect oflearning? What did you like about our competitor? What did you not like aboutour competitor? So you know those are some of the just the high level ofbasic things that I don't think you want to completely try and build yourmarketing or your message off of someone else, but it's good to be atleast aware of of what they're doing...

...yeah t that makes sense- and I think Iguess is whet it depends on th the maturity of the market. If we look atsome markets where they're extremely saturated well, perhaps you want totake guilance off the back of Wot, vendors or sorry. Competitors may havetried and failed out likewise on, if you're completely building market,where there are no real competitives and you're, probably going to be theone that people are looking at in the future iguess to do the above. Whatreally, what you've just been describing their companies will oftenbuild battle cards or playbooks or messaging and or scripts. However,whatever Y, u sort of content, you want to utilize to outlie the strengths andweaknesses of each competitor, also, of course, of each target Pson or reachtarget account is Grand Ros that. But if you look at the competitive sort oflandscape for a second, you want to build batkcards to throughout line thestrength and weakness of each Congeste, so that your sales teams, you marketingteams, Youre inside sale, sales, developent, reps business, develomentrepps, can understand and Taylor the message when engaging withorganizations that may be using a...

...compettor, or indeed, of course, to tryand influence that key target sone that you want to engage with. From yourperspective, what's the importance of being able to build that sort ofplaybook or battle Gard? And what do you think is really important to coverin that for for a sales and Marketing Organization to be successful? Yeah,absolutely and, as you said, it's a key tool for those sales. People out in thefield so, first and foremost, is got to be in a usafl format for thesalespeople, because, if they don't use, it doesn't matter how much data andinformation that I pulled together. If it's not an usuaal format, then it'swasted effort traditionally, for us, that's a clean one page, mostly bullets.High level know sales people or are sales people for a reason: Yey theyhave a short attention span and they like to go, go go so you've got to talkto them on their level. You got to keep things in short chunks and small bitesand not krying, to say, they're, not intelligent, but we definitely want tofeed them the information that they...

...need in a quick format. You know we'll,try and put a table on there that will compare the base, features and benefitsof ours to are competitors. You know in an easier recheck, checkbox kind oflist, we'll give them a short basic overview of of that competitive companyand anynoted customers that we may know of that. They have maybe some keyindustries that they target just in an effort, as I said, to give that salesrep the easiest and quickest high level overview of what they're walking intowhen do they when they go into pitch a prospect, and they know what competitorthey're pitching against and then obviously something that I thinkeverybody would put on their battle card. Is that some form of Swatanalysis? You know looking at the streeks and weaknesses of competitorswhere we have an opportunity against them. What are the threats where orthey may be stronger than US and then iglight? If we can highlight whatfeatures are what benefits and offerings that we offer where we feellike we're superior to our competitors, make sure that we're seeting thatconversation for the sales rep so that...

...they go down that path early on youknow, I think the the think the danger with a lot of these battle cards isthat marketers. You know we want to give you a as much information as wecan and we'll give them information overload, and they have so many volumesand spreadsheets of these competitive analysis s that it becomes somethingthat's been unusable, so I 's really boiing it down to those main points anddoing what marketers do and try and to communicate the message effectively anddoing that for oursaves Rupson. You know because again, at the end of theday, we everybody wants the the sales team to be successful out there. Thatmade sense- and I guess from that perspective as well again, it's it'sreally important- to have lots of information for the sales team toenable them to be as fas, effective, an as afficing as possible, Wen in frontof a prospect or engaging with a prospect. I guess from a Mar seamstandpoint, the information is kind of high level. To your point, I think it'sit's information around specific competitors, specific convessivelandscapes as well af you like, but how...

...important do you be believe it is toreally go and then break that down further and say well. This is acompetitive landscape. This is that all our different competitors that w maycome up against. But how important do you think it is to take it one stepfurther and then tailor that to the individual Prospectto, your tarating aswell with that competitive information, so from a marketing standpoint, wouldyou take it step further and say well, this is a competitive info that we have,and this is how we'd articulateit to a mark to a I don't know in your industry.ACHIEVEING is go or a two security officer or someone else within thebusiness yeah. I think it depends on where you're in the sales funnel. Youknow, I think, early on. You know if you're an outside Tyou or an insideteam that is sourcing leads. I don't think it makes sense to go to thatlevel of detail, but if you're in an RFP or if you've been selected ornarrowed down to the final two or three in a buying process, absolutely I thinkit makes a sense to breakdown and look at those other people that you know ifyou can know who you're pitching against not to break down theirstrength, weaknesses, orm the sales...

...team with who they're going up againstgive them, maybe a bit more information or a deeper level of information thanwhat you may just put on a stand battle card. That is there in a marketingorpository for either the inside or outside sales reps to reference so yeah.I think if you're foregnough, along in the sales process, it absolutely makessense to Taylor how the two competitors us and our competitor compare for thatprospect. You know taking the usecase that the prospect is laid out for ustaking what they want to accomplish as their goal and knowing what we knowabout our competitor. How do we tell that story in a way that you know firstand foremost, gives the prospect the best solution, because, obviously youwant a happy customer, you don't need to mislead them and end up with it witha bad sale, but show them where hopefully you're stronger than yourcompetitor and where it makes more sense to choose your product versus thecompetitors. Yeah. That makes sense, I think as well. If you look at the sortof technology landscape, it's always...

...evolving, so Er's, you won't have everybattle guard against every single compertitor, I'm sure you cam peteagainst every single day, simply because the technology world isevolving so quickly organizations are coming out with more funding everysingle day, creating new products every day and creating new markets every day.I guess now, of course it's I think you made the point earlier on in theconversation that yes, it's important to know about your competition, but atsome point you've just got a focus on yourselvs as well. That being said, youcan't completely lose sight of what others may be doing and with the paceof transformation and evolution in the technology world. How often do youthink, when you consider that? How often do you think you should bereviewing the battlegards and perhaps not the individual content within thebattlecards, but I guess how often do you think you should be getting a fillfor the for the for the landscape? Is it a case that staying in your own Tam,focusing on yourselfs and and others will come and and you periodicallyreview that? Is it a case that every time you come up against anotherorganization in the sale process, you think will actually we need to startbuilding, playbooks and messaging and...

...battle cards against that business?Could will probably see them more and more often, what do you think theprocess should be? If, indeed, there is one around that yeah and I think you'reright first and foremost, you need to stick to your own knitting, as mygrandmother would say, and focus on what you do best and go out and pitchevery day in your own lane as you've got these battle cards, though I thinkyou can you're going to have differing levels of competitors you're going tohave. You know people that you see in most every pitch and you're, going tohave folks that you see rarely or on occasion to those big three or fourthat that you're always up against you know. I think you pull information fromevery pitch that you're in with them and try and enhance that battle card.You probably set up some kind of Google alert to know what they're doing justso that if there's some new product new feature some market move that they'remaking. You can note it on the battle Card if there are any other newsworthyevents of mergers. Even if it's of those smaller competitors you can, youcan update the battle card, then I think annually. I think you take allthe battle cards and you go through Hem...

...and you double check them and make surethat there's as current as possible. So if you haven't touched one for a year,you may consider is this one? We need to keep updated, but I think if youhaven't touched it at least annually, you need to go through those but, asyou said, and the in the security and in the software space, it's rare thatwe would go h along and not touch a battle card of one of our competitors.Yeah Yeah, I think that's a faid point I mean from our perspective there's Ithink if we look at a business from advantage point particularly doing somuch work in the security space es, there's different parts of the softwareworld and different parts of the security world. I think, if you look atcertain markets, theres a lot of very established organizations. It's can besin somewhat, commodisize and saturated, and in that sense I don't think thecompetitive landscape is going to change dramatically. If you're in aspace like you guys, are lot PARH. I think perhaps that may evolved more andmore speed over the coming years as risk as compliance with differentregulations like Gdpr, coming into...

...force. More and more, of course, that may evolve slightlyquick than other markets like say an antipatis market it for yeah absolutely,and we see new platforms and new products coming into the space. We seeconsolidation of players that are in the space so yeah our market isexchanging eving and flowing much more quickly than say. Maybe a consumerpackage goods company O or something like that- yeah yeah- that makes sensecit so that your intucts been really useful, and I think I speak foreveryone here appreciate that you took the time to speak with us and shareyour knowledge and it it's a very background. I think that's that's theinteresting point for me, because you're obviously coming at this fromfrom a sort of vantage point that you've seen different markets,different organizations, different industries and that hat obviouslybrings a lot of valuable experience to your current role in a software companyfor anyone, that's listening. That would want to get in touch no moreabout what we've discussed today, learn more about your company or your role orwhat would be the best way for them to get in touch with Yom yeah yeah. Theycan always check out like pas online at...

...lockpathcom ore. You feel free to emailme just my name. Chris CHR is dot Geisert Gei Ser t is an Thomas atlockpasscom great right. Chris will again appreciate your time, and- andthank you very much- It's been my pleasure great talkiy this morning. Angood luck to everybody out there marketing is is Tespun, it's alwayschanging. So I hope everybody has some great success. UPER ADICS has redefined the meaning ofrevenue generation for technology companies worldwide, while thetraditional concepts of building and managing inside sales teams in househas existed for many years. Companies are struggling with the lack of focus,agility and scale required in today's fast and complex world of enterprisetechnology sales. Seeow operatics can help your company accelerate pipelineat operatics. Dot Net you've been...

...listening to be to be revenueacceleration to ensure that you never miss an episode subscribe to the showin your favorite odcast player. Thank you so much for listening until nexttime.

In-Stream Audio Search

NEW

Search across all episodes within this podcast

Episodes (117)