Many sales representatives will tell you that the competition can be fierce. But the good news is if you can present your product as the solution for your customer’s specific wants and needs, your competition won’t measure up the same way. A sales tool we use heavily in my organization are ‘What to Talk About’ sheets. They are tables broken up by the top four pain points as noted in a current focus group of the market. For the Medical Terminology market, these four pain points were identified by both our customers and customers using other products: Word-Building, Student Engagement, Saving Time for the Student, Cost to the Student. Identifying pain points and needs through focus groups with potential and existing customers provides a reliability that the majority of the market will also identify these paints points and needs
Daniel Burstein from Marketing Experiments says it best: “But here’s the upside for your organization: when you’re actually helping your customers find the best solution, they’ll believe you when you really are the best solution for their needs.” A customer may be using a competitor product without realizing that it doesn’t meet their needs. Starting the conversation on what the customer needs leads the discussion to a solutions pathway instead of a feature/benefit chat. It helps you the marketer or sales representative know what how to lead the conversation and demonstrate you focus on provided solutions.
As a marketer who frequently works with sales teams, I created reference sheets with quick reference points on how we compare to the competition based on needs assessment, not simply a features comparison. The reference sheets are easily scannable for quick reference, while also providing distinctive page numbers that can be displayed to the customer to demonstrate how the product caters to their needs.
It’s easy to highlight your organization’s product over your competitors, but it’s difficult to always be objective. This layout also provides opportunities where the competition may be strong in meeting this need, but also demonstrates how we compare and could potentially meet that need. There is potential that we may meet their current needs and also provide a better solution than the competitor. The best preparation is always knowing who you are up against. Instead, the best preparation is understanding what the customer wants most.