TSSL #7: Who is your Primary Competitor, and what's their strategy to BEAT you?

Oct 15, 2022

Read Time ­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­: 2 Minutes

Who’s your primary competitor… Seems like a straightforward question!

I can’t tell you how many blank stares I’ve gotten from sales reps who have no idea who the primary competitor is in their complex sales campaign.

Somewhere along the line, they were taught never to focus on or mention the competition for fear they might awaken something in their prospect.

Wrong!


In my experience, running a Complex Sales Campaign and NOT having a primary competitor is very unusual.


So while you may not be paying much attention to them, I can almost guarantee that if you’re a real threat to win the deal, your competitor is thinking about how to take you out.


And if you’re not laying traps and land mines for them, you’re missing a huge opportunity to compete.


Let me give you a real example

Back when I was running NetApp Canada, NetApp’s primary competitor was EMC.

Both companies hated each other, at least in the press and on quarterly earnings calls.


Back then, EMC had a very disciplined sales organization. Somewhere along the line, the EMC salesforce got trained to acknowledge that NetApp was a good company, but only for small departmental deals.


Not a serious player in the data center or enterprise.

They’d say the same thing in every deal


So we got smart and started to lay traps for them.

In our presentations,

  • We’d positioned NetApp as a credible player in the enterprise that could solve the business problems enterprise customers were concerned about.

  • We’d include slide after slide of major reference accounts that we’d won by providing meaningful business outcomes.

  • We’d use household customer names that customers recognized.

  • We’d also give the prospect a list of reference accounts and encourage them to call.

Not only did we know that EMC was in the deal, but we also knew what they would be saying about us.

Good guys but a small player, not enterprise-ready, and not a real competitor…


I can’t tell you how often I’d have prospects tell me that EMC did exactly what we said they would do.

Try to dismiss us in the enterprise


And as a result, the prospect got to thinking, if this part of the EMC story wasn’t true, what else wasn’t true?


Mission accomplished!


They stepped right on the land mine and blew up part of their campaign. All this without us ever trash-talking the competition.

Very few of us have no competition in our deals and figuring out how to lay traps, and land mines should be an integral part of your winning sales strategy.


Not the only part for sure, but using every weapon at your disposal is what real competitors do!

So start asking your reps about their competitors and see if they understand how the competition is planning to beat them.


Before it’s too late!

  • See you next week, where I ask: How are you developing a WINNING EDGE in your sales campaign… and I’m not talking about your products or services?

See you next Saturday.

Great Selling – Jeff@SalesLeadersOnly.com

Whenever you’re ready, there are 3 ways I can help you:

1. If you’re looking to improve the way you coach your team’s complex sales campaigns:
→ Watch this short video

2. If you’re looking for a simple guide to WIN More Big Deals With my Proven 3-Step System:
→ Read my Book – Winning the Six-Figure Sale

3. If you want help implementing a structured Big Deal review process in your sales organization:
→ Book a free discovery call in my calendar


Lead, Grow and Over-Achieve your Sales Targets.
Join 1200+ Subscribers who get 1 actionable sales leadership tip every Saturday morning.

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TSSL #7: Who is your Primary Competitor, and what's their strategy to BEAT you?

Oct 15, 2022

Read Time ­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­: 2 Minutes

Who’s your primary competitor… Seems like a straightforward question!

I can’t tell you how many blank stares I’ve gotten from sales reps who have no idea who the primary competitor is in their complex sales campaign.

Somewhere along the line, they were taught never to focus on or mention the competition for fear they might awaken something in their prospect.

Wrong!


In my experience, running a Complex Sales Campaign and NOT having a primary competitor is very unusual.


So while you may not be paying much attention to them, I can almost guarantee that if you’re a real threat to win the deal, your competitor is thinking about how to take you out.


And if you’re not laying traps and land mines for them, you’re missing a huge opportunity to compete.


Let me give you a real example

Back when I was running NetApp Canada, NetApp’s primary competitor was EMC.

Both companies hated each other, at least in the press and on quarterly earnings calls.


Back then, EMC had a very disciplined sales organization. Somewhere along the line, the EMC salesforce got trained to acknowledge that NetApp was a good company, but only for small departmental deals.


Not a serious player in the data center or enterprise.

They’d say the same thing in every deal


So we got smart and started to lay traps for them.

In our presentations,

  • We’d positioned NetApp as a credible player in the enterprise that could solve the business problems enterprise customers were concerned about.

  • We’d include slide after slide of major reference accounts that we’d won by providing meaningful business outcomes.

  • We’d use household customer names that customers recognized.

  • We’d also give the prospect a list of reference accounts and encourage them to call.

Not only did we know that EMC was in the deal, but we also knew what they would be saying about us.

Good guys but a small player, not enterprise-ready, and not a real competitor…


I can’t tell you how often I’d have prospects tell me that EMC did exactly what we said they would do.

Try to dismiss us in the enterprise


And as a result, the prospect got to thinking, if this part of the EMC story wasn’t true, what else wasn’t true?


Mission accomplished!


They stepped right on the land mine and blew up part of their campaign. All this without us ever trash-talking the competition.

Very few of us have no competition in our deals and figuring out how to lay traps, and land mines should be an integral part of your winning sales strategy.


Not the only part for sure, but using every weapon at your disposal is what real competitors do!

So start asking your reps about their competitors and see if they understand how the competition is planning to beat them.


Before it’s too late!

  • See you next week, where I ask: How are you developing a WINNING EDGE in your sales campaign… and I’m not talking about your products or services?

See you next Saturday.

Great Selling – Jeff@SalesLeadersOnly.com

Whenever you’re ready, there are 3 ways I can help you:

1. If you’re looking to improve the way you coach your team’s complex sales campaigns:
→ Watch this short video

2. If you’re looking for a simple guide to WIN More Big Deals With my Proven 3-Step System:
→ Read my Book – Winning the Six-Figure Sale

3. If you want help implementing a structured Big Deal review process in your sales organization:
→ Book a free discovery call in my calendar


Lead, Grow and Over-Achieve your Sales Targets.
Join 1200+ Subscribers who get 1 actionable sales leadership tip every Saturday morning.