I think every salesperson has had the experience of losing a deal to a competitor. It’s never a great feeling, but I try to see each lost deal as an opportunity to learn ways to better solve customers’ pain points. Tracking which competitors you’re losing deals to and why is one of the best ways to find out which features are actually relevant to your customer base. Knowing why you are winning or losing against particular competitors can also help sales teams make strategic and tactical adjustments that can ramp up sales revenue.
If your team is using Salesforce, it’s really easy to keep track of which competitors you are winning and losing deals against. Here’s how:
Here at RingDNA, we always track which competitors we are winning and losing deals against in Salesforce. At a high level, this helps us gauge when our team needs to pivot strategies, adjust pricing or innovate features in order to help win deals from particular competitors.
The first thing we recommend you do is to set up a custom picklist in Salesforce opportunity pages that lists all of your main competitors. Then, when a competitor’s name gets mentioned by a prospect during sales conversations, it’s easy for a rep to select that competitor from the picklist. Later, we can generate reports that show which competitors we are winning and losing deals against.
While this data is vital to our marketing efforts, it is just as important for sales teams. Make sure that you take the time to properly train your entire sales team to log this data. Every salesperson should be made aware that the data collected will ultimately be used to help them close more deals.
It’s not only important to be able to track who you are winning and losing deals to. It’s also vital to keep records of why deals are being lost to particular competitors. Make sure every account executive is logging notes in Salesforce about why deals are won or lost. Our inside sales reps input details on the opportunity pages in Salesforce to keep records of why deals do or don’t close. Some companies also log this information in Chatter.
Here are a couple of ways that logging deal competitor data can help your company accelerate sales revenue.
Salespeople, managers and entrepreneurs tend to, by nature, be competitive people. However, it’s also important to ensure that our drive to best the competition doesn’t get in the way of innovation. That’s why I am advocating a simple rule: view the competition through the lens of your customers.
At the end of the day, it doesn’t matter what features your competitors are offering. It matters what features your customers are interested in. Your main competitor might offer some seemingly impressive, difficult-to-replicate features. But those aren’t necessarily the features that are causing you to lose deals. That’s why it’s so important to track who you are losing deals to and why. You might find that a customers are choosing a competitor because they offer a simple feature that your development team can replicate in a day or two. Or you might discover that your pricing on various offerings needs to be adjusted.
After you get a large enough sample of competitor data, you can begin using it to pivot sales strategies. For example, here at RingDNA, if we notice certain reps are winning deals against a particular competitor, we discuss why. We examine what’s working and see which tactics can be replicated across our entire sales organization or can be used to beat other competitors. If we are losing deals against a particular competitor we research how we can better handle those situations. Here are some ways that companies can use deal competitor information to sell better:
Want to learn more ways to drive sales growth? Our free eBook Closing Power features 10 key ways that your sales team can close more revenue than ever before.
Jesse WestDirector of Lifecycle MarketingringDNA
Jesse Davis West is Director of Lifecycle Marketing at ringDNA, focusing on improving the experience and maximizing the lifetime value for customers across their entire journey. Drawing on 9 years of B2B marketing experience, Jesse is passionate about communication, branding and strategic marketing. He also plays a mean lead guitar and can throw down at karaoke.