A sales team that doesn’t have battle cards is like a sports team going into a game without a game plan. You wouldn’t send your team out without a plan and you shouldn’t send your sales team out without one either. A sales battlecard outlines the most important information for your sales reps when speaking to potential buyers. This article will give you an overview of what a sales battle card is and why your company should be using them.
What is a Sales Battle Card?
Sales battle cards are concise descriptions of information about your product, your market, your customers, and your competition. There is a lot of information that could be included on your battle card, but only the most necessary information should actually be included. The information can be presented in a variety of ways. This includes graphs, graphics, images, text, or even videos. The most important thing is that they present the most important information in a way that is easy for your salespeople to read. If your information is too dense, it won’t be useful for your sales reps in the sales situation.
When asking what is a sales battle card, it might be helpful to also discuss what a sales battle card is not. It is not an extensive document. Many companies make the mistake of making their battle cards too long. An effective card is concise, clear, and easy to read and refer to. They should be less of a novel and more of a bullet pointed list. It is also not something to be referred to once and then forgotten about.
Types of Sales Battle Cards
In general, there are two types of sales battlecards. The first type compares your business to one of your competitors. These are generally useful once buyers have narrowed down their options. At this stage, they are getting down to the specifics of why they should choose one company over the other. The second type of sales battle cards compares your business to multiple competitors. These are most often used when buyers are still researching their options. This is when they need a lot of information broken down for them.
Why Do You Need Sales Battle Cards?
Now that you know what a sales battle card is, why do you need a sales battle card? The goal of a sales battle card is to give sales reps answers to the most important and most common questions, objections, and needs a potential customer might have. Sales battle cards give your sales people ammunition for their conversations with potential customers.
Today’s buyer is very educated. They take the time to do research before they ever speak to a sales rep. Your buyers come into meetings with a lot of knowledge about your company and your competitors. This makes it essential for your reps to know their facts before they enter a meeting. If sales representatives have important statistics and other information during sales meetings, it becomes much more likely they will close deals.
Your sales battle cards will help you understand the competitive landscape and how your company can position itself against others in the market. They can also allow salespeople to understand how they can tactically sell against competitors.
What Should Be Included In Your Sales Battle Card?
You can include any information you think is necessary on your sales battle cards. Here we will list four of the most common and most helpful pieces of information you may want to include.
Competitor Overview Information
All of your battlecards should begin with an overview of your competitors. Sales reps need to know at least the basics about the competition so they don’t go into situations blind. You should have the bare minimum information like the company name, website, location, and number of employees.
However, you can also include information on your competitors’ customers. Include the key demographics and target markets the company is targeting. You also want to know the geographic regions your competitor is targeting.
Competitive Sales Tactics
One of the most important aspects of a sales battle card is how it outlines your company’s competitive advantages. You need to know how your product or service is better than the competition. You also need to know where you might fall short. This will prepare your sales team for how to position those weaknesses when with a potential customer.
Competitive sales tactics are bite-sized pieces of information your sales reps can use in competitive situations. If your competitor makes specific claims about your company and its products, you want to include your counters to those claims.
One tactic you might want to include are kill points. These are quick statements that will knock a competitor out of the running early on. Next are land mines. Land mines are questions or topics that put your company at a disadvantage. These are likely tied to your competitors’ strengths. You should include methods for how your sales reps can effectively respond to these landmines and redirect the conversation. Third, include clues for sales reps to know how to identify warning signs. These are phrases, questions, or topics that signal a competitor is being considered for a deal.
A note of caution: you don’t want to take it too far. Your battle card should not bash your competitors. You want to stick only to the facts and how you are different from them. Don’t spend too much time over-emphasizing where they fall short.
Some customers respond better to stories than hard numbers. You may want to include examples of sales reps winning competitive deals. You can also include loss stories, but framed in a way that describes where the deal went wrong and how that rep could have been more effective.
Many times this information is provided with side-by-side comparisons to how your competitors do business. This can include messaging. How is your competitor positioning themselves in the market? You want to use their own words, which you can find on their website or social media profiles. You also want to compare your strengths and weaknesses to those of your competitors. A great way to do this is to look at third party reviews. What are customers saying about your strengths and weaknesses and your competitors’?
How Do You Utilize Battle Cards?
You went through the process of creating your battlecards, now how do you make sure they get used? The most important factor is where you keep them. Your battle cards need to be in a convenient place for your sales reps to refer to. They should be kept in a central location that is easy to find and access. Some of the best places to store them are your CRM, wiki, or Google Drive. They also need to be kept up to date as the market changes. Having outdated information about yourself or your competitor can cause you to lose trust with your buyers.