What types of activities to you engage in to gain a leg up on your competitors? Some of the best competitive intelligence you can glean is from your own stealth competitive intelligence efforts.
You will need to engage a team to help you out. Do you know who they are?
Your team may not involve the usual suspects.
There are folks in your organization who constantly engage with customers. They hear lots of information about your competitors. The problem is, they usually ignore what they hear. They don’t realize it might be important to you. They don’t understand this type of information confers a competitive advantage to their employer.
Enlist them. Enlighten them.
These people are the non-traditional sellers in your organization. Your receptionist, your customer service reps, the folks assembling, packaging, loading, the quality assurance professional.
These individuals hear about all the stuff that your competitors are doing right… or wrong. They hear about how your company may represent a breath of fresh air in an unimaginative, status quo buying universe.
You not only find out about your competitors’ weaknesses. You find out about your own company’s strengths.
Have you created an internal network with your non-traditional selling colleagues? They are resources providing you with valuable stealth competitive intelligence.
The anecdotal information they collect allows you to introduce these same topics in your selling conversations with Buyers. Except now, you are speaking using the Voice of that Customer, instead of some slick information created by the marketing department.
The stealth competitive intelligence your non-traditional selling colleagues collect allows them to have a selling conversation with their counterparts at your customer’s company. How have you prepared them to include that type of information when they speak to their peers?
The eyes and ears of the marketplace often involves more resources than you are accustomed to using. Your stealth competitive intelligence resources include your non-selling colleagues.
Expand your concept of competitive intelligence to include the types of information that your traditional non-seller colleagues hear every day.
This week, recruit your non-seller colleagues to become part of your sales team. Teach them what to listen for. Rehearse questions to ask in response to competitive intelligence scenarios which arise.
Include your non-traditional seller colleagues in your own sales strategy. The stealth competitive intelligence they collect represents more selling eyes and ears you have on the ground. You will find you become more sensitive to marketplace and competitive trends.
You gain the stealth competitive intelligence scoop which can provide your company with a marketplace advantage.
Grow collaboration with your sales efforts. Encourage the support of your colleagues who, before now, considered themselves marginalized from your selling initiatives.
Everyone is responsible for business development in today’s globally competitive marketplace. Non-traditional sellers, the stealth competitive intelligence team you create, just may be your missing ingredient.
Babette N. Ten Haken, Founder & President of Sales Aerobics for Engineers, LLC, catalyzes revenue-producing business transition, startup growth and professional development.