When assessing your competition in B2B, there’s an approach that’s more valuable than the typical product feature comparison because it’s more actionable in driving your portfolio strategy, marketing initiatives and sales tactics.
Approach your next competitive evaluation using the following criteria. You’ll end up with more actionable insights and improve your competitive position.
- Market Strategy
A superior market strategy (not to be confused with marketing strategy) essentially takes products out of the equation by creating hurdles that can be insurmountable for competitors.In B2B, it’s typically strategic partnerships with influencers and/or market leaders. SAP mastered this tactic in the ’90s by forming strategic partnerships with the top consultancies running the ERP evaluations for Fortune 1000 corporations. Software that was considered the least usable and the most difficult and expensive to implement becomes a market leader because consultancies love big, long, expensive projects. Brilliant!
- Business Impact
Think high-impact business scenarios beyond those supported by individual products. Cross-functional scenarios that are critical to an organization’s strategic initiatives and have a direct impact on revenue, profitability, competitive position or operational efficiency are usually a good bet.In the absence of #1 above, this element is the most important part of your competitive comparison because it differentiates your organization in a manner that’s most credible to your target customers.
- Positioning & Differentiation
When all other things are relatively equal, the best story wins and it boils down to credibility. Say something your competitors aren’t saying that exudes more credibility. That makes you different. Use the scenarios from #2 above as the proof points. You’ll love the results!
Competitive comparisons of features are appropriate for consumer products because features are what consumers buy. In B2B, especially technical products, features are difficult to understand so buyers default to buying solutions. Present your next competitive assessment by comparing market strategies, business scenarios and value propositions. Your insights and subsequent actions will have a much bigger impact on your organization’s competitive position.