Success-ifying Competitive Enablement | Clara Smyth, Slack & Brandon Bedford, Klue

This episode is part of our monthly Competitive Enablement Show Live Series.

The Sparknotes

✅ Success Starts with Sales

“Sales is a great leading indicator place to live where you can respond to fires that are attached to active revenue that could be on the line if you weren’t supported.”

Say it with us: Success starts with sales first.

Compete experts like Clara Smyth and Brandon Bedford agree.

Before your Competitive Enablement program gets the authority it deserves, you’ll need to prove your impact. And the faster the better.

“You’re going to get the most measures starting with sales. You’ll be closer to revenue, so you’ll have better quantitative metrics,” says Brandon.

Look, qualitative feedback is critical. But when you can tie that feedback to revenue metrics from the get-go, well now you’re well on your way to building the right reputation within your organization.

Once this foundation is built, you’ll have success metrics in place to help you prioritize your efforts. Which, in turn, helps you scale up your Competitive Enablement efforts faster.

But all your future success has to start somewhere.

And it starts with sales.

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Competitive Enablement should have a seat at the table; but you have to earn it first

“I couldn’t brief [Slack founder] Stewart Butterfield on a consistent basis without saying that I’m in the trenches with his sales team and I’m working big deals 

You, your compete colleagues, and all our clients know how much of a valuable impact Competitive Enablement has on beating the competition.

But getting that coveted seat at the decision-making deal has to be earned.

That’s why Clara and Brandon say that it’s not enough to just build great sales collateral. You have to be hands-on in active deal support to prove your worth within the organization.

“Even picking the top three or four deals per quarter, hopping on an internal strategy call, and saying, here’s your battlecard, these are the latest things…I pushed out about this competitor, that’s enough.”

You can then track those deals and attribute revenue to close. That way you can underpin your specific competitive deal support with hard metrics.

And beyond revenue, Clara worked with a data scientist in a previous role to compare the win-rates of deals enabled by Clara’s team and those that weren’t.

The findings? Her company’s win-rate was 40% lower when the Competitive Enablement team wasn’t involved.

With data like this, you’re much more likely to have the ear of the senior leadership team.

And eventually earning a seat at the table.

⛑ Reporting Saves (Work) Lives

“Three times my job was on the chopping block…Every time I got to keep my title as a dedicated Competitive Intelligence analyst.

When someone can’t see the light, you need to show it to them.

If that someone has doubts about the viability of your Competitive Enablement program, having reporting and KPIs in place makes arguing your case a lot easier.

Like Brandon has done with his competitive confidence survey, Clara has made a point of establishing her own reporting and metrics throughout her career.

So when a previous manager was skeptical about the long-term value in having a compete program, Clara powerfully presented measures of her team’s success.

“I got to keep my title…because of the reports I pulled from Salesforce, because of the qualitative and quantitative approaches to collecting that competitive intelligence, and the rigour around doing something on a consistent basis.”

And while in the latter stages of our Competitive Enablement Maturity Model, organizations are expected to have sophisticated reporting infrastructure, Clara’s started with a simple Excel sheet.

So whether it’s win-rates, ACV, competitive confidence or end-user consumption metrics, start measuring your competitive enablement program today.

It could save your (work) life.

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