What Are Battle Cards and How Can They Help to Generate More Sales?
May 19, 2021 Comment off
When there are plenty of competitors in your industry, you might often come up against why your product or service over someone else’s? The main thing is to not mislead your prospect about what you can and can’t do or offer, no matter how much you want the sale or to prove your product is better than a competitors.
Battle cards are a good solution to this problem. But what are they and how can they help?
What are sales battle cards?
Battle cards basically aids that compare your product or service – the features, benefits and price – compared to one specific or multiple competitors. Battle cards are short-form content, no more than one page, and provide salespeople with an overview so they can see which areas you are stronger on and which areas are weaker.
Crayon research states that 71% of businesses that use them say they have improved their conversion rates as a result.
The types of battle cards
There are a few different types of battle cards to be aware of. Some compare your product or service to a particular competitor, others compare your product or service to multiple competitors, and others are used internally for salespeople to reference.
Typically, the more specific you can be with battle cards the better. For instance, if you keep coming up against the same competitor or objection, a specific battle card comparing your business to that particular competitor works best. And do that for each instance. That means the battle card can be more detailed and technical, and focus exactly on which areas your product or service is better or worse than the competitor. Multiple competitor battle cards are better in the initial stages of a deal, where there is more general research involved.
How to create battle cards
There are a few key components of a battle card:
- Competitor name
- Facts – number of employees, revenue, number of customers, location, pricing
- Competitor strengths
- Competitor weaknesses
- How we are stronger
- How we are weaker
- Case study or customer reference
Create a template that is suitable for your business to save time and create a more consistent structure for all your battle cards. When it comes to strengths and weaknesses, the areas to consider should be around the key decision-influencing factors – ROI, features, price, customer support, implementation time, customisation, contract length and so on.
The key point of a battle card is that they need to help the salesperson persuade a prospect, but they must be honest. If there is an area where the competitor is stronger, state it and explain why. Otherwise, you won’t be ready for the objection or question when it comes. However, your battle cards must be positive, rather than negative.
For multiple competitor battle cards, focus on key facts that can be used quickly while the salesperson is speaking to a prospect. You could even use a checklist-style tick-box chart for whether they offer certain features or not.
Choosing your competitors
If you’ve lost out to certain competitors, add them to the battle card list. Make a list of what competitors regularly come up and at which stage of the buyer journey do they come up. You can then decide if the competitors require an individual battle card or can simply be included on a multiple battle card. Base this on whether the competitor comes up at the decision-making end or at the start of the conversation.
Of course, if you are going to use the information to bat away prospect questions about a competition, you want to make sure you have the right information. Get it wrong and the prospect could even end up calling you out and trust will be shattered.
Research heavily and put in a conscious team effort to know who your main competitors are, why you win or lose deals against them, what their marketing messaging says, the case studies they reference, and so on.
When doing research, look at the competitor’s website for the various facts and details, read various external product or service customer reviews, check mentions on social media, ask prospects and record it why they chose a competitor over you, and check news outlets for brand mentions.
Get this right and you’ll have a library of battle cards to help prepare your sales team better and arm them with the right information to handle and prospect objections.
Lastly, battle cards should not be a one-time activity. They should always be kept up-to-date regularly to ensure the facts are correct, products and features are updated and so on. Revisit all the steps every quarter to ensure the battle cards have the correct, accurate information.