Competitive intelligence is a company-wide function that is needed at every level of the company. The executive wants competitive, sales want competitive, engineering wants competitive, and marketing wants competitive.
However, when it comes to ponying up the resources and money to build a competitive team, no one raises their hands. Why is that?
Everyone wants competitive intelligence, deems it critical to their business to be successful. Then why go cheap on it? The answer is because companies do not know how to measure the success factors of a robust competitive intelligence team.
Let me suggest a couple of success factors to measure how important competitive intelligence is.
First success factor, show me the money. Competitive intelligence should tightly be associated with tactical deals where competitive intelligence has helped salespeople win deals and displace the competition.
Your company needs to have an intelligent way for sales to track which deal competitive intelligence was involved in, how competitive collateral was consumed and utilized and finally, the closed-loop of when the deal is won, then document the deal size and dollars. By documenting deals that competitive intelligence assisted on will allow senior leadership to determine if the competitive intelligence team is effective or not.
Another suggestion is to measure the number of downloads of competitive intelligence collateral, the number of training to sales, and the number of deals engaged.
By monitoring these leading indicators can lead to the number of deals being closed, thus ultimately feeds into the lagging indicators of how many dollars has competitive intelligence take away from the competition. To actively monitor leading indicators, it is imperative that companies invest hard dollars into a competitive intelligence group that will deliver results. If not, then saying “I want competitive intelligence” but not investing in one is a pipe dream. Results happen by investing into a CI team.
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