Your company doesn’t exist in a vacuum. It’s a push and pull relationship with competing companies. Ignoring key aspects of direct competitors is a misstep that can inhibit the go-to-market team and, ultimately, your success.
Sudeep Cherian, Senior Director and Head of Global Product and Solutions Marketing at LinkedIn, joins us for another episode of the Flip My Funnel Takeover Edition. He discusses competitive enablement and how it helps his team win business.
”My definition of a leader is someone who inspires those around them to work towards a common goal.” — Sudeep Cherian
Internal team structure & collaboration tactics
A single player on a football team doesn’t win the game. It takes a team effort; every member is essential to the overall success. If you want to be a market leader, you can’t expect to win the game when half your team doesn’t know the play.
Sudeep’s long and successful history as a go-to-market leader has instilled a team mentality — collaborating with a number of internal groups to bring the most informed customer value to market and drive growth.
”We have to come together and align on where to focus — how are we going to act together at every stage of the communication process?” — Sudeep Cherian
How to enable teams
It’s easy to involve every stakeholder in the go-to-market strategy — in theory. When you take into account the individual challenges, however, it becomes a lot more complicated. Not everyone on a football team has the confidence and game understanding that the star player has.
Understanding that communication is key to collaboration. Sudeep’s team mission is to empower and educate every marketer across three key areas of value: Plan, launch, and grow. He shares an explanation of each:
- Plan: Establishing a consistent approach to incorporating market insights into how we operate, including our motions to conduct market validation, research, and refining our understanding of audiences and solutions.
- Launch: Honing in on leading the end-to-end go-to-market process to bring those solutions to market.
- Grow: Leading the ongoing intelligence practice and orchestration to drive increasing value creation to our customers and overall revenue growth.
Finding & obtaining relevant intel on competitors
For a company looking to adopt competitive analysis, it can be difficult to know where to start. Finding relevant intel that is turned into actionable information for your go-to-market team can be tricky.
”It all starts with that aligned buy-in. Followed by how we’re going to frame that competitive intelligence function and the overall enablement approach.” — Sudeep Cherian
Driving the orchestration of the market intelligence motion with competitive at its core, Sudeep shares his steps to obtain and share data with stakeholders.
Establishing a framework
Build a foundation early with an understanding of who you want to investigate and monitor — it can help eliminate any hidden pain points that might disrupt communication among groups. Once you have the buy-in across all teams, you can begin to collect different data signals.
Analyzing the data
Having the competitive data is not enough by itself. Now begins the process of determining internal recipients that will then leverage the data appropriately. This involves collecting data across several platforms like partners or customers and then looking for themes to see where the team needs to investigate further.
Ultimately, the data is synthesized in a way that can be readily shared with the organization and put into the planning process on a regular basis — making sure, along the way, that the data is boiled down into its essence to make it digestible for each audience.
Measuring success in relation with sales enablement
Once the competitive data has been delivered, how do you know if that data made any difference on the sales call? Internally, a company can look at how engaged audiences are with the conversations surrounding the data. Externally, you need to be sure the data is connected to incremental growth.
Taking a step back, it’s ultimately about revenue growth — making sure that competitive data is driving more adoption for the solution.
”When we take a step back, are we making a difference? That’s how our team would prove value.” — Sudeep Cherian
A key takeaway
Making the most of your data is the only way to quickly and accurately respond to competitors. Whether your goal is to win business or make a better product, competitive enablement can help you get there. Don’t let this valuable resource go to waste.
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