written by
Nizamudheen V

How To Improve Sales Using Competitive Intelligence

Articles 4 min read

Methodical and legitimate mechanism of garnering the information of rival businesses and markets is called Competitive Intelligence (CI). Collecting actionable information from various sources, explicit and implicit, to analyse and formulate the feasible sales strategies.

It simply helps the Top Management, Sales Heads and Sales Reps, to analyse the market and generate reports in pecking order. It gives unique insight of the market and rival strategy, and suggests actionable and far-reaching objectives.

The Big Sale
Photographer: Clem Onojeghuo | Source: Unsplash

CI amasses and sketches the blue prints of competitors sales - strategies, limits and delimits, strength and weakness, customers and geographical presence. It gives rudiment recommendations, to disintegrate and disrupt the rival’s sales. It reveals how vendors, suppliers and distributors can be dislodged, and influence the key-players and stakeholders.

CI aims to prevent businesses from being caught off guard, this is turn, will help to make better-informed decisions and enhance organisational performance by discovering risks and opportunities.

The nature of competitive intelligence varies for industry to industry, and geographical areas.

Types of Competitive Intelligence

Competitive Intelligence activities are categorised into two groups, Tactical Intelligence and Strategic Intelligence.

Tactical intelligence is for short-term approach, which influences in increasing sales, market share and revenues.

Strategic intelligence focuses on long-term issues like key risks and opportunities faced by the company.

Competitive Intelligence is Not Corporate Espionage

Competitive intelligence is not corporate or industrial espionage, neither it adapts nor advocates any illegal and unethical methods for competitive advantage.

In the technology era of present day, substantial but fragmentary information of the companies are available online, but CI is to reach beyond such parameters to provide the reticent information.

Simple CI Methods of Corporate Reconnaissance

Anticipating something, which might happen, knowing beforehand what your rivals are up to, is skilful way to be fortified. Forewarning what your competitor is doing so that you can realign your sales strategy. You can plan your tactical moves based on strategical information gathered. Corporate reconnaissance will benefit all the departments in the firm, the most benefited will be the sales.

Scope Of CI And Areas To Be Covered

Competitive Intelligence covers under-wrap areas of business, and various resources are accessed to collect the information. The fiefdom related to the firm like news & media, customers, competitors, vendors, industry experts, private and public records are researched. It also pursuits the stake holders, distributors, suppliers and rivals.

Press and Media

Information of any company is easily available publicly, but collecting the information and analysing it, is the real game changer. Media both printed and digital, can be used to ascertain the rivals sales strategy and future restructuring road map.

Product And Brand Demand Among Customers

Descriptive statistics and surveys are designed to access the emotional responses of the customers to the brand of your rival, and also its weak and strong points. This will give you the right footing to pitch the sales of your product. Consumer decision process research can highlight, what motivates your customers to buy, and what decision-making process they use.

Market Research To Determine The Price

Conjoint Analysis and Statistical techniques & various pricing researches are used to determine, how people value your rival’s product. Price lists and other sources of information are used to determine the prices of competitors products and services. This information serves as the benchmark against your products.

Competitor price study will determine whether your product is over-priced or under-priced.

Competitor Evaluation

One of the most difficult areas of research is competitor insight. It is very valuable information, if Senior Management can share this information. To gain access and liaison with the elite Management group to gather information, is done by research and intelligence means.

Mystery Shopping is one of the crucial tools of research to gather this critical information.

Customer’s Interpretation And Views

Customer can shed most valuable and unbiased information of the competitor. If they are persuaded rightly than fair judgement can be obtained.

Vendors and Distributors Are the Key-players

Vendors, distributors and suppliers are the real nerve centres of any industry. They have in depth knowledge of the industry, market, industry gossip, financial turmoil in the industry and administrative directives effecting any particular firm or the industry as a whole.

Output Of Competitor Intelligence Studies

SCIP (Strategic & Competitive Intelligence Professionals) is the global community of choice for professionals who collect, synthesise, and use intelligence to make critical decisions. It advocates for the skilled use of intelligence to enhance business decision-making and organisational performance.

Understanding the competitor, their anticipatory moves and foresight is the real key to success of CI. Any sales team well armoured with rivals information will have a competitive edge.

Business newspaper pages
Photographer: AbsolutVision | Source: Unsplash

Toolyt, as leaders in Sales Productivity Automation System can make your Competitive Intelligence sales process easy by giving you seamless insight and tracking your relationships with the customers and competitors. The user friendly mobile App guides the sales person to complete the sales process in easy and professional manner.

Intrinsic alters and reports to the Management will give the prevision of the industry, happenings and preparedness for better sales strategy.