Competitive Intelligence

Tactical, Operational & Strategic Analysis of Markets, Competitors & Industries

I would like to kickoff membership with Competitive Intelligence to test a point of view that I've been developing over the past year. While I am not familiar with the types of discussions on this site, I hope that we can have an open, honest, and frank debate!

During my two periods of work in competitive analysis, I focused on the quality of my research and the integrity of my analysis. In my recent work at Forrester, I've seen the challenge that sales reps have trying to internalize all the pieces of information coming at them with product messages, value propositions, customer references, and many other themes along with the dynamics of customer requirements and competitors that the a sales rep must navigate to close business.

What is the responsibility for us as competitive professionals to not only communicate the results of our research and analysis, but to convey the content is a way that sales reps can easily digest it? In working with some leading technology vendors, I am finding that one of two situations is emerging.

First, a new role is emerging for analysts who can communicate with sales reps to adapt research into sales-ready formats, language, points, and counterpoints.

Second, leaders that represent sales (usually in sales ops) are taking responsibility for the quality of battle cards and defining standards for the groups that build them in the first place.

What thoughts do you have about this transition? Have you seen it in your company? What do you believe is the role of analysts to communicate their research in the language of the groups that will consume it - executives, strategists, or sales reps?

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Comment by Trip Krant on July 20, 2011 at 11:53am

Dean,

I have read your Forrester blog posts on the matter and will defer to your expertise on battle cards.  However, the situations you describe apply to thoughts I have about broader issues in intelligence that I would like to share:    

 

-  The end users of tactical intelligence products should be incorporated as much as possible into the production.  People do not value things that they are given for free or that they do not invest any effort into.

 

-  The intelligence process should be woven into existing business processes as much as possible.  This means more of an advisory and assistance approach for CI personnel; an “analytic force multiplier” role if you will, instead of just an analytic support role.

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