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This post was written by Lauren Kersanske, Senior Marketing Manager at Crayon. Prior to Crayon, she was the Senior Demand Generation Manager at Cybereason, where she built and led digital strategy across the team including campaigns, lead nurturing, conversion optimization, ABM, and more. Previously, she was the Marketing Director at Hexadite, a cybersecurity startup acquired by Microsoft for $100 million, and HubSpot, as Lead Nurturing Manager for North America.

Competitive battlecards are one of the most popular sales enablement tools today, and for good reason—they are packed with valuable intelligence and soundbites that help sales reps have better conversations with prospects and ultimately win deals. Battlecards provide an overview of a specific competitor’s company, products, and services, and provide guidelines on how to win deals against that competitor. Sales enablement teams put a lot of time and resources into creating great battlecards, but they often run into common pitfalls that prevent them from being effective.

Here are five quick tips on how to make your battlecards a winning piece of collateral.

#1: Make Them Dynamic

When a rep is on a call, they need to be armed with the most up to date information on your competitors. Why? Because according to LeadFuze, 77% of B2B buyers don’t talk to salespeople without doing independent research first. This means that your prospect is more than likely informed on both your company and competition—so your sales rep better be, too.

Battlecards should be living, breathing documents that are continuously updated with the latest competitive intelligence. Out-of-date or incorrect information about your competition is worse than no information at all because your sales team will break any trust they built with the prospect by sharing inaccurate information.

TL;DR: Keep your battlecards updated at all times to make sure your sales reps don’t land in hot water.

#2: Keep Battlecards Where Your Reps Spend Most of Their Time

If you’re a marketer, how many times have you heard from your sales rep: “Hey, do we have battlecards (or other collateral?)” or “I think I remember you sending it but don’t know where to find it.” If I had a nickel for every time a sales rep asked me where to find a specific piece of collateral, well—I wouldn’t be writing this blog post right now.

The best way to ensure your reps are leveraging battlecards is to store them where the reps spend most of their time: in your sales enablement platform or your CRM. This will enable them to have productive conversations with prospects and win more deals by having the information they need right at their fingertips.

It might save you a few Slacks and emails, too.

TL;DR: Store your battlecards where sales spends most their time: in your CRM or a sales enablement platform like Seismic.

#3: Integrate Directly with Competitive Intelligence Sources

As I mentioned above, keeping battlecards updated with the latest intelligence is crucial for sales team adoption and success. However, given how quickly things change, it’s extremely difficult (and not scalable) for marketers to constantly be updating battlecards with new intel—unless you can integrate your battlecards directly to your competitive intelligence sources.

So make it easy to update those battlecards in real-time by integrating with your intel collection sources. Check out how Crayon hooks up the latest competitive intelligence with your sales battlecards.

TL;DR: Integrate battlecards directly into your competitive intelligence sources for seamless updates.

#4: Don’t Fall Into the “Head-to-Head” Trap

A common mistake product marketing or sales enablement teams make with battlecards is they position them as feature comparisons against the competition, rather than “how-to-win.”

Feature comparisons by themselves are great—they are helpful for understanding your strengths and weaknesses and how to address them. Battlecards are there to help you win, which requires you to position the collateral around your strengths as the key to your prospect’s success.

TL;DR: Position your battlecards to reinforce your strengths—not as a feature checklist.

#5: Make Them Measurable

A big challenge with battlecards (or any sales collateral) is being able to determine whether or not they are making  an impact. Make sure you can get visibility into the impact your battlecards have by looking at usage metrics and seeing the effect they have on your competitive win rates.

TL;DR: Measure the impact battlecards have on your competitive win rates.

Follow any (or all!) of these five quick tips to help you create battlecards that help your sales team win deals and crush your revenue goals.

Interested in learning more about leveraging CI in your sales enablement strategy? Watch our free on-demand webinar: Improve Your Competitive Playbook with Sales Enablement

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