An important part of building a sales strategy is understanding who you are competing against.
There is little doubt a competitive SWOT (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats) analysis brings great value to your organization by allowing you to compare your strengths and weaknesses against theirs. This type of internal information can be difficult, but not impossible to obtain.
Some of the most effective methods of gathering information are:
Collecting firsthand information directly from external sources such as surveys, interviews, or focus groups. By engaging with customers, industry experts, suppliers, or employees associated with your competitor, you can gain valuable insights about them.
Website analysis can provide valuable information about their products, services, target audience, pricing strategies, marketing efforts, and overall online presence.
Monitor your competitor's social media channels to gather insights about their engagement with customers, brand reputation, promotional activities, and customer feedback. Analyzing their social media presence can provide valuable information.
Publicly available financial reports, such as annual reports or quarterly filings, can offer insights into your competitor's financial performance, revenue growth, profitability, market share, and investment strategies.
Utilize industry reports and market research studies from reputable sources to understand the overall market landscape, trends, and dynamics. These reports often provide valuable data on your competitors.
The easy way to continuously monitor media in general is to set-up Google alerts. You can establish alerts based on keywords, company name, or even a person’s name. When breaking news hits the press, you will be automatically notified.
There are also a multitude of online databases which may contain valuable insight into your competition.
Although it is an exercise you can do yourself, you will have some implicit bias towards the information due to your close proximity to the market. Consider hiring an outside source to conduct the research for a 3rd party, objective viewpoint. Companies such as Hanover Research or EOS Intelligence are examples of firms who conduct comprehensive competitive research techniques to bring you a complete picture of your competitors.