The quick guide to creating competitive sales battle cards
The battle of sales isn’t won with weapons: it’s won with persuasion.
In order to effectively persuade your audience, though, you need to be armed with the right information.
What sets you apart from the competition? Which features are more likely to convince a prospect to buy? Why should they trust that your product can really solve their problems?
Are you and your sales team fully prepared to answer these questions?
They will be if they have sales battle cards.
So, what are sales battle cards? What information should they include? And how can you create sales battle cards that truly empower your team?
Let’s find out.
What are sales battle cards?
In short, sales battle cards are comprehensive but concise pieces of essential information that your reps can refer to when talking with prospects.
This is not a long-form document with lots of wordy details about your product. This is short, skimmable content that your reps can use every day.
Having sales battle cards enables reps to respond quickly and convincingly to the questions that their prospects ask. They are an essential part of your sales enablement strategy.
While it was always a good idea to have competitive battle cards prepared, this is more important now than ever before.
Why you need sales battle cards to survive the 2020’s
Today, your prospects are fully armed with information. They are prepared for battle: so you better be too.
Now, buyers aren’t looking to salespeople to help them identify their needs and look for a solution. Instead, 44% of buyers come to the table only once they have identified possible solutions and are looking to evaluate their options.
So when you engage with a potential buyer, they already know what they need and what you’re offering. They know your competition. And they know what they want to hear from you in order to move forward.
If the prospect senses a lack of confidence or hesitation from the sales rep, they will instantly lose confidence in your brand and your product. That’s how you lose a battle.
To keep your sales reps winning, it’s essential to give the information they need in a concise, easy-to-digest battle card.
But what information should your battle cards contain?
Pro tip: If you want to expedite the process of creating sales battle cards, check out our Sales Enablement Toolkit. Not only does it include a sales battle card template — you’ll also get templates for sales decks, case studies, emails, comparison charts, and more! Grab the toolkit for free →
Key information for your sales battle cards
When building your own sales battle cards, make sure they include this essential information:
- Company overview: Who makes up your company, what is its motto or key values?
- Market and industry information: What’s the market size and demand? What’s going on in the industry?
- Competitor overview and differentiators: Who are your biggest competitors? How do they compare to you in terms of features, pricing, customer service, etc.?
- Target customers: Who are your main buyer personas? What are their biggest pain points, and how does your product solve that pain point?
- Important product features: List the main features of your product and attach a benefit to each one. Which products can you cross or upsell? Which features appeal more to which personas or segments?
- Objections and responses: What are the most common objections your reps hear? What are the responses that work best at overcoming those objections?
- Persuasive questions: Make a list of the best questions your reps need to ask. These are the questions that help them build trust, identify customer needs, and ultimately find the best solution for each individual prospect.
- Social proof: What are customers saying about your product? Add some convincing stats and links to case studies that prove your product is working for your customers.
Pro tip: Want to find common objections, listen to the best responses, and discover the questions that are really working for your reps? Use a CRM with integrated call logging and recording to analyze your reps’ calls and discover these valuable insights.
How to create competitive sales battle cards: 7 best practices
Follow these practical steps to create sales battle cards that your reps will actually use. (And if you want to save yourself some time, use our battle card templates which you can download in our free Sales Enablement Toolkit.)
1. Don’t overstuff your battle cards
Your reps may be heading into battle, but it’s not time for them to read War and Peace.
Your battle cards should be concise and easy-to-digest. The idea is that a rep can quickly skim their battle card and find the information they need at the moment they need it.
They shouldn’t have to flip through pages of a huge document with tons of irrelevant details. Instead, where more clarification is needed, add a link to other essential documentation.
2. Gather competitive intel on social media
People are talking about your competition online: but are you listening?
For example, on Glassdoor, you can find reviews from real employees at the company. On sites like G2Crowd, you can get insights from software users. And Twitter, LinkedIn, and Facebook are all places you can gather relevant insights from both users and employees. Additionally, leveraging competitive intelligence tools allows you to gain a comprehensive understanding of your competitors' strategies, strengths, and weaknesses, enabling you to make well-informed decisions for your business.
Just remember: this isn’t an excuse to trash talk the competition. Be discerning when reading these reviews, and find practical examples of where your product excels above the competition.
3. Create soundbites, not manuals
Don’t write your battle card as a product manual with facts your reps need to memorize: write as if you’re in the middle of a conversation with a prospect. What phrasing will sound more convincing? What words will hit home more?
While battle cards don’t replace your sales call scripts, they can help add meaning and power to a sales call.
When a prospect asks a question, having a battle card that is built of soundbites and not plain facts will give reps a jump start on a meaningful answer.
That way, your battle cards will be easier to use in everyday conversations with prospects.
4. Focus on the success of the customer
Especially when comparing yourself to the competition, don’t make this a battle between your product and theirs.
Rather than a head-to-head feature comparison, highlight differences that bring real value to your customers.
For example, don’t just mention that their product doesn’t include a feature that yours does. Phrase your battle card in a way that focuses on the customer: why should this difference be important to them?
5. Keep battle cards at hand for sales reps
Battle cards should be kept in an easily accessible place. If you’re using a sales enablement platform, make sure your battle cards are searchable or in a featured position.
If your reps spend a lot of time in your CRM software, then put the battle cards there. If you want, print out a giant version and stick it on the office wall.
Just make sure reps always have easy access to them.
6. Use integrations to update your battle cards in real-time
Stale, outdated battle cards will not be useful to your reps, and could actually hurt their sales calls more than they help. If your reps are spewing outdated information to prospects, this will damage your reputation and make your brand seem out of touch with current industry trends.
So, keep your battle cards updated constantly by integrating them with the tools you use to collect and analyze data.
For example, you could integrate your battle cards with the tools you use to gather competition intel or market data. Or, you could integrate with Slack so that you can directly import new data from chats with your team.
These kinds of integrations will help you create dynamic, updated battle cards.
7. Measure the effectiveness of your battle cards
How often do your reps use the battle cards? Are they being used successfully? When in the buyer journey are battle cards more useful?
That way, you can measure how effective your battle cards are, see what stages they’re most useful in, and identify areas where they need improvement.
Use our battle card templates to create your own today! Download your free Sales Enablement Toolkit now.
Don’t just win the battle: win the war with effective sales battle cards
It’s time to fully prep your sales reps for the war, and empower them to close more deals in 2020 than they ever have before.
With sales battle cards that are concise, customer-centric, and easy-to-access, your sales team will be much better able to handle questions and deliver powerful pitches to prospects.
If you’re serious about giving your team the resources they need to succeed this year, then you should take a look at our Sales Enablement Toolkit.
It includes templates for sales battle cards, comparison charts, sales decks, and more — everything your reps need to truly wow their leads.
Interested? Grab the Sales Enablement Toolkit free right now!