Strategy is often directly influenced by whom the enemy is.
Pricing is influenced, of course. Also, your approach to the deal is impacted, as well as whether you even continue the pursuit.
However, because of governance rules, procurement guidelines and the jerk-nature of some smug buyers it is getting harder and harder to know who your competitors are.
I was recently sent an email on this very topic just last week, and here is what I told him:
Thanks for your email- It’s really hard to get a list of competitors from prospects – often times because of governance requirements in their process. However, you can triangulate sometimes using these questions (that your prospects may still not answer, but you have a better shot with these than without them):
* How did you generate the list of candidates for this project/contract?
* What were the top 3-5 characteristics that you used to qualify the list?
* Have you worked in the past with any of the companies you are considering? Are you working with any of them now?
These questions, if answered, give you a lot of insight, not just into the competitors, but to the buyers as well.
Let me know your best ideas by posting up here so everyone can share the best practices.