Weekly Tip: Who’s Your Real Competition?

Your contact on the inside at the prospect has told you that ABSOLUTELY they are firing the current provider. Naturally, you focus on the other competitors in your strategy of presenting your solution. Not so fast. The strongest competitor is still in the mix. Remember, if the competitor is still doing work for the prospect, they have the following advantages:

  • Access – They are on the inside and can naturally talk to all of the contacts.
  • Information – They know the politics, current pricing, systems and processes.
  • Skeletons – Every prospect dreads bringing on new vendors because of the institutional knowledge the incumbent possesses. That’s where the saying “The devil you know versus the devil you don’t…” comes from.
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You have to focus your first effort on defeating the incumbent before you concern yourself with other competitors. Aim here:

  1. Speed to success – Show the roadmap of how you will be up and operational quickly.
  2. Include everyone – Create a touch-point chart that shows how you will connect all of the necessary people from your company and the prospects to work through details and bumps.
  3. Push for more on-site time in the consideration phase – You have to make more friends to increase your influence, otherwise the internal touch-points of the incumbent may lobby to keep them.

Over 85% of new vendor considerations wind up going back to the incumbent. The odds are in their favor regardless of what your contact says.