Whenever we do a post about Accordably, there is always someone who comments, “ignore your competitors and focus on your product.”
While I understand the sentiment, this statement alone is bad advice.
“Hey Alex, you’re biased…”
Well, you’re right.
I am biased.
Accordably was built for competitor monitoring, however, I’m going to discuss why you should never completely ignore your competitors and how you can monitor them without our software.
What is competitor monitoring?
It’s pretty self-explanatory, however, there seems to be a misconception about intention.
Monitoring your competitors doesn’t mean to copy exactly what they are doing or to be checking their accounts every hour.
It means to be aware of what they are doing.
It is very likely that your competitors’ clients are your target customers, so why would you not want to see the feedback they are receiving?
These are valuable insights, that you don’t even need to pay for, you’re a spectator and get the pleasure of hindsight 20/20.
Learn from their wins and losses.
First thing you must understand, just because your competitor is doing it, doesn’t mean that it’s right.
Just like you, they make mistakes and also have good ideas. It’s your job to learn from these and decide if you would like to apply them to your own strategy.
Treat your competitor’s actions like completed experiments. While you won’t necessarily be able to see the conversions, you will be able to see their engagements, which can still give you an idea of success.
Their customers are yours, so see what they are saying.
What are they happy about?
What are they complaining about?
This is a window into your competitor’s strategy and you would be silly not to take advantage of the insights.
Be prepared for any customer doubts.
If you’ve ever worked in B2B sales, you know how difficult it can be to get a conversation with a decision-maker.
Sometimes it can take months to get the phone call or meeting. However, you can lose the opportunity in a matter of minutes if you’re unprepared.
I’ve personally been in the situation where I spent 2 months chasing a lead and finally got them on the phone.
After I said my piece, they asked me one question about a new feature of a competitor and how our product compared.
At the time, I wasn’t aware of this new development and that’s where I lost the lead.
I completely understood the client’s viewpoint.
I was asking them to invest a large amount of money in our equipment but didn’t give them the confidence in my expertise of the market.
What should I have done here?
Sure I could have lied, but that’s definitely not worth risking my reputation.
The real answer here is that I should have been following my competitors more closely. My problem was I didn’t have the time to check all their channels religiously.
This is where the idea of Accordably stemmed from. I wanted to automate competitor monitoring into weekly emails so that I wouldn’t need to waste time manually checking.
I just wanted to see the important developments each week.
Now you don’t need Accordably to do this, you can do it manually. Create an excel sheet of all the URLs and accounts that you would like to track and every day, you can click through to see if anything has changed.
You can also follow their social media accounts and check-in each day to see what they have posted.
You can see how this can add up in time and that’s the exact reason why I needed Accordably. I recognized the importance of being aware of my competitor’s actions, but I didn’t want to waste my day trying to follow their every move.
Seeing into the future.
From price to features, you can learn a lot about your competitor’s product just by looking at their website. But, what if you could get a preview into the future of their business strategy?
Your competitor’s career page is a gold mine for these types of insights.
Are they hiring a European Sales Rep or a full-time video editor?
These simple job postings can give you an idea of where they are looking to expand or if they are upping the amount of video content they produce.
Again, you can check this manually or automate it, your choice.
Getting emails straight from the source.
I admit it, I’ve made a fake email to signup to a competitor’s newsletter.
I can’t be the only one!
Well, there is lots to learn from these email campaigns, some share the latest deals, others share new industry resources.
Staying in the know doesn’t hurt.
You can even set up a fake email account and redirect them straight to your inbox.
Personally, I prefer fewer emails cluttering up my account, so keeping everything related to my competitors in one spot makes sense to me.
You can do this by creating a shared folder with everything relating to your competitors or by using Accordably.
One is significantly less time consuming, but really it comes down to your preference.
Do you need Accordably?
You need water, you need food, you don’t need Accordably.
But, will it make your life easier?
We are in an age where time is our most valuable resource. Any menial tasks that we can automate give us more time to focus on our business, be more efficient in our sales strategies or most importantly have more time for our personal lives.
Keeping tabs on your competitors is an easy hack for quick industry insights, but remember, don’t get consumed by it!