How Competitor Intelligence increased sales for a Facilities Management company
Week by week, you will read the true stories created from our Competitive Intelligence work. You’ll meet the clients and people using our insight to create more business and better business. What did they know, what did they want to know, what did they learn, and when would you do in a similar situation? This case study is called How Competitor Intelligence increased sales for a Facilities Management company. And it explains how easy it is to take your clients for granted.

You know how you have been in the industry for decades
You know how you have been in the industry for decades and decades. You are so established within your market that your business development teams are more about receiving tender requests, networking at the right lunches to enable more tenders. Pretty soon, you are entirely dependant on winning the next set of tenders. Relationships out of the window and lots of writing tenders. Lots and lots of tenders. Repeat, rinse and win. Repeat and lose. All very dull, predictable until it isn’t.

The global financial crash comes along, and your world changes. But you only see competitors when you take a tender off them, or they beat you to it.

Other than the occasional press release, you realise that you know absolutely nothing about your competitors. A Manchester-based Facilities Management Group faced this situation. They had just grown and grown. Their competitors they were going to have to fight to survive were just brand names. It hit them like a train.

What did we
What we did was meet with the senior team to discuss their concerns. Of which there were many. Will defined the problem and isolated three key competitors to get to know intimately. We took the conversation to the marketing director to isolate excellent questions. We determined what they needed to know.

It was essential to define the best questions give them the answers they could act on. Once we determined the questions, we place the whole process into a Statement of Works. We agreed to a fixed fee, and we were given the green light. We started by getting an understanding of the market. Looked at terminology and began to develop sources of information.

Now, this is the usual time when people ask for industry experience. 90% of Competitive Intelligence is about Competitive Intelligence skills and expertise. Too much industry experience can blind you to what’s going on. And without external input, there’s the temptation to find out what you want to find out. Not what’s going on, but what fits with your biases and that of your industries. It’s the not knowing the answer when you ask the question. That’s the powerful bit.

We also consider not having as much experience as you in your industry as an advantage. It allows us to get away with asking calculated and deliberately daft questions. The fact is, we always find someone keen to fill in the gaps in our knowledge.

What we really did
We then developed a more extensive investigation using primary research methods. We talked to people who could know the answer. This represented around 60 to 70% of the data gathering. It consisted of in-depth face-to-face, telephone interviews, questionnaires and a demonstration of their sales process.

We took the time to talk to industry executives, key players within their competitors, customers, former competitor employees, government agencies, key opinion leaders, market analysts and other knowledgeable sources. We also attended a relevant trade show.

We then correlated, cross-referenced, challenged, and analysed the information gained in these conversations. We use structured analytical techniques, breaking all the information down into smaller pieces. We then sorted and looked for patterns and trends.

We defined the who, what, where and when, and how of each competitor.

This is what they received from us
This is what they got. They got their hands on a useable Intelligence report which offered greater certainty. Insight and options they may wish to do to tackle competitive opportunities and threats. They managed to gain a greater understanding of the:

Key players within their three competitor organisations
A sense of how the senior teams made decisions and the characters behind them
A comprehensive list of strengths and weaknesses of their competitors to exploit
Identification of specific threats to the business
Isolation several fresh opportunities where their competitors were failing
Insight about impending market changes and how their competitors were going to tackle them
An excellent understanding of the look and feel of their competitor’s services and products
Insight into what their competitors are doing well
Their sales targets and pricing policies
A list of their competitor’s customers
How Competitor Intelligence increased sales
The result was they now knew more about their three key competitors and what they were going to do to compete with them. They were able to improve their sales teams performance by prospecting their competitor’s customers. But the knowledge of what they were up against. They were able to manage their competitor’s strengths and exploit their weaknesses. We also introduced a win-loss program that still reveals excellent insight into why a customer selects them or goes with an alternative provider.

Conclusion
How Competitor Intelligence increased sales for a Facilities Management company
This case study was called how Competitor Intelligence increased sales for a Facilities Management company. And it explained how easy it is to take your clients for granted. Creating your business with one route of sales is very dangerous. Especially when special relationships are only as good as the sand that they are built on.

Week by week, you will read the true stories created from our Competitive Intelligence work. You’ll meet the clients and people who are using our insight to create more business and better business. What did they know, what did they want to know, what did they learn, and when would you do in a similar situation?

If your way of gaining sales changed overnight, would you know where to turn to keep the sales flow going?

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