A competitive advantage in sales is an important differentiator for companies that want to sell more and better. It’s how your company stands out from the competition, manages to generate value for potential customers, and thus secures more sales than its competitors.
Have you ever heard the expression “more of the same”? It is used to refer to any kind of thing that doesn’t stand out among so many similar things.
Let’s bring it to the corporate environment. It would be too frustrating for any company to make that impression on its customers, wouldn’t it?
Therefore, companies increasingly need to differentiate themselves from their competitors. And it doesn’t matter the size or the segment of your business.
Searching for a competitive advantage is, without a shadow of a doubt, something necessary to stay ahead of the others.
But that, of course, needs to happen within a few terms. After all, you need – in the end – to generate value for your customers.
So how to do this? In today’s article, we’ll cover the concept of competitive advantage, its importance and how to create it in sales.
After all, this is the sector that will be directly dealing with its potential customers, being consultative and seeking the best deal for everyone.
Let’s check it out?
What is a competitive advantage?
The most common definition for “competitive advantage” is the ability that companies have to stay ahead of their competitors.
This concept was defined and explored by Michael Porter, professor at Harvard Business School.
It is, therefore, considered essential for any business that wants to stand out. Especially those that enter markets that have already been explored.
So, if you want to know what your company’s competitive advantage is, ask yourself:
- What would prompt the customer to buy your product or service? Why in your company and not your competitor?
Once this is clear to you, then it means that your brand knew how to position itself.
And then, the competitive advantage will be very clear, especially for your customer – who is the one who needs to see value.
This difference can be reflected in different ways in relation to what you sell. Can be:
- in price;
- in design;
- in brand communication;
- in strategic positioning;
- in sustainability;
- in operational efficiency, etc.
From there, it is possible to work more precisely. Focus on what sets you apart and make these values increasingly evident.
It is this advantage that will guide your business’ strategic planning.
They will be exposed whenever you do customer service and will be applied to all of your strategies. After all, you want this differential to be noticed right away, right?
How to have a competitive advantage in your company?
A competitive advantage comes from the mission, vision and values that the company applies.
A company is, in reality, the sum of what it thinks it is + the way employees see it + the way customers see it.
So, if you still don’t know what sets you apart, you need to follow some important steps to find out.
This advantage cannot be understood just by looking at the routine in the work environment.
There are several activities to be done so that it is exposed and evident to everyone.
Therefore, we have separated 4 actions so that you can find yours. Check out:
1 – Invest in a high quality service or product
The starting point – and obviously essential – is to have a product and a service that are really of quality.
Also because, it will be useless for you to have excellent service if, when it comes to selling, you deliver something bad to him.
So, the first requirement is to deliver quality to those who consume you. Otherwise, you will be shooting yourself in the foot.
Therefore, having a competitive advantage requires being excellent at what you offer.
The service, of course, cannot be in the background. But to find out if your product or service is really good, check out the competition.
Better yet: understand your customer’s pains (and, for that, create personas for your company).
Introduce the DevOps culture into your business as well. Thus, it will be possible to create really efficient solutions that make sense to your audience.
2 – Have a close relationship with the customer
The relationship with the customer is fundamental at all times on their journey. Before, during and after the sale.
Having a good relationship is an important competitive differentiator – but it may not be what really sets you apart from the competition.
Keeping in touch is important, not just when it’s convenient or necessary for one of the parties.
You need to keep reminding your customer why they chose you. So why not keep sending him good stuff?
Use content marketing strategies to reaffirm your reference image in the area you are in.
It is with this closeness to your audience that you will be able to understand what sets you apart – and then explore and improve it.
With distance from your audience it will not be possible to generate value for it or even retain it.
3 – Encourage your teams
Motivation is essential in everyday work. Professional engagement makes the quality of delivery higher.
Without employees focused on the company’s goals and objectives, you will hardly be able to compete with competitors.
So, for this reason, it is important for you to stimulate your teams, improving processes and doing this through self-knowledge.
Constant improvement is critical. And this, of course, needs to be reflected in the success of your business customer .
Do this by constantly applying feedback . Always perform a fair performance review and point out practical improvements for everyone.
4 – Customer support is essential
Last but not least is customer support. For those who sell services, this is extremely important.
An agile service, which helps the client to solve their pain quickly and effectively, is a competitive advantage, obviously.
And it is also essential to achieve customer retention, something so important for any organization.
Therefore, having a well-defined SLA will help you to continue delivering value to those who consume you.
After all, the relationship doesn’t end after a sale is made, right? So don’t neglect after-sales. Never.
And how to create a competitive advantage in sales?
Your customers have lots and lots of needs and “pains” that they’re not even aware of.
So, the main competitive advantage you can have in sales is to anticipate the questions they will ask.
It’s about showing them the solution before they even see the problem. And you do this with a great product in hand first.
But, it will only be able to make this delivery, when it has technology as an ally. Yes, digital transformation is the first differential that your company needs to have.
Within the sales process, the use of a CRM becomes strategic at various points in the purchase journey.
First, because you will know the origin of this lead (from your marketing actions). This will help you understand this prospect’s behavior.
Then, with the personas well defined and the pains mapped out, you will know what you need to deliver as value to that person.
You’ll know what’s a problem for her and, as soon as she joins your pre-sales funnel, fire off an email – automatically – with content that talks about it.
customize the speech
The competitive advantage is also in being consultative at all times when you are in contact with consumers.
When your SDR team calls this prospect, who knows his entire history of interacting with the company, they’ll know exactly what to say to move the sale forward.
He will be aware of his pains and will talk point by point about how the solution sold serves him.
It will leave him secure, confident and aware that stepping forward is the right thing to do.
And, of course, you’ll need to keep generating value for it. This mission is up to the seller during the entire negotiation and also to the customer success sector.
You will show your differential this way: showing that you serve better than all competitors and that your product or service is complete and focused on solving problems.
By doing this, you will undoubtedly have satisfied customers and show yourself as a company that cannot be left out.
So, how can we help you?
If you have questions about content or want to know how CRM helps you gain a competitive edge.
Enjoy and read two articles that will help you improve processes and be even more competitive every day.
The first talks about applying the PDCA cycle to have continuous improvement in all departments of your business.
The second talks about the kanban model (present in the CRM funnel) and how it helps to organize the productive routine.