5 Steps to Design a Successful Competitive Intelligence Process

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The foundational goals of a competitive intelligence program are to enable the organization to better understand their market, make stronger strategic decisions, and ultimately increase revenue. But, what exactly does that mean for someone who wants to get started with competitive intelligence? How do you build a competitive intelligence process?

The unfortunate truth is that not everyone is well versed in the process of competitive intelligence. The 2020 State of Competitive Intelligence Report dug into how different teams conduct their competitive intelligence process. This report is the largest study of best practices and challenges within the competitive intelligence industry. Covering everything from goals, KPIs, and resources – we realized that a lot of companies have a different approach to the competitive intelligence process.

To help you get started, we’ve outlined this six step process to design a competitive intelligence process. Let’s take a look at the six easy steps to designing an effective competitive intelligence process, and the benefits for your whole organization.

1. Identify Your Competitors

The first step in the competitive intelligence process is to identify your competitors. Have a robust competitive landscape? Start with your top five direct competitors. In addition to your direct competitors, you should identify your indirect competitors, your aspirational competitors, and your perceived competitors. Your indirect competitors are key players within your industry but likely don’t compete with you for customers. Your aspirational competitors are those leading companies within your industry that you don’t necessarily compete with, but you can pull inspiration from to benefit your own business. Finally, your perceived competitors are those companies that may come up during the sales discovery process, but that you don’t actually compete with for business. If you want to segment your competitive landscape even more, you can break it down by sales vertical or industry focus, and solution type. Identifying your competitors is key to beginning your competitive analysis and diving deeper into your market to understand your competitive landscape.