AI Coach: find and fix deal issues before they result in closed-lost using AI



9 min
Average Score

Matt Doyon

Chief Executive Officer @ Triple Session

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Are you aware that in the ever-evolving landscape of sales, competition is your constant companion? Let's delve into this crucial aspect, exploring its dimensions and understanding how to emerge victorious in the face of various competitors. According to the MEDDICC sales methodology, Competition is the second "C," and interestingly, it is the very reason why a sales job still exists.

Defining Competition in a Broader Context

Competition, in essence, is any decision that does not culminate in the purchase of your solution. It's an expansive universe, far beyond the realm of merely facing off against a business identical to yours. In fact, it encompasses everything but you. Now, let's break down the three distinct types of competition that typically enter the buyer's journey.

1. Direct Competition

The most apparent form, Direct Competition, involves providers offering similar products or services. To conquer this, meticulous preparation is essential – knowing your opponent, mapping their strengths, and being prepared for a feature-to-feature showdown when the need arises.

2. Indirect Competition

Enter Indirect Competition, where alternatives outside your specific solution category vie for the same resources. It could be internal problem-solving or diverse solutions to the same problem. The key is to be aware of these alternatives and understand how they compete for attention and resources.

3. Status Quo - The Silent Competitor

The universal competitor in every deal is the Status Quo, the choice to do nothing. This often emerges as the primary competition for salespeople. Being conscious of its omnipresence is crucial because, overwhelmingly, many sales are lost to the allure of maintaining the current state.

Identifying Competitors at Different Buyer Stages

Now, when do these competitors come into play, and who raises them in the conversation? There are three distinct types of buyers – the User, the Economic Buyer, and the Tech Buyer – each introducing different competitions into the narrative.

1. Status Quo - A Universal Consideration

The option to do nothing, the Status Quo, frequently surfaces first with the User. Even Economic Buyers might question the need for change. Interestingly, the Technical Buyer usually steps in after this consideration has been addressed.

2. Indirect Competition - A Broad Exploration

Users and Economic Buyers both engage with Indirect Competition. Users assess alternatives that compete for attention, while Economic Buyers scrutinize resource allocation. The Technical Buyer steps in mainly to eliminate options that don't meet technical criteria.

3. Direct Competition - Head-to-Head Battle

In the final stages, Direct Competition takes center stage. Users care deeply about this, Economic Buyers scrutinize options, and Technical Buyers use their expertise to determine the best fit. Knowing your primary competitors with each audience type is crucial.

Winning the Battle: A Strategic Approach

Understanding when to address these competitors is as critical as knowing who they are. The competition evolves through the stages of the buyer's journey.

  • Awareness Stage: Address the Status Quo early on, ensuring the buyer understands the need for change.
  • Consideration Stage: Evaluate all options, eliminating them until your solution remains. Win over the User and align with the Economic Buyer.
  • Decision Stage: Focus on winning the User and securing the Technical Buyer. The Economic Buyer typically follows suit as long as the User and Technical Buyer are on board.

In competitive selling, tearing down rivals doesn't elevate your standing. Embrace the concept of being the "best fit" – not by discrediting others but by asserting that you are the right choice. Leverage the idea that your solution aligns seamlessly with the buyer's needs.

In conclusion, competition is inherent in every deal, spanning Status Quo, Indirect, and Direct forms. Understand the three buyer types and when each competition type surfaces in the buyer's journey. Success lies in addressing them methodically, one at a time, and emphasizing that you are not just an option but the best fit.

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