Competition is part of all business, whether it is B2B or in the consumer market. The nature of B2B (fewer, larger value and often more complex purchases) means a good understanding of your competitors is vital. There are two ceilings on what you can charge: some percentage of the perceived value you deliver, or what someone else will charge to satisfy that customer need.

To prevent customers exploiting this in the tender process, you must assess competitor capabilities objectively in terms of their ability to provide the capabilities required for each project. It is an inexact science – so there is no reason to over-analyse, but to put yourself in your customer’s shoes and assess the relative merits of different suppliers. Only then can you determine what to do to swing the balance in your favour.

competitionBeing objective is tough; there is often a tendency to over-estimate the competitive position of others. After all, you know all about your own limitations and disadvantages, whereas you mainly see your competitors’ public face (all good) plus what your customers tell you (strangely, that’s all good, too). Retaining balance is hard, but vital as this can be very damaging as it leads to needless discounting.

If you think you have no competitors for your products and services, then you are kidding yourself. Even if you can demonstrate you have no obvious, directly equivalent competitors, you probably aren’t looking hard enough. Never forget, in the end, for the customer to do nothing is a competitive choice.

One sort of competition you don’t need is internal: if the customer goes with you, but decides to buy a cheaper option you have available, can you justify the incremental price of the alternative you would like to sell with incremental value?

Pareto Approach

The famous 80/20 rule applied to business – where 80% of the value is achieved by 20% of the effort – drives everything we do. We know that only the largest companies can afford to experiment to find that elusive vital 20%. So, we’ve taken our experience and done it for you. The concepts here are the bits that make the difference – a career in B2B sales and marketing confirms this. If it still looks a bit too much, then we can help you to take what really matters for your business. 

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