How to Gather Competitive Intelligence from the Field
8 minutes read
Today businesses are constantly trying
Place their brand above all the other brands in their industry
Create desirable products and features for the customers which are better than their competitors’ products and features
Solve pain points of the customers and create value for them in a way that their competitors have never done before
To do all these successfully one needs to gather competitive intelligence from the field.
What is a competitive intelligence and what goes into it?
Competitive intelligence is the process of surveying various people (customer base of your industry) and gathering information regarding your competitors (direct or indirect) in order to understand how to stay ahead in the market.
The survey includes questions on,
Your competitors and their products
Their performance in the market
You can then analyze this data from the surveys to understand,
How to best market your products?
What are the best sales strategies that you can adopt?
How to best present your USP to the customers?
What features would the customers be most interested in?
How to dominate your competitors in the market?
Here are some crucial competitive intel survey questions which will help you gather some crucial insights about your competitors in the market.
Details of the Respondents
This should be the first section of every survey. Take the basic details of the respondents. For this survey, the respondents’ name, their company name, and their email address would be enough.
Questions about the usage of the competitors’ products
These questions will help you understand who is using which competitors’ products or solutions currently and why
1. Please list all the brands that you can think of in [industry] space?
Why ask this question: The answer to this question helps you understand,
How well do the respondents know about your industry?
What all brands in your industry are they aware of?
2. Are you using any [system/ product/ solution] currently to [accomplish xyz goal]? If yes, please name the [system/ product/ solution]
Why ask this question: To find out if the respondent is using any of your competitors’ products or solutions. If the respondent says “no” to this question, then you have an opportunity to introduce your product to the respondent
3. What triggered you to consider this solution?
Why ask this question: This question prompts the respondents to talk about their business problems which led them to consider this solution. You will be able to understand what significant events have triggered the respondents to consider this solution.
4. Is the current [system/ product/ solution] efficient in helping you achieve your goal?
Why ask this question: This question helps you to understand how satisfied the respondents are with the solution that they are currently using.
If the respondents say “No” to this question, then you can take this as an opportunity and pitch your product to them addressing their pain points. And, if they say that they are satisfied with their current solution, then dig deeper and understand what is working for them.
This allows you to understand what your competitors are doing right that is working for their customers. You can then take inspiration from it and improve your product.
Questions about the features of the competitors’ products
This set of questions help you to dig in deeper and understand,
The performance of your competitors’ products
The customers’ opinion about each feature of the competitors’ products
What features are most popular amongst customers
What features are not so desirable for the customers
This gives you an idea about how you can improve your product and make it better than your competitors’ products
5. Please give a score on a scale of 1-10 for each feature of the [competitor’s product]
Why ask this question: To understand which features of the competitors’ products are most widely liked and used by the customers compared to the features that are least liked.
This helps you understand if you can make a difference for the prospective customers with your product.
6. What is your most favorite feature on [COMPETITOR’S PRODUCT] and why do you like it the most?
Why ask this question: Ask this question to find out what feature in the competitor’s product do the customers love the most and why. In case you have a better version of this feature than your competitor, then you have an opportunity to pitch your solution.
7. Are there any features NOT offered by [COMPETITOR NAME] that you wish were available?
Why ask this question: This question uncovers the feature gaps in the competitor’s product
Questions about the customers’ loyalty to the competitors
This set of questions help you to uncover the customers’ loyalty towards the competitors’ brand
8. What would make you consider a different solution to [COMPETITOR’S PRODUCT]?
Why ask this question: This question helps you understand the customer’s loyalty towards a competitor and if you have a chance to replace them.
9. If you get another product with the same features and quality for a lesser price, would you be willing to shift?
Why ask this question: This helps you understand if the price is a significant factor for customers while making purchase decisions. If the answer to this question is “yes” then you might want to quote a lesser price than your competitors while selling the product.
10. What do you like the most about [COMPETITOR NAME]’s brand or values?
Why ask this question: This lets you understand how the prospects perceive your competitors brand and their USP
Questions on the pricing of competitors products
11. What do you think of the price of your current solution?
a. Too Expensive
c. Very Affordable
Why ask this question: This question helps you understand how the customers perceive the price of their current solution
12. How much would you pay if [Your Desirable Feature/s] were offered?
Why ask this question: This lets you understand,
How much price are the customers willing to pay for their desired features?
And is it worth investing time and money in developing those features?
13. What according to you is the best price of a [product] loaded with all the features?
Why ask this question: This question gives you an idea about the price that the customers are willing to pay for a product that has all the features. This helps you understand the reasonable amount that you can set as a price for your complete product.
Questions about gaps in the competitor’s product
14. If you could change anything in the [competitor’s product], what would you change?
Why ask this question: This question allows you to understand the areas where your competitor’s product is lagging.
15. In the [current product] what are you most dissatisfied with?
Why ask this question: This probes the customers to talk about all the aspects of their current solution that they dissatisfied with. In case your offering is strong in those areas you can take this as an opportunity to pitch your solution.
Check out more resources on the best ways to survey the customers and capture their feedback
Want to conduct a pre-training survey for your sales team before their new product launch training?
Published on Wed Mar 3 2021