Veritas develops competitive strategy using win loss insights
In a nutshell
As the leader in storage management software, Veritas Technologies supports many of the world’s top organizations. Working with complex IT environments, Veritas knows it has the information management solutions organizations need to “collect, protect, analyze, and optimize their data.” However, successful gathering of useful competitive intelligence proved to be a challenging task.
Veritas’ Director of Competitive & Market Intelligence looked to Primary Intelligence’s win loss analysis program to improve their competitive positioning. Since implementing win loss with Primary Intelligence, Veritas has made key discoveries with the sales teams’ performance, heard first-hand buyer feedback about solution features, and gained a deep understanding of competitor tactics.
Through its collaboration with Primary Intelligence, Veritas realized the benefits of using a third-party win loss program. Win loss analysis helps Veritas curate competitive intelligence, improve product features, customize pricing so they can perform strongly in future sales opportunities, sustain growth in sales volume, and increase revenue.
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The problem: Gather competitive intelligence, understand competitive advantage, and evaluate competitive strategy
Competing with only a small number of competitors, the Director of Competitive & Market Intelligence needed to boost Veritas’ competitive advantage. He shared, “My market, especially the identity protection backup market, is very mature. It’s essentially the same players with a couple of new startups. When it comes to feature sets, we all seemed similar. We wanted to know for sure.”
Veritas created their competitive intelligence team to stay on top of their market. The team is comprised of key players in sales, enablement, marketing, product management, and executive leadership. In the beginning however, they only built competitive perspectives for the product team. The sales team wasn’t included. Initially the mindset was more focused on product features and roadmaps. As a result, the program was very compartmentalized.
This limited the effectiveness of the win loss data since it only focused on product features and didn’t answer questions about price or sales approach. The Director of Competitive & Market Intelligence shared, “Our sales people didn’t know why they were losing. They would say, ‘The customer just went dark.’ We were missing that triangulation with the customer.” The thinking was that they were losing on price or product, and winning based on persuasive sales efforts or strong relationships. But in truth, they had no tangible way of knowing why they won or loss because they were still limited on actionable intelligence.
The CI team realized a win loss program would be the best solution to capture actionable insights and to steer Veritas’ competitive strategies.
“Our sales people didn’t know why they were losing. They would say, ‘The customer just went dark.’ We were missing that triangulation with the customer.”
The solution: Hire a third-party provider to gain insights into sales performance, obtain feedback on product features, understand regional success/failure with similar competitive tactics.
To give the competitive intelligence team an edge, the Director of Competitive & Market Intelligence chose Primary Intelligence for their win loss analysis program. He works with his Primary Intelligence team to identify competitive intelligence, get stakeholder engagement, and improve product and sales processes.
The CI team now uses Primary Intelligence’s calculated approach to improve Veritas’ competitive position and strategic alignment. Veritas’ win loss program includes discovery sessions to understand the buyer’s and sales reps’ perceptions as well as quarterly diagnostic reporting sessions to recognize key drivers, best practices, top recommendations, and next steps toward change management.
Through customer interviews and discovery sessions, the CI team has much deeper visibility and understanding of the strengths and weaknesses of both Veritas and its competitors. More significantly, the team learns how they performed in areas most important to key decision makers that influences their selection. They also collect buyer ratings on the competition that will help define sales strategies for future opportunities and receive the sought-after intelligence on how they compare to the competition across sales and solution criteria.
The discovery sessions also serve as a platform for the sales reps to share best practices with each other. The Director of Competitive & Market Intelligence shared, “The discovery sessions are a great feedback loop for the sales team. They’ll ask, ‘I’m competing against x, y, and z. What’s the best tactics to win this sales deal?’”
“With win loss analysis, we determined that there are 37 differences between us and our main block of competitors. That was highly revealing.”
Actions: Share competitive intelligence with sales teams, create “key competitors” war room.
Using Primary Intelligence’s Win Loss methodology and TruVoice software, the CI team developed a competitive strategy based on measurable buyer feedback. One team member shared, “I use TruVoice to find valuable competitive intelligence insights and send it back to the sales team. It’s really quite powerful.”
The competitive intelligence team is the linchpin of competitive sales campaigns and is now decidedly collaborative with the sales team. The Director of Competitive & Market Intelligence said, “The sales teams will say, ‘We’re coming up against this competitor or that competitor this year. We want to move the win rate from 45% to 55% in deals against them.’ Then the competitive intelligence team orchestrates a competitive strategy.”
The competitive intelligence team monitors top competitors using a dedicated war room. They shared, “The competitive war room is where we find critical deals and then reach out to the sales team. We use the data from the win loss program to help the reps succeed on those deals.”
“I use TruVoice to find valuable competitive intelligence insights and send it back to the sales team. It’s really quite powerful.”
Outcomes: Improved competitive positioning, enhanced product alignment, targeted pricing
Since implementing Primary Intelligence’s Win Loss program, the competitive intelligence team has acquired the competitive intelligence data that open source research simply can’t supply. Identifying differentiators was just the first step in a much larger process. They now have a more complete picture to understand what resonates with customers and now utilize win loss analysis as a blueprint for all their competitive strategies.
For example, the product management team learned which features are most important to customers and which ones differentiate Veritas from the competition. Another example, the CI team discovered their initial offering was priced too high, which often eliminated Veritas from moving to the next stage in the evaluation. With that knowledge, Veritas created a targeted pricing initiative. A CI team member said, “If you’re not selling on value, you’re in a price war, and that’s not a sustainable business model.”
Primary Intelligence’s Win Loss program has given Veritas an edge in the marketplace. The CI team and their stakeholders continually gain key insights into sales performance, obtain product feature feedback, and understand competitor’s success or failure with specific tactics.
By studying their sales opportunities, sales leadership knows the reasons why they win and lose deals and the evaluation criteria most impacted by those reasons. Veritas also discovers the attributes frequently cited as strengths or weaknesses. To increase chances of winning each time they compete, Veritas deploys actionable insights learned from their win loss program to gain the competitive edge.
“Win loss is futile without triangulating with the customer and a third-party provider.”