Theft is… well, bad. But what’s the one thing you’re allowed to grab for yourself in the world of SaaS? A bigger market share! Let there be no hard feelings or moral conflicts with the competitors—all’s fair in SaaS and war.
Poaching competitors’ customers is common practice but how exactly is it done? Leave your black beanie, gloves, and eye mask behind—there’s a simpler process precisely for this purpose.
It’s called B2B competitor analysis. B2B competitor analysis is the process of identifying and studying your industry competitors to understand where your product stands in the market in comparison to your competitors and what you can do better to beat the competition.
Simply put, it’s what you do to find out how you can one-up your competitors and tell their customers that your product is the one they need to invest in.
How B2B Competitor Analysis Gives You a Leg Up
A well-conducted competitive analysis helps identify the strengths and weaknesses of your product or service in comparison to that offered by your competitors. In addition, it reveals the unique value your product brings to the market—something that differentiates it from the crowd.
Understanding what your competitors are doing right or wrong is a crucial step in establishing your own place in the market. Be it their positioning statements, social media presence, or customer testimonials, a competitive analysis can give you just the right insights that can give you the edge.
It all boils down to determining the following key points:
- Your competitors’ strengths and weaknesses in the market
- Their marketing and positioning strategies
- Their market share, addressable market, and product-market fit
- Indirect competitors impacting your success
- Your obstacles upon entering their target market
Let’s take a look at an example of a competitive analysis case study conducted by Crayon in the customer service/conversational marketing software industry. The companies analyzed include Intercom, Freshdesk, Zendesk, Podium, and Drift.
From the table, it is evident that Zendesk is leading, with the lowest Alexa Rank as well as the highest number of Twitter followers. In this case, to compete with Zendesk, you’ll need to track their website and general messaging, and brand positioning.
Information regarding their social media presence, such as the platforms used and types of content released are also key deductions. Copying them needn’t necessarily be your inference here.
Rather, the ideal way to go might be to:
- differentiate your product from the general competition
- construct a unique positioning statement to base your branding upon
- learn what kind of content produces the highest engagement on social channels
- use the channels left under-utilized by your biggest competitors.
How to Conduct a B2B Competitor Analysis in 5 Steps
Thanks to the internet, there’s an abundance of information regarding your competition, industry, and market. Choosing to conduct a competitive analysis yourself is like walking into an intersection with vehicles coming in from all directions.
You’ll find yourself burdened in a sea of competitive information, unsure what is actionable and what is not. Nevertheless, the basic steps of competitive analysis are mentioned below:
1. Define your market and customers
This involves identifying your industry category, your total addressable market within this industry, and your ideal customer profile. You might already be well aware of all of this so in most cases, you can skip to the next step.
2. Identify competitors
Now you’re tasked with identifying the companies operating in the same industry as you and selling products that can compete with yours. This can be tricky as even companies outside of your industry can compete with yours by providing products that can easily substitute yours. Moreover, a company that doesn’t compete with you today may end up competing with you a year down the line. And you may end up oblivious to this fact.
3. Find your market share
The process gets more and more time-consuming as it progresses. Finding your market share requires an extensive analysis of your competitors and their market share and customers.
This is no easy task if you choose to rely on the disorganized, and often inaccurate information available online. But let’s suppose you still manage to find your market share and continue with your competitor analysis.
4. Perform a SWOT analysis
To compete with someone, you need to be aware of a few key factors of your product in contrast to them. SWOT stands for strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats.
This requires a hoard of information that may or may not be available on the internet. However, these four points are necessary to determine your competitive positioning.
5. Plan strategically
You’ve managed to complete your SWOT analysis. You’re now left with the task of compiling the information you found and analyzed to actionable strategies.
But with the amount of information you found and the limited analysis you can do as an individual or even as a team of ten members, there’s not much you can deduce from your analysis. All your effort has produced a hoard of information but with little actionable insights.
Needless to say, the amount of time it takes to conduct competitive analysis can be extensive, and rightly so. It takes six to seven weeks to analyze just one competitor. This isn’t to mention the number of employees whose unbridled attention and energy it requires to discover the desired information.
But there’s a much, much easier way to conduct competitive analysis effectively.
Simplifying B2B Competitor Analysis With Slintel
#1 Uncover Your Competitors
With Slintel, finding your competitors becomes as quick as a flash.
What are the 3 Types of Competitors?
Here are the three kinds of competitors you need to know about:
- Direct competitors: Those that sell products similar to yours
- Indirect competitors: Those that sell products in the same category as yours, but of a different type
- Replacement competitors: Those that sell products your customer could choose to buy instead, despite being of a different category and type.
By entering your industry category in our search filters, you can easily find your direct and indirect competitors. If you enter categories of industries closely related to yours, you can find your secret replacement competitors as well to obtain a thorough view of your competition.
#2 Find Your Competitors’ Customers
Under all normal circumstances, finding your competitors’ customers manually would require you to boil the ocean. There’s only so much you can compile from the internet and other free resources no matter how much time you put into your analysis.
What if I told you that you could get it done with just a couple of clicks? Sounds insane, but that’s how easy Slintel makes it for you. We can not only show you your competitors’ customers but also filter it to show you the ones acquired this very month.
The best part?
You don’t have to pack your bags to go lead-hunting—we already have the data ready for you. As a Slintel user, you receive the contact information of the most crucial leads of your competitor’s customers as well as their buying intent scores, tech stack, and psychographics.
And no, it doesn’t end there.
#3 Discover Competitive Insights
Slintel has a unique company page for each of your competitors. Under each company page, you’ll find:
- The total number of customers detected in the past 30 days
- The number of new customers added in the past 30 days
- The number of existing customers deleted in the past 30 days
This information can help you understand how your competitor’s market share is changing and determine the space for accommodating your product in their target market.
To make sure you get only the most relevant data, our customer information is accompanied by confidence scores that indicate the accuracy of the data as well as a time stamp that indicates when this data was last verified.
#4 The Best Bit—Detect Contract Renewals
This brings us to Slintel’s most exclusive wow factor. Slintel highlights your competitors’ customers that are nearing contract expiry. This gives you the opportunity to gear up to acquire them before they renew their contract with your competitor.
This is a huge advantage, unique to Slintel users. Among all the competitor insights you could gather from a competitor, customer contract renewal dates are the ones you can immediately cash in on.
#5 Plan Your Strategy
Since we’ve done all the heavy lifting for you, your competitive analysis receives a hyper-boost in terms of both speed and accuracy.
Now that you have a list of your competitors’ customers that are nearing contract expiry as well as the contact information of their most important decision-makers, you can create targeted ABM marketing campaigns to deliver to each of those customers and prospect them with precision.
SellOsphere found a 2x increase in the number of meetings booked and a 50% decrease in time spent researching thanks to Slintel. This led to an overall 20% growth in their pipeline.
“With Slintel, there is human intervention. People are interacting. They understand what kind of databases are required, which other data providers do not offer.”
—Vipin Chauhan, Founder of SellOsphere Pte Ltd
In a nutshell, Slintel makes your life much easier by laying out your competitive analysis blueprint for you—with all the heavy lifting getting taken care of. You get the most accurate competitive insights for your industry as well as super relevant leads for you to pursue, all in a matter of clicks.
We’ve left no stones unturned. All that’s left for you to do is to leave your competitors wondering who just poked a hole in their customer kitty.