How To Outperform Competitors’ Sales Teams With Competitive Selling

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The world of B2B sales is nothing short of competitive. In today’s digital landscape, businesses have more ways to connect with customers and convince them of their product’s value than ever before. This makes for a crowded marketplace where SaaS companies are fighting tooth and nail to outperform competitors.

Customers are empowered with a wealth of opportunity to research and compare brands before making a purchase decision. So how can businesses ensure customers are choosing their product instead of a competitor’s? 

That’s where competitive selling comes in. 

In this article, we’ll discuss the concept of competitive selling and provide some actionable tips about how to do it the right way. Let’s jump in. 


What is competitive selling?

Competitive selling refers to a sales strategy that focuses on enabling businesses to outperform competitors by developing stronger customer relationships.

Today, we’re seeing a huge rise in the number of online e-commerce and pop-up shops as businesses move away from traditional brick-and-mortar stores. With the proliferation of online purchasing, businesses need to transform the way they sell to stay relevant and competitive in a saturated market.

Perhaps other businesses in your niche offer better quality, cater to a larger customer base, or have a global reputation. Instead of viewing these factors as hurdles to success, think of them as opportunities. To do this, you first have to acknowledge your competitors so you can demonstrate to customers why your offering is so much better. 

To stand out, businesses need to research and understand how their product or service can bring value to a customer’s life. In this way, competitive selling requires sales reps to take on the role of an adviser. They’re not just trying to sell something, instead, the goal is to help the customer.

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Tips for outperforming competitors with competitive selling

At the end of the day, the goal for all businesses is to close sales. The competitive selling tips below will help you to effectively land customers and stand out in a sea of competition.

Motivate your workforce

Having a motivated workforce that is satisfied with the job is the key to building successful customer relationships and driving business success in a competitive landscape. Only 40 percent of employees are aware of their company’s goals, and a measly 21 percent feel they have the management they need to perform well. 

Motivating your company’s workforce requires you to understand exactly what it is that your sales teams need to remain productive and motivated while avoiding burnout. Empowering agents with the right tools is a great place to start. 

Implementing WFO software into your sales teams’ tech stack makes teams 60 percent more likely to capture crucial customer data across communication channels and use those insights to problem-solve. Leveraging lead and customer data enables sales teams to provide personalized customer experiences and, ultimately, close more sales. 

Motivation doesn’t stop with the right software tools. Creating a team of satisfied and productive employees requires facilitating a workplace environment that values employees. Provide them with praise, employee perks and room to express their ideas with an initiative to improve employee satisfaction and performance. 

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Analyze your competitors

It might seem strange — even counterproductive — to acknowledge your competitors in order to stand out. However, this is a key step in planning and executing your competitive selling strategy. Consider:

  • What they’re selling;
  • How they approach customers;
  • Who they’re targeting;
  • How they deliver customer service and support; and
  • What financial resources they have access to.

Answering questions like these allows you to identify your competitors’ weak points and areas where your business can offer the customer more value. 

Know your target audience

You might know how to do a sales pitch like the back of your hand. But if that sales pitch doesn’t speak directly to your customer and offer them something your competitors can’t, there’s no guarantee it’ll result in a sale. 

Understanding your audience is the key to standing out based on your value proposition. You must understand their needs, pain points, desires and more. The more you know about your customers, the better you can tailor your sales pitch and deliver exactly what they’re looking for. 

Opt for simple questionnaires, practice social listening, and use data analytics to inform your sales strategies. Once you know what your customers want, you can focus on delivering it to them through effective outreach. 

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Optimize your website for the user experience

One of the main reasons consumers turn to competitors is because they’re not getting the online user experience they expect from a modern business. Poor website design leads to frustrated visitors and wasted sales opportunities. 

Consumers base a whopping 75 percent of their judgment of a website’s credibility on its aesthetics, and 88 percent say they wouldn’t return to a website where they had a bad user experience. If your website isn’t highly optimized with a great design, you’re likely losing customers before they even get the chance to read about your product or service. Luckily, there’s an easy fix. 

You need to consider things like page load time, mobile friendliness and the efficiency of the checkout process. Businesses must regularly test and optimize their websites and implement efficient inventory management software to ensure a smooth user experience at every step of the sales cycle.  

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Provide exceptional omnichannel customer service

Consumers are more likely to trust a company that provides exceptional customer service. In today’s digital landscape, this requires businesses to take an omnichannel approach and provide customer service across a range of online and offline channels. 

Sales and customer service teams must treat customers like people, not just numbers. This requires personalized support that’s fast, effective and accessible. Some customers might prefer to get in touch with a phone call, whereas others might opt for email, live chat, or social media support. 

Ensuring your business is available across digital channels provides customers with multiple touchpoints, streamlining their customer journey. 

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Build and nurture your brand image

Consumers are faced with a huge range of options when it comes to SaaS companies. There’s no shortage of SaaS solutions on the market, which is why it’s important to make sure your company offers value that others can’t. 

Building and nurturing a consistent brand image is critical at every stage of the sales cycle. From creating great impressions with a highly optimized website to providing customer service that aligns with your customer’s needs — it’s all reflected in your image. 

Customer decisions aren’t based solely on who offers the highest business impact; it’s also about showing them what your company stands for, its direction and the long-term value it can provide. 


Remember, competition is a good thing!

Competition is unavoidable in sales. Even if other companies offer the same products or services, it’s no reason to lie back and wait for customers to come to you. Instead, embrace competition and let it drive your sales strategy.

Focus on creating an exceptional user experience, providing great customer service, and leveraging customer insights to deliver exactly what your customers want. This gives you an edge over your competitors and allows you to build long-lasting customer relationships that drive business success. 

John Allen is the “Billion Dollar SEO,” known for effectively scaling enterprise SEO teams. With over 14 years of experience and an extensive background in building and optimizing digital marketing programs, he currently directs all SEO activity for RingCentral, a global UCaaS, VoIP, and contact center software provider. He has written for websites such as BigCommerce and Sales Hacker. Here is his LinkedIn.

  • Originally published April 22, 2021, updated May 27, 2021