It doesn’t matter how good your products and services are.
It doesn’t matter how good your customers think your products and services are.
What ultimately matters is how good your customers think your products and services are versus how good they think your competitors’ products and services are. It’s all about competition.
Yet I find that many mid-sized companies know next to nothing about their competitors. How can you continually compete and win if you don’t know who you’re competing with, their relative advantages and disadvantages, and how those are perceived in the marketplace?
Solution: Competitive intelligence. Identify, investigate and track your competitors. Do the searches. Ask your vendors. Ask your customers, former customers, and future customers. Ask your sales reps. Ask your employees who have come from the competition. Keep a database and assign responsibilities for updating and monitoring it. And, as an executive team, insist on a summarized review each quarter.
You might have a customer who is reasonably happy with your products and services today … and who might fire you tomorrow. Compete.