How Tom Brady Would Fare in Sales

April 6, 2020

The Importance of Competitive Intelligence

Tom Brady is undoubtedly one of the most successful quarterbacks in NFL history. There are so many aspects to his game that make him great. You could argue that his arm strength, precision, and intensity gives him the edge against all of his opponents. But of all his abilities, his preparation and ability to manipulate the weaknesses found in his opponent’s profile has been the key ingredient to his sustained success.

This type of skill set can translate to the sales space. In tech sales, many good sales reps believe that their ability to articulate the fundamental benefits of their product is enough to push customers to the next level. The reps that have this ability are often good, but seldom great. To be great in the sales space, you need to approach your pitch like Tom Brady approaches a defense. The competitive intelligence and expert understanding of your opponent’s profile gives you the opportunity to excel in ways that a decent pitch cannot do alone.

It’s All About Account Profiling

One of the most important tools used to analyze competitive intelligence is the creation of Account Profiles. An account profile is essentially an accumulation of data that highlights key information associated with your competition. The process of developing an account profile is lengthy and it can take several months to fully materialize, but it’s worth it in the long run.

There are three components of account profiles that are vital to creating valuable competitive intelligence. The first is developing a fundamental understanding of their product and its functions. Tom Brady does this on the football field by identifying his opponents base defense, the position in which the opposing team will line up most often. Without a basic understanding of your competitor’s strengths and weaknesses, advertising your product can often be difficult. An easy way to get a fundamental understanding of your competitor’s product is to simply take a look at their website or do a basic Google search. Just like your company, your competition needs to market its tools and functions as well.

The second is determining the quality of the product. Each product has differentiators that make them recognizable from others in the space. Without differentiators, a product has a difficult time staying competitive in the market, and will ultimately fail. In the NFL this would equate to the star players opposing Brady, such as Seahawks All-Pro linebacker Bobby Wagner. To get an understanding of quality, a rep must gather information from current and previous consumers to get a handle on the pros and cons of their experience. How was their experience with their service? What did the software do well/poorly? Did their capabilities match their claims?

The third component is understanding the market. Sales reps need to know who their customers are and who their competitors are targeting. This is the equivalent of Brady learning his opponent’s plays and understanding the situation in which a given defensive play will be called. It’s important to know where your competitors are allocating their resources because it will give you an opportunity to re-evaluate the focus of your sales funnel. In this aspect of the profile, data should be compiled into three categories:

  1. Trends (industry-specific) — What are the changes in customer preferences? Do they still reflect your messaging?

  2. Who are the best people to speak to? Do they still reflect your personas?

  3. Are my pricing and contracts still conducive/priced intelligently?

If Tom Brady were in sales, he’d have perfected the Account Profile Process. I don’t know about you, but I want to emulate the guy with six Super Bowl rings and be recognized as the best at my position.

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aj alonzo

AJ Alonzo is the Head of Marketing at demandDrive. A former SDR turned marketing leader, he's made it his goal to develop resources for sales reps who are looking to level up and for managers who are looking for guidance. Outside of work you can find him trying to shoot under par at his local disc golf course, sipping on a bourbon on the rocks, or continuing his quest to be the very best like no one ever was.
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