You may have better products or services than the competition. You may have better service and support but the battle to win over competitor key accounts is never easy.
Frustratingly, even when your competitor messes up you may still not get a chance.
There are two key issues at play. The first is relationships and the second is fear of change.
The solution is not a quick fix and it is resource-intensive but it can deliver results over the medium to long term. It requires sales working closely with marketing to identify key personnel to target and their needs.
Over time your competitor will have built close personal relationships with key influencers within the target account. These influencers will have an input before orders are switched away from your competitor.
Fear of change is a natural human emotion and it can also have a real impact on overcoming the competition. A change away from something that is working but is not ideal tends to be avoided. There is often a perception that change will lead to a negative result.
Opportunities To Launch A Competitor Counterattack
Unfortunately, the solution will not deliver overnight results. It is a long game that can be resource- intensive. Before starting it is important to ensure the effort involved will be worth it. Someone needs to rise above the ongoing clamour for new business and take a long term view.
There are three potential opportunities. The first relies on the entrenched competitor getting lazy. The second is competitor sales people and account managers cannot get along perfectly with everybody.
The third is less obvious and based on exploiting basic human nature. People, including those who have risen to a senior position and should know better, get bored with stability, safety and security. Crazy as it may seem they chase the new and shiny object.
Use ABM To Establish A Position To Strike
The solution is to first identify the key players in the competitor key account to attack. Then to carefully research the information each of those key contacts is likely to need. The final step, which can be the most difficult, is to establish how to reach the key players with the selected information.
A drip, drip approach is required so that the influencer recognises you are there, you know your business and market and that you are a credible source. Case studies are the holy grail of content. When they are not available any information that addresses your customers’ key questions or needs is helpful.
Have the competitor sales people built out their network to cover all the influencers in your target customer or have they left you a way in? Are you close enough to the target account to spot if your competitor slips up? Is there something your business delivers that is new and exciting (even if it is just a white paper) that could give you an opening to exploit?
The battle to win over competitor key accounts is never easy and there is no quick fix. Using an ABM process to deliver valuable and engaging content to key personnel can at least deliver opportunities to exploit over the medium term.