Q&A: How to get more from competitive intelligence

Andy Reid, Head of International Product Marketing & Competitive Intelligence at Epicor, reveals how to maximize growth with market insights

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by Momentum ITSMA Staff

April 28, 2022

Account-Based Growth

Andy Reid, Head of International Product Marketing & Global Competitive Intelligence at software firm Epicor, has taken his team from a one-man-band to a highly valued strategic function. He spoke with Diane Borska, SVP Market Insights at Momentum ITSMA, about managing this growth and the importance of learning from wins and losses.

The following interview is an excerpt from the Account-Based Marketing podcast from Momentum ITSMA. Listen to the full conversation here.

Diane Borska: An issue that I think a lot of competitive intelligence organisations grapple with is how do you translate the data that you collect from the customer about the competitive environment into your go-to-market?

Andy Reid: Many of my team are analysts; they think very long-term. They like to do their research. They’re not sales and marketing people. They’re not driven by metrics. They’re not driven by revenue or marketing qualified leads. So, we have to find our own metrics and link the work that we’re doing back to the business goals. One of the ways that we do that is win-loss analysis. We track what’s going on with our competitors, the news that they’re publishing, the number of deals we find them in, think about how often we win against them. We track not only the quantitative metrics, globally, but also the reason for those changes, so qualitative metrics too.

DB: One of the real powers of competitive and market intelligence is that it can help put an organisation in a more proactive stance, rather than reactive stance. How do you feel that your competitive and market intelligence function is delivering value to the business?

AR: We’ve got the space to think ahead and think about trends. We get the opportunity to look at things like, what is the EV [electric vehicle] market likely to do to the global manufacturing economy? Because it’s not just the EV market; there’s going to be a surge in battery manufacturers, there’s going to be a decline in other areas related to the combustion engine. And we can think really deeply around that and influence strategy in that way.

If you spoke to sales and you asked why we lost the deal, then the salesman will always tell you one of two things: we were too expensive, or the product wasn't good enough.

Andy Reid, Head of International Product Marketing & Global Competitive Intelligence at Epicor

DB: In my experience, I’ve found that despite best efforts folks don’t always understand ‘why did we win when we won? And why did we lose when we lost?’ They don’t have the opportunity to see recurring themes or patterns, so that they can avoid the situations and circumstances that create a loss.

AR: If you spoke to sales and you asked why we lost the deal, then the salesman will always tell you one of two things: we were too expensive, or the product wasn’t good enough. It’s the same for wins. You’ll say, ‘why did we win that deal?’ And the answer that inevitably comes back is: ‘because we got on really well’. That doesn’t tell you anything about why you really won the deal. What we find is, it needs to be a third party – we actually use an agency – and we can learn deeply, direct from the customers or prospects mouth, why we won or lost the deal. And it’s a whole host of things. It might be pricing, the relationship with the salesperson, the way that we demonstrated value. It might be an executive relationship that was totally beyond our control, or something we just didn’t see coming. But in having the programme, we can aggregate the data, we can see the patterns. If we know we’re up against Oracle or SAP, we can look to see where we’ve won most against that organisation before and we’ll put our best team in.

DB: How have you organised the practice of competitive and market intelligence and how it’s grown over time? That’s a struggle that a lot of organisations have.

AR: Initially we had a team of one and then a team of two. We’ve grown since then, but we were still quite transactional. We wanted to move to be far more programmatic.

We found that people are constantly asking for market sizing, so we took some market sizing data and, rather than having it as a spreadsheet, we created some dashboards with filters. We made that available to the whole organisation, so anyone can come into the competitive and market intelligence portal, they can go to market sizing dashboards, and they can look at what the size of the manufacturing industry is in Germany, or what the size of the wholesale distribution is for golfing products in North America.

To listen to the full conversation with Andy Reid, Head of International Product Marketing & Global Competitive Intelligence at Epicor, tune in to the Account-Based Marketing podcast here

This interview has been edited for length and clarity

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