Simplifying Competitive Analysis to drive Sales

Competition is healthy. Having competitors is a strong validation of your target market. It is an important dimension of your go to market strategy. However, competition also makes you work that much harder. Your competitors, like you, are trying hard to get their message across to their target market. They are spending dollars to get in front of the same prospects that your organization is chasing. And depending on the maturity of the market, your prospect may already be using your competitor’s products but exploring your offering as an alternative.

When your business operates in a competitive market, competition warrants attention from sales and marketing. Companies have been known to spend a lot of sales and marketing resources to get ahead of the competition. But at a minimum, you need to arm your revenue teams with actionable and useful information that will help your prospect make an informed decision. However, several organizations don’t invest in building actionable competitive information because they assume it to be expensive and time-consuming. But it need not be.

Start from the basics

In our experience, here are two commonly asked competitor-related questions in a sales cycle.

  • Who do you consider your competitors (for this offering)?
  • How is your offering different from Competitor A and/or B?

These are valid questions. And not having a useful response to these questions can really hurt your prospects of winning.

However, companies often complicate the process of enabling their revenue teams with competitive information. Here are some simple tips to enable revenue team with competitive data.

Track Competitors – Are you tracking your competitors? Do you have a list of your primary competitors that you bump into all the time? If not, then putting this list down is an excellent place to get started. Do not assume that your sales teams know all the competitors.

Segment Competitors – Do you have multiple offerings in the market? Do you do business in different geographies? Do you cater to different market tiers? If the answer is yes to any of these questions, it is quite likely that you face different competitors in different segments of your market. Map your competitors to your segments.

Your offering’s overall differentiation – You should have an answer to the broader question – What is your differentiation in the marketplace? This question should be answered irrespective of a specific competitor and can be part of your overall corporate positioning. And spelling this out will really help detailed level competitive discussions. When you start comparing your offerings with individual competitors, those talking points should map back to your company’s overall differentiator.

Start with simple collateral – There is no limit to the degree of competitive analysis an organization can conduct. However, when your revenue teams are fielding queries about your competitors and the differentiation of your offering, we have seen that simple is better. Why is that?

  • It is easier to digest for your revenue team members and your prospects.
  • A simple piece of collateral is easier to refresh and maintain. Your competitive collateral should be refreshed regularly as your offerings, and your competitor’s offerings evolve.
  • It is easier to templatize a simple format.

Competitive Content Types

We have here a list of popular content types for competitive analysis.

Competitive Collateral

Building content takes resources. And it is quite likely that some of the information needed to create these assets is already available in your organization. You just need to put it in the right structure to scale that information. Moreover, you can start small. You can focus on the Feature Comparisons and Outcome Comparisons and slowly build into a richer library of assets to help your revenue teams compete.

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A content catalog can significantly help re-branding.

In today’s ever-changing digital marketplace, rebranding is an inevitable milestone for most companies. Digitization is on the rise, new and agile competitors are entering the marketplace, and well-executed companies are broadening their market. These changes are resulting in a rebranding movement in the B2B industry.

Unlike the consumer space, B2B rebranding efforts are not limited to logos, website colors, and taglines. A B2B rebranding exercise usually includes a strategic shift in the company’s go-to-market strategy. It signifies an important stage in a company’s growth. Moreover, it offers an opportunity for better customer satisfaction and increased profitability.

However, a rebranding exercise is a costly undertaking. Research has shown that a rebranding exercise can cost between 10% to 20% of a company’s marketing budget and may take several months to execute. Moreover, the success of a rebranding exercise is directly dependent on how effectively a company rolls out the brand internally and externally.

In our experience, we see that a well-managed content catalog helps companies reduce the cost of their rebranding exercise. It also helps with internal and external communications and lowers the potential barriers to the adoption of the new brand.

In general, a rebranding process involves four important steps.

branding_process

An up-to-date and trusted catalog of digital assets helps rebrand faster and cheaper. Here is an outline of how a well-managed catalog helps the rebranding process steps.

Research

A big part of research is understanding your company’s current brand, the target market, your company’s position in the market, and your competitive landscape. These insights will feed into your rebranding strategy. Moreover, if you are taking help of a branding agency, then they will benefit from the research. Your content catalog can speed up this process for your internal stakeholders and your external rebranding partners.

  • The current assets will help inform the research participants about your company’s current positioning, and branding.
  • Recent market news, analyst research, customer case studies and win/loss analysis will help get a pulse on your company’s target market.
  • The performance of your recent webinars, blogs, and whitepapers will help you gauge the market sentiment of your current brand.

Plan & Document

When planning, you need to answer two important questions for the stakeholders and senior management.

  • What are we rebranding?
  • What is the estimated cost of the rebranding exercise?

A content catalog can cut down the emotional noise and help quantify your effort upfront in the planning phase. Furthermore, it can offer you options to manage the estimated cost of the exercise. E.g., you can prioritize where you spend on rebranding. If you are anchoring the rebranding exercise on a specific solution, you can spend more dollars on creating and rebranding digital assets for that solution than refresh all your digital assets.

Additionally, your content catalog can help you plan a phase-wise rebranding exercise. This iterative approach can reduce the initial budgeted cost. Senior management wants to see results before they sign a big check. An iterative approach delivers results on a faster timeline without spending significant dollars.

Catalog

Imagine, you had your content catalog in control. A snapshot of your catalog (similar to the above image), can help answer important questions that can lay the foundation of your company’s rebrand exercise.

  • Do we have an inventory of existing assets?
  • Do we create new assets or refresh existing ones?
  • How do we retire existing assets?
  • How many assets will we rebrand?

A solid rebranding plan and documentation not only reduces the cost and timeline, but it also helps keep everyone on the same page. By embracing data-driven decisions, you minimize personal bias.

Build

In the “build” step the rebranding team, including your agency partners, does the work. A “build” step includes everything from creating new logos, graphics, website layout, messaging to updating your prioritized assets to adopt the new brand. A strong plan based on a trusted catalog can drive significant savings in the “build” stage.

  • You can create new assets faster by referring to the existing ones. It is much quicker to rebrand an existing Case Study than to create an entirely new one.
  • You can leverage externally authored assets to support the new brand. Analyst research and market reports that align with the new brand will help you enhance your newly created assets.
  • You can identify opportunities to repurpose existing assets. E.g., you can take a couple of existing blogs on a particular topic and convert them into a compelling white paper that supports your new brand.

Rollout

Without a proper “rollout,” your brand’s success is left to chance. Moreover, it is important to launch your brand internally first, before introducing it to the world at large. Your employees are your brand’s most important ambassadors. It is a prime opportunity for senior management to rally the troops behind the vision. However, a new brand rollout is not an easy task. Moreover, many companies end up faltering at this last, but an essential, step of their rebranding journey.

A well-managed content catalog can help fail-proof some important tasks in the brand rollout universe.

  • Manage the switch. When you are moving from an older brand to the newer one, it is not only important to promote the new brand, but it is equally essential to deprioritize the older brand.
  • Don’t mix new and old digital assets. If your company is using content management or knowledge management system to distribute collateral, it is important that your employees have a clearly identify newer assets from the older ones.
  • If you can, separate the access to, the newer assets from, the older ones. This distinction is important when you are in the midst of a phase-wise rebranding exercise. You will have a period where the newly branded assets and the older assets (that are yet to be rebranded) will co-exist. To avoid confusion, separate the access to the newer ones. The goal should be to eventually retire the older assets and switch all assets to the new brand.

Old habits die hard. Therefore, even after the rebranding exercise is complete, companies should continue to educate and re-train the minds of their employees, their partners, and their customers to adopt the new brand. A quality, up-to-date content catalog of the newly branded assets will drive faster adoption.

 
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How to churn out awesome Case Studies?

Everyone agrees that Case Studies are effective and super-important.  Yet, marketing teams could be creating more Case Studies. We always find that there are only a handful of Case Studies in a given organization, even though there are several customers and success stories that should make their way into compelling Case Studies. We do understand that building Case Studies can be expensive. Especially the super-slick ones. However, that should not be a barrier to building case studies.

Here are some additional points to consider:

  • Sales need Case Studies to establish credibility and push their pipeline. Actually, they love Case Studies.
  • Prospects and customers need to hear about your success. They want to learn from your successes and drive their own strategy.
  • In outbound sales, content trumps format. That is, a slick Case Study is not a pre-requisite. Of course, a visually compelling Case Study (or for that matter any collateral) is always preferred. But even a decently formatted Case Studies that gets the point across is super-useful and does the job.
  • Case Studies need not be verbose. On the contrary, in today’s busy world, a lot of words may dilute your Case Study message.

We believe marketers and organizations should be building more Case Studies. And building actionable and effective Case Studies should not be a chore.

Here is a framework for building actionable Case Studies that will drive the pipeline and help sales win more deals.

The framework is based on three core principles:

  • Keep It Simple
  • Make It Repeatable
  • Seek input from others

A Template (Keep It Simple)

A simple, easy-to-follow template allows you to take the guesswork out of formatting your Case Studies. Furthermore, a template speeds up the process of Case Study creation. It’s like the difference between writing a story from a clean slate versus filling in the blanks in a pre-defined structure of a story. The Template need not be super-fancy. A powerpoint or word template will suffice. Some other points to consider:

  • Have a set of stock images that you can include in the template to add visual appeal.
  • Include your company branding in the template.
  • Follow the rule of 3, where applicable. Anything more is going to add noise and dilute the message.
  • Answer the following questions in your template. Where applicable, limit your input to 3 bullets. It is possible that some of these points are not relevant to your business or a particular Case Study. Feel free to customize on-the-go.
    • Who is the Customer?
    • What was their problem? (3)
    • What was the process of selection? (3)
    • How did your offering address their problem? (3)
    • Where are they today? (3)
    • Where are they going? (3)
  • When possible, try to use quantitative numbers.

Trigger Points (Make it Repeatable)

Once you have a template in place, you need to identify the triggers to define a Case Study. Waiting for your sales team or product team to demand a Case Study is not a smart strategy. Instead, identify those trigger points when a Case Study has to be created. Two of the most common trigger points for creating a Case Study are:

  • When an opportunity is won.
  • When your customer achieves a specific milestone with your offering

If you can, try to automate this process. It could be as simple as having an integration into your CRM application and on every win, it putting a “Create Case Study for XYZ Customer” task on your marketing calendar.

And try to keep a tab on your progress. Not every trigger point is going to result in a Case Study. But measuring your progress will help you and your team identify opportunities and address known gaps.

Leverage Other Teams (Seek Input)

Building quality content is a collective task. Yes, marketing tends to be the owner of content creation, but the inputs required to write quality content comes from all corners of your organization. Similarly, marketing teams cannot develop a quality Case Study in isolation. Especially if you want to make it a repeatable activity, you ought to seek input from your colleagues in sales, sales engineering, customer success and product teams. And having a template for the Case Study can be a big help to achieve collaboration. Some other notable points when involving others in the process,

  • Introduce the initiative to your sales and product colleagues. During one of your quarterly meetings or company’s monthly lunch and learns, make sure you announce this initiative. Tell your colleagues why you are doing and how you are doing it. And that you are counting on their help.
  • If you are building a Case Study after winning a deal, you need to seek inputs from the sales owner and others who were involved in driving that deal home. Similarly, you need to rely on the inputs from customer success teams when a customer meets specific milestones.
  • If you are tracking engagement on the Case Study (which you should be, if you are not), share these insights with your colleagues outside marketing. Particularly, highlight contributions and give credit where it is due.

Case Studies are important assets for the success of your business. Following a process to create strong, actionable Case Studies should be an essential element of your content strategy.

 
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Tips for managing Marketing and Sales Content on Dropbox

Marketing and sales collateral is essential to your company’s success. And for young and small organizations, using Dropbox to store their sales and marketing content becomes a natural choice. Most of us already use Dropbox in our personal lives (and love it). And it is a handy tool for storing your sales and marketing content since it is on the cloud, you can provide mobile access to your sales and customer-facing teams on the go, and keep everyone on the same page when it comes to content.
dropbox_blue.png

But things can really go out of hand quickly. You wouldn’t realize, and within few months finding content on Dropbox will be a nightmare. Your sales team will stop using it, and they will start coming to you to request content.

But it doesn’t have to be this bad. Here are some useful tips for managing your sales and marketing content on Dropbox:

Filter Your Content

Not all content in the organization is relevant to your sales team. But in this age of hyper-communication, everyone wants everything to be available to everyone. This strategy backfires. Instead, take a disciplined view of what content is relevant to sales success. Sift away everything else because to your sales team it is NOISE. Following the 80-20 rule, you will realize that 20% of the content is relevant for 80% of the scenarios. Focus on that content then. Don’t try to fit in every piece of content. Start small and then grow your content catalog.

Dedicated Folder

Continuing with the idea of filtering, you want to have a dedicated folder on your team’s Dropbox repository to store content. Pick a name for that folder that is easy to identify and stands out. Some easy to identify names that we have seen are:
  • Sales Collateral (or Content)
  • Sales & Marketing Content
  • Sales Enablement
Even better, start that name with a “_.” This way when Dropbox displays the folder list, this dedicated folder will be on the top and not get buried in the midst of all other folders. Make it easy for your audience (sales) to find the folder.

Read Only

Make that folder and its content read-only. Dropbox allows you to control read/write permissions on folders and its content. Use this feature and provide write permissions only to select few in the organization whom you trust will not create a mess of that folder by dumping everything and anything that comes through their email inboxes.

Folder Structure

It is important that your folder structure makes sense and remains consistent. Don’t worry too much about boundary scenarios. Think about 80% of the use cases and create a structure for that.

Folder Structure: Define Your Business Dimensions

You need to define your business dimensions. Business Dimensions are parameters of your organization with which you go to the market. For, e.g., commonly used business dimensions in B2B software companies are:
  • Products
  • Solutions
  • Industries
  • Partners
  • Competitors
I hope you get the point. If you are confused, refer to your website. You may have already structured your site with similar business dimensions. Also, do include a General folder for content that does not fit into one single dimension. Say you are a B2B software organization with a couple of products selling into few different industries. In that case, your folder structure will look as below:
  • _Sales & Marketing Content
    • Solutions
    • Industries
    • Partners
    • Competitors
    • General
Inside each of these folders have folders for different business dimensions of your business. Something like this:
  • _Sales & Marketing Content
    • Solutions
      • Solution A
      • Solution B
      • Solution C
    • Industries
      • Industry A
      • Industry B
    • Partners
      • Partner A
      • Partner B
    • Competitors
      • Competitor A
      • Competitor B
      • Competitor C
    • General
Important Note: Even if you do not have content for some of the folders, we encourage you to create a folder to set the stage when content is available.

Folder Structure: Store By Content Type

Now that you have your business dimensions in place start uploading your content. But before that start segmenting your content by its type. Say you have two Case Studies, one Data Sheet and one Battle Card for Solution A, you should store it as follows:
  • _Sales & Marketing Content
    • Solutions
      • Solution A
        • Battle Cards
          • SolutionA_BattleCard
        • Case Studies
          • SolutionA_CaseStudy
          • SolutionA_2_CaseStudy
        • Data Sheets
          • SolutionA_DataSheet
If this makes sense to you, then follow a similar structure for rest of the dimensions. You will come across scenarios where you have a Case Study for Solution A, and it is for Industry B. That is quite likely. In fact, this will happen more frequently. Rarely documents will belong to a single business dimension. That is where the General folder helps. So if you have a Case Study for Solution A in Industry B, you should store it in the General folder as follows:
  • _Sales & Marketing Content
    • General
      • Case Studies
        • SolutionA_IndustryB_CaseStudy.pdf
Two important points to note here. First, any Case Study that is relevant across multiple dimension should find its place in the Case Studies folder in the General section. Second, the name of your Case Study should include your business dimension value. I know we are asking for longer names. But if you want your sales team to use this content and make it easy for them to find this content, you need to make these names simple to follow even at the expense of making them longer.

File Naming Convention

A few valuable tips here for naming your files:
  • Follow a strict naming convention.
  • Include the business dimension values consistently in the name of the files.
  • When you name files consistently, Dropbox’s default sorting will work for you. And it will be easier to search for them in Dropbox. Imagine you naming a file SolA, and the Sales rep is searching for Solution A. You want to avoid that. Be consistent. It will pay dividends.
  • If there are shorter names for your business dimension values, use them from the beginning. If your product name is Awesome Reporting Product, then use the name ARP when naming folders and files.

If you are reading this post and you are already suffering from a weak structure on your Dropbox instance, you must be thinking “How the hell do I get from where I am to this structure?”. Unfortunately, there is no easy answer. But there is a silver lining. Start small. Anyway, your current mess is not helping anyone. So if you have 100 documents strewn across your Dropbox file system, start moving 10 files every day. It will take you less than 10 minutes to do this task. 10 minutes a day and in 10 days you will have a good set up to build your future content structure on. Your sales team will appreciate this structure and the consistency.

Dropbox may not get you to your goal of getting your content perfectly organized. But that is not an excuse to make a complete mess of it. We hope you can follow these steps to reach a more useful and easy to navigate structure for your sales and marketing collateral.

We at Enablix strive to help B2B marketers effectively organize, manage and distribute sales and marketing content to enable sales. After facing challenges in our professional lives using commonly available content management systems, we built Enablix to help marketers address this content chaos and simplify sales content management. If you are ready to look beyond homegrown processes on Dropbox, please contact us at support@enablix.com to find out how Enablix can help you get to a state of simplicity and efficiency. 

“What Worked for You” vs “What Worked for Your Customer”

chess-316658_1280In the B2B world case studies are ubiquitous. They are an important vehicle to demonstrate credibility to your customers and prospects. They are also important to educate your sales force and to scale sales success. However many organizations fail to segment their case studies correctly and end up targeting their case studies to the wrong audience. In B2B world, we come across two broad types of Case Studies:

  • “What Worked for You” Case Study
  • “What Worked for Your Customer” Case Study

“What Worked for You” Case Study

  • This case study is created when you win a deal.
  • It highlights why the customer chose you.
  • It speaks to the “theory” of how your offering is going to address the customer’s pain points.
  • It also elaborates on how the sales process was executed to drive a win.

A “What Worked for You” case study is a great vehicle to scale sales success. Insights from this type of case study help guide other sales representatives in their sales pursuits. And in some cases, this case study provides your potential prospects visibility into how their peers selected you and why.

“What Worked for Your Customer” Case Study

  • These case studies are closely aligned with your customer’s success journey. That is they are created well past the “Deal Win” milestone when the customer has successfully realized the business gain with the help of your offering.
  • They speak to the practical benefits of your offering to your customer. For e.g. the customer saved $X and gained Y% efficiency.
  • They elaborate on the journey of customer success. They provide details about the timeline to achieve the customer success milestone, the resources involved, etc.

“What Worked for Your Customer” case study is highly relevant to other prospects and customers. This type of case study provides reliable data on how one customer achieved success using your offering. It helps others prospects/customers visualize their path to success. Not only the case study works as a soft-reference (as opposed to speaking to the reference), it also establishes credibility with your prospects. The case study screams “we know how to make you successful.” Conversely the “What Worked for You” case study screams “we know how to sell.”

Both types of case studies deliver benefits. However, it is important for organizations to recognize the different values that they bring to the table and invest wisely in creating and utilizing them in their “Go To Market” efforts.

Win Analysis and Case Studies

Win Analysis and Case Studies are popular collateral vehicles for B2B marketers. They both are important to demonstrate credibility and scale your success. However these content types are to be used in different contexts. And this is where we see a lot of organizations incorrectly applying a wrong type of content and thereby diluting its value to the targeted audience.

To put it simply, Win Analysis are created to highlight “What Worked for You” and Case Studies are geared towards elaborating on “What Worked for Your Customers”. You see, they are very different in their value and how they get leveraged in the field. Here is a short actionable comparison that will help further distill the unique characteristics of these content types,

winanlysis_casestudy_compare
Let us know how you are using Win Analysis and Case Studies in your organization to drive sales success.

Atomizing Content

Do you like to read long emails? Most likely not! No one does. There has been expansive research on shortening human attention span. Yet we always see the classic error of loading your collateral with too much information. It is not that information is not useful. The problem is that more often it gets managed in an unusable way. It is very common for product marketing teams to create large slide decks that include anything and everything about a specific offering of their company. It is loaded with:
  • Market Context
  • Market Pain Point
  • Details of the Offering
  • Elevator Pitch
  • Competitive Landscape
  • Competitive Differentiators
  • Frequently Asked Questions
  • Discovery Questions
  • Objection Handling
  • Buyer Personas
  • etc.
The result is that this document or presentation is unusable. Why? Imagine if a sales rep needs to find the Discovery Questions for an upcoming qualification call with a prospect. The rep has to:
  • Access this document from your content repository (assuming she knows that she will find the discovery questions in this document. A big assumption in my opinion)
  • Navigate to the Discovery Questions section to use it as reference.
It’s just too much work. Instead the rep will pick the phone and ask her trusted advisor in the organization to either come on the call to help with the discovery or shoot her a set of discovery questions. And that is not only a huge efficiency drain but it basically makes your painstakingly put together content useless. Plus you never know whether this trusted advisor is asking the right questions.
Therefore it makes more sense to atomize your content. Break it into logical sections that can be leveraged by the sales reps. Not only this makes the content more usable and easy to distribute, it also has other  important benefits:
  • Easy to Access: Atomized content is easy to search for and access.
  • Easy to Track: In the above example, one could track (if they are tracking at all), whether the presentation was accessed. But no one would know why that presentation was accessed. By atomizing content, you have more granular insights into what is used when and why.
  • Easy to Provide Feedback: Its easier for the sales rep who accesses the atomized content to provide feedback on.
  • Easy to Maintain: Its easier to maintain a document or presentation that is focused on one topic than a 50 slide presentation that covers a broad set of topics.

Content Blueprint Series: Do you have a content blueprint?

We all recognize that content is crucial in sales enablement. Every organization has a set of content that they make available for their sales community. Usually someone in the product marketing group is maintaining a spreadsheet to track what content is made available to the sales community for a particular product or offering. Some of the type of content that usually gets published by the marketing team in a B2B software company are: content schematic-1 The list goes on. No matter which industry, avoiding a content library is not possible. Even though marketing teams are consciously not defining a content blueprint, they are building one inadvertently. We believe there is a tremendous opportunity to embrace a content blueprint for your organization’s offerings and use this blueprint as a vehicle to plan, organize, and monitor the effectiveness of your sales enablement content. Here are some simple guidelines on how to effectively leverage a content blueprint:

  • Communicate: Please communicate this blueprint to everyone in the organization. Your sales enablement content strategy has to revolve around this blueprint. Your product, marketing and sales teams should be aware of what constitutes the blueprint. This helps everyone in the organization to speak the same language and also helps set expectations on what to expect when a product is released to the sales team.
  • Plan: When you are planning a new product launch you can leverage this blueprint to ensure that the minimum set of collateral is available to ensure sales success. Sales will always demand more collateral. But having communicated the content blueprint upfront and then planning your content building activity around that blueprint will ensure that minimum criteria for collateral is met.
  • Monitor: This may not be possible for every organization. But it is very helpful to monitor what content type from your blueprint is more popular. You will start observing some interesting patterns in this data. This data will further help you focus your marketing and product’s team energy on content that the sales team finds more useful as opposed to content which lies around occupying space on your shared drive.
  • Consistency: A content blueprint offers an opportunity to define templates from commonly used content types. These templates can ensure consistency and reduce the individual effort to produce the target content.

There are several other advantages of having a well defined blueprint for your products and offerings. In this series we will continue to focus on improving sales enablement through a well defined content blueprint.

Are datasheets useful?

DISCLAIMER: Datasheets is a very broadly used term. This post is in context of software industry.
There were days where data sheets or product sheets were important (and sufficient). They were a one or two page description of your product/offering and were made publicly available on your website for a prospect, customer or any random visitor to download and get herself familiar with your offering. They were on the radar of every product manager and marketing personnel in your company. Even today data sheets are still very much in use in the sales community.
However, they are no longer deemed sufficient.
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If your customer or prospect is asking for your product’s information and you share the data sheet, most likely you are not fulfilling her request. And in many instances the requesting party is going to shoot back at you asking for more detailed information. And in instances where they do not, you have lost an opportunity to educate your customer about your offering.

So why is it that data sheets or product sheets are less relevant than before?

  • Information is already consumed. There is a very high probability that the information included in the data sheet is already known to the prospect. The data sheet usually is publicly available on your company’s website. And therefore easy to consume. If someone googles for your company or the particular offering, it is quite likely that the link to your data sheet will be in the top 5 results of that search.
  • Information is not detailed. Information included in a data sheet tends to be high level. Obviously you have only couple of pages to work with. And if the offering is even moderately complex, the data sheet is meant to touch on key high level areas without sharing any details. It is more focused on the Whats rather than Hows. And even then it is high level.
  • Credibility is an issue. In today’s world where information is easily available, prospects are wary of inaccurate information. And the very nature of a data sheet does not lend itself to be credible source of information. Your data sheet may say your offering is the fastest in the market place or has feature A or B, but until there is more detail to back it up, the stated claim does not register a positive note in the reader’s mind.
  • Me-Too. It is quite likely that there is not any material difference between the content of your offering’s data sheet and your competitor’s offering’s data sheet. You and your competitor are highlighting similar points in your respective data sheets. This further diminishes the value of your data sheet to your prospect.
  • Does not teach. A data sheet is not something where you expect the reader to learn something new that they don’t already know. Seldom a reader will experience an aha moment after reading your offering’s data sheet.

Data sheets are effective as a short, very high level, primer for your offering. Almost like a 20 second YouTube movie teaser. But you should be prepared to share something more comprehensive and detailed as a follow up.