How to Create and Use Battle Cards in Your Sales Process

The perfect sales process has always been a hot topic of debate over the last few decades. But if you ask your sales team what the most important thing is for them to close a deal, unarguably, the answer is 'data.'

When we talk about the foundation of a sales enablement strategy, we list down the needs of our sales reps for better buyer engagement throughout the sales process. And they always look for precise information about the buyer.

A tool that has helped sales reps respond better during their client conversations is the sales battle card. It has all that a sales rep needs to convince a prospect to buy your product. Crayon says that 71% of businesses that use sales battle cards have increased their closure rates significantly. So if you haven't used it yet, now is the time!

What are Sales Battle Cards?

The last thing you want to do in the sales process would be to tell a lie to your prospect about the products or services you offer. When you have multiple competitors, your product will automatically have some ups and downs. And a good salesperson will always find ways to close deals by keeping the pros & cons in front of his buyer. As a sales rep, you know your products, but can you remember everything your competitors offer? If not, which is the most probable if you have many competitors, you need helping hands to guide your sales conversation. Those helping hands can be the sales battle cards.

Sales battle cards help you compare critical factors of your products with that of other companies through visual aids. Sales battle cards may include vital information about your products/services, competitive intelligence, USPs, pricing, communication hints, and many more. All of this data can help your sales reps be prompt in their sales meetings and bring fruitful results to your startup.

Why do Sales Teams Need Battle Cards?

The best salespeople are those who know everything that needs to be known. When you are in a sales presentation with potential buyers, every bit of detail can do wonders for you. Here are some reasons why you need sales battle cards:

Make an Effective Pitch!

A sales pitch is the gateway to open a dialogue with the prospective buyer. The only condition is that your pitch has the X-factor that can connect with the buyer. For example, a sales battle card equips you or your sales rep with your product's crucial details along with complete competitive intelligence. It may also help with sales-ready responses to essential questions & objections.

Every customer has a unique demand for the same product or service. So every pitch has to be different. It is where sales battle cards help you customize it and prepare adequately.

Beat the Competition

The life of salespersons is full of calls, traveling, and presentations. No biggie if they miss some crucial or newly launched features of their offerings. Battlecards make them well-informed of their products and about the industry trends, competitions, regulations, etc.

If you show a deep knowledge of what you are selling and how the market responds, the chances of closure are naturally high. Get the best out of situational pitches

If you know your customers' needs, you can quickly sell your products by exploiting the situations that favor your business. You can equip your sales team with solutions to various conditions like:

  • the problems faced by your customers
  • the products used by customers, their pros & cons, license expiry dates, etc.
  • newly launched features for meeting customer demands
  • marketing and promotions through discounts

Sales battle cards can contain information linked to these situations to help reps improvise their pitches and responses to meet customer requirements better.

Types of Battle Cards

Depending on the variety of your requirements, sales battle cards can be categorized as:

Product Battle Cards

It's clear from the name that a product battle card will include all the critical information about a product that a sales rep should know. It may also contain details of the potential challenges for your customers, the value adds, and the domains where your product/service is applicable. The primary function of a product battle card is to educate your sales team to be effective in a sales presentation.

Generally, we see infographic-based product battle cards that highlight the most valuable points to lead a conversation.

An example of an infographic-based product battle card

An infographic product battle card from Windstream

Competitor Battle Cards

A competitor battle card is a source of all the information about your competitors. For example, it may contain details of the competitors' market values, annual run rates, customer profiles, etc. Klue's detailed competitor battle card.

These battle cards are the most efficient weapons your sales team can have to help them in situations where the buyer is negotiating with your competitors also. A powerful competitor battle card can help your salespeople answer the most crucial questions about why their product is better than competitors.

An example of a competitor battle card

An infographic product battle card from Klue

Comprehensive Battle Cards

As the name suggests, the comprehensive battle card has all the necessary and critical features highlighted in one place. In addition, it may include several question answers, challenges & their solutions for customers, key features, and many more like Windows Server 2016 comprehensive battle card.

An example of a comprehensive battle card

An infographic product battle card from Microsoft

Value Proposition-based Battle Cards

With a value proposition-based battle card, you can answer several qualifying questions on target customers, value proposition, opportunity registration process, the necessity for customers, and many more. In addition, the value proposition battle card of OnRamp Data Centers will give you a brief idea of what you can include in your card.

An example of a value proposition-based battle card

An infographic product battle card from Onramp

Partnerships Bbattle Cards

The partnership battle cards can highlight the partnerships of a company and how they can benefit the buyer. The main highlights of a partnership battle card include key differentiators, sweet spots, challenges and solutions, and qualifying questions, etc.

Use Case-based Battle Cards

A use case-based battle card outlines examples where your product would be a perfect solution based on particular scenarios (use cases). These battle cards may also include diagrammatic representations or comparisons of different use cases for the buyers. Such information can help you fit into an enterprise depending on their versatile requirements.

What do you Put in a Competitive Battle Card?

As we discussed earlier, a competitive battle card involves the details of your competitors and their products or services.

You need to understand that sometimes your product or service may be way better than that of your competitors in the context of pricing, features, support, or anything. But there are going to be times when your competitors can beat you in every aspect. So it's always better to be fully prepared for a sales call than to regret it later. To help you out, below are the most important things that you need to keep in a competitive battle card:

  • Target audience
  • Use cases
  • Industry trends
  • Differentiating factors
  • Real-life success stories
  • How to answer counter questions
  • Benefits for clients

How to Create a Sales Battle Card

Well, if you have read this article so far, the only thing left for you to learn is how to create a sales battle card. So, to walk you through the process, here are the most important steps:

The Battle Card Template

If the template of the chosen battle card is appropriate, your sales rep will be able to read & present the most valuable aspects of a deal quickly. It can also help answer the questions that can arise during the sales meeting.

But are you enough of a designer to create the suitable aesthetics of the card? If not, don't worry. You don't have to spend hours designing your battle card template. Instead, you can choose a template that fits your requirements from online sources. It will save your time and give uniformity to your brand when you share these cards with buyers for multiple competitors. There are several platforms such as Hubspot, Paperflite, etc. where you can select the most suitable design and fill that with your company’s details.

Focus Categories

How can you convince your buyers about the superiority of your product over your competitors? It would be best to create a SWOT (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats) analysis and strategically include & highlight topics in the customer-facing battle cards. These generally may consist of:

  • Cost to customers
  • Value or ROI
  • Key features
  • Customer support
  • Customizability You should never forget that while you create persuasive content for your customers to see, it has to be factually correct. If you find areas where your product is lacking compared to competitors you can still include that information. But make sure your battle card does not just explain why your product is not better than the competitors. Always try to balance your positives and negatives.

Another thing to keep in mind is to limit the content with relevant information. You don't have to compare ten different things with your competitor if the value for your customer is the same. For example, if you and your competitor offer a product at the same price, you may not want to include it just to fill the space. Instead, you can keep the valuable information about your product or competitors to help sales reps for quick references. Remember, sales battle cards are more used internally than externally. Try to fit information such as annual revenue, pricing model, and relevant case studies.

Thorough Research

Always remember that the last thing a customer wants to see in your battle card is a piece of incorrect information, especially about your competitors. There is only one thing in the world that can save you from that - a thorough effort on research.

Successful battle cards are the results of a team effort. The different departments of your organization have to be in sync to produce the best piece of information that can help your sales reps come up with accurate data.

To make sure your sales battle card doesn't miss anything, you need to focus on these areas exclusively:

  • Competitor analysis (it may include their products, revenue, pricing, online reviews, objectives, etc.)
  • Sales enablement (provide sales reps with all the information they need)
  • Marketing
  • Competitive intelligence (check superiority over your competitors)
  • Customer success

Regular Updates

As a sales rep, one of the most embarrassing moments is when your prospect tells you that your data is old or invalid. Every day, you, as well as your competitors, are working on upgrading your products. If you update your sales battle card with the latest features of your product, you should ensure that you have the latest updates on your competitors' products as well.

Make sure that the "sales battle card" is not a one-time job. It's an ongoing process that requires consistency from all the departments of your organization. You need to keep an eye on the latest developments your product or competitors are making and avoid the embarrassment of presenting outdated information to your buyers.

Sales Battle Card Example

The most extraordinary thing about data or content is that it doesn't work on the more, the better principle but its relevance. It's only valid if it has a meaning to get the job done.

You might choose the suitable sales battle card template, but make sure the content you put in that template has enough weight to close the deal. Business battle card template examples that will help you create your sales weapon efficiently may include templates for SWOT analysis, Root Cause Analysis, Case Studies, Sales Sheets, Marketing Plans, Competitor Analysis, etc.

How to Store and Distribute Battle Cards

Once you have created the sales battle card templates and filled in the appropriate information, you must conveniently save them. And by convenient, we mean that a place where they can be stored, retrieved, and shared quickly with anyone at any time.

You never know which sales rep can find a need for a battle card from the collection. So, you need to use a storage system that can help your entire team update the content and share it without any complexities.

You can use several cloud services such as Box, Google Drive, OneDrive, or Dropbox to conveniently update your products' latest features and share with your sales reps or customers in a fraction of seconds.

You may choose any storage and distribution service for the sales battle cards that suits your services. However, there is one necessary thing to keep in mind. You always need to make sure that the battle card a sales rep is using is up to date. Make sure he misses no brand new information. This is where a centrally managed version control system can be your friend. With the latest version in hand, your sales team can walk and talk with the utmost confidence in a sales presentation. And, you will love the results.

Greg Tucker

Written by

Greg Tucker

Founder & Editor-in-Chief of Oncore

Greg Tucker is the founder of Oncore. With a background in digital marketing and many years of working with small businesses, he is creating and curating content on Oncore to help others build their own startups.

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