One of the biggest challenges product managers face is the need to stay ahead of the trends—all the trends in their industry—often on a tight schedule, with limited information. A competitive intelligence process that keeps your product team up-to-date is like an investment in the future of your product. Here are five types of competitive intelligence that will empower your product development team:
New product releases: It may seem obvious, but if you don’t know what else is available in your market, your product development team can’t be expected to compete with it. Most businesses have a rough idea of what their competitors are offering, but it’s important to update your team any time a new or upgraded product or service becomes available. That means keeping a careful eye on the news, as well as monitoring conferences and industry events, where new product announcements are commonplace.
Sales wins: Keeping track of your competitors’ big sales can help your product team see who’s closing the major deals within your industry and what they have to offer. Even a lost sale can produce valuable insights about how your business can improve its sales approach, or even the product itself. Since most companies are eager to announce their successes, sales wins can be found in press releases, social media posts, and news articles.
Reviews: Knowing how the competition’s products are being received by users and professional reviewers can provide in-depth product information. Tracking reviews across customer feedback platforms, social media, and industry review sites will give your sales team a broad, complete picture of public sentiment.
Pricing: It’s useful to know what other companies are charging for similar services, but finding accurate pricing information can be tricky. The official price isn’t always what customers end up paying, so don’t just glance at your competitor’s website for price information. Look for Request For Proposal submissions, sales presentations, and price lists posted to competitor or customer websites. These documents can be difficult to find, but the information they yield is valuable.
Brochures and presentations: Product brochures and presentations can give your product development team insight into how the competition is portraying its product features. Industry events are a great place to see other companies’ offerings on display, but you can also track down product brochures in document form buried on competitors’ and even customers’ websites.