What are Sales Battlecards?

A battlecard is a collection of relevant information to help prepare your salespeople for battle against competitors. Battlecards help salespeople win deals, and they're one of the best tools for assisting reps in building a winning strategy. The main goal of a battlecard is to help your salespeople win deals.

When are Sales Battlecards Used?

Sales battlecards are most commonly used to:

  • Quickly and easily respond to objections. A typical scenario we've all faced is being blindsided by an objection during a sales conversation. It can catch you off guard and put you in a vulnerable position. Having a battlecard for the objection at hand takes this challenge away, because instead of scrambling to think of how your product addresses the customer’s concern, you can just whip out your battlecard and refer to the prepared response.
  • Prepare for customer meetings. Battlecards provide a framework for preparing for important meetings with customers. By following through with your battlecard, you'll be able to collect all the information you need beforehand so that when it comes time for the meeting, you're ready!
  • Prepare for customer calls. Similar to preparing for meetings, using battlecards will help you prepare for important customer calls as well! Whether it's a call with an existing client or a prospect looking into your product, reviewing your battlecard before jumping on a call will ensure that you're well-prepared and ready to have an engaging conversation.
  • Prepare for sales pitches. For many salespeople, delivering sales pitches is an integral part of their job function—and having relevant and up-to-date content on hand can make or break your performance! Use battlecards as reference material when giving sales pitches. If anything about your product comes up during Q&A (such as how it compares against competitors), you have all the talking points right at your fingertips—all thanks to those handy little cards!

What Makes a Good Sales Battlecard?

A good battlecard must meet these criteria. It must be:

  • relevant and current
  • appropriate for the stage of the sales cycle you’re in (i.e., prospecting, pitching, closing)
  • easy to use
  • easy to find when you need it
  • easy to update with new information as your product evolves and your competition changes their offers or pricing strategies. (This is why maintaining a central repository of battlecards is essential.)
  • easy to share with your team members and teammates across different teams or departments
  • easy to print or download when necessary

Sales Battlecard Topic Ideas

Use these ideas to start building battlecards:

  • Your competitors' pros and cons. Create cards outlining how your product stacks up against the top two or three competitors. Use your best understanding of the competitive landscape as you list each competitor’s pros and cons.
  • Your prospects' top objections. What questions do prospects ask during sales calls? What factors do they consider when comparing products? What’s preventing them from buying right now? You can cover these things in a battlecard that addresses the prospect's common objections.
  • A breakdown of your product or service. As you describe the features and benefits of your product, be sure to emphasize why it's better than anything else on the market—and be specific about how it will help your prospect achieve their goals.
  • Your customer profile (and other stakeholders). You may want one battlecard for each major target persona, even if they're all at the same company—for example, a card for IT, a card for a sales rep, and so on. Define who makes up these personas so that your team knows exactly what type of content is most relevant for each group. Think about where this persona gets their industry knowledge and which influencers they follow. Your customer's customers (end users). Create battlecards defining groups such as doctors, parents, software engineers, farmers—basically anyone who uses end-customer products or services from companies like yours. Any other groups in your industry ecosystem (including reporters). Battlecards don't have to be just about competitors or customers; create cards about reporters covering your industry space too! For example: "Is an avid social media user; particularly follows tweets."

How to Write Content for Sales Battlecards

  • Concise: Make sure the content and layout of your battlecards is easy to digest. Your reps should be able to quickly understand what's presented on the card and why it matters to their prospects.
  • Actionable: When creating battlecards, make sure you provide actionable advice, not just information. Don't simply regurgitate your prospect's problems back at them—offer specific tips that they can implement right away.
  • To the point: The best sales battlecards don't beat around the bush. They get straight to the point. Be concise when writing your content and avoid superfluous words or phrases. Also, make sure you're taking a direct approach in terms of tone and messaging. Avoid vague platitudes or corporate jargon whenever possible.
  • Compelling: Sales battlecards are designed to help win deals, so it should come as no surprise that compelling messaging is critical for success here (and in all aspects of selling). Provide valuable insights that compel buyers to take action—whether that means changing their mindset or moving forward with your product or service.

Why Do I Need Battlecards?

You might think you don’t need battlecards – because you’re a sales superstar. But here are some reasons why even the best of the best can use them:

  • Battlecards help you win deals. When you have a record of what your competitors have been up to, you can identify the arguments and counterarguments for every scenario in advance.
  • Battlecards help you handle objections better. Your battlecard database keeps track of every objection and ensures it is answered in your documentation so that you'll never be caught off guard again. You can also keep track of which objections were addressed successfully and which need more work so that they won't catch you unprepared in future deals.
  • Battlecards mean more efficient sales meetings with prospects, customers and internal teams. Because everything important is stored in one place, there’s no time wasted searching through emails or old documents.
  • Battlecards make your sales process more efficient: As well as giving business development reps (BDRs) ammunition for their daily prospecting activities, battlecards empower managers to coach their teams to shift unqualified leads into qualified ones by providing specific talking points for each stage of the sales cycle.
  • A professional sales team uses battlecards: Whether it’s used at the start of a meeting or during an objection handling exercise, using battlecards makes everyone look good!

Sales & Marketing Alignment is Key for Development of Effective Battlecards

Developing battlecards can help sales and marketing departments align around a standard definition for the competition. It will also help achieve the following objectives:

  • Marketing will gain a deeper understanding of your buyer's competitive landscape from the deal-level perspective,
  • Sales reps will have solid content they know they can trust to guide their competitive discussions, which will, in turn
  • Help them win more deals.

In addition to gaining insight into competitors that affect their buyers, marketing teams also benefit from being exposed to what sales says about competitive wins and losses as it relates to product features. This exposure allows marketers to see how buyers are actually using their products, rather than relying on self-reported usage data or guessing based on survey responses.

You can use sales battlecards to help you win more deals and improve your sales process.

In the end, the value of Sales Battlecards is that they help you sell more. The process of creating them may seem daunting, but once you get started, it's not as complicated as it seems.

Once you've put together a few battlecards and used them in your sales calls, you'll see how powerful they are at helping you win deals. You'll also start to see how easy it is to create them—you might even find yourself creating attack cards for other things!

So go ahead: Try one today!