What is Competitive Advantage?
Competitive advantage is defined as a condition or circumstance that puts a company in a favorable or superior business position. Every company desires a competitive advantage. It’s difficult to obtain one, and even more difficult to keep one.
Business competition is growing and disruption is happening faster than ever before. According to Accenture research, 63% of companies are currently experiencing disruption, and 44% are extremely vulnerable to it. In addition, Innosight discovered that only 3% of publicly traded companies had made material progress in strategically transforming their organizations.
How Competitive Intelligence helps to gain a Competitive Advantage?
Competitive intelligence enables market leaders to see beyond the horizon and base their business strategy on information-backed market predictions.
Competitive intelligence enables you to collect, analyze, and act on information about your company’s competitive landscape. This intelligence can include anything and everything related to your competitive landscape, such as the market, supply chain, products, and so on. Simply put, competitive intelligence is the continuous monitoring of the forces influencing your ability to create and sustain a competitive advantage.
To gain a competitive advantage, all teams in your organization need certain and actionable intelligence pertinent to their job function.
Elements of Competitive Intelligence
Competitive intelligence is intended to provide businesses with a competitive advantage in the market. To truly gain a competitive advantage, a company’s teams must have access to intelligence that will affect them so that they can modify, respond, and improve their division.
While many people think of competitive intelligence as simply tracking your competitors, there is a lot more you need to track to get thorough competitive intelligence and drive your business forward.
Consider the following 7 competitive intelligence elements:
1. Sector Intelligence
Sector intelligence monitors what is going on in large groups of businesses. Sectors are formed by grouping companies that engage in similar primary business activities, such as health care, finance, information technology, and communications. It examines significant economic shifts and changes for these types of businesses.
Sector intelligence provides access to these trends because each sector has distinct characteristics and a different risk profile.
Consultants and investors at investment, management, or advisory firms will frequently use sector intelligence to help them make key recommendations.
Sector intelligence gives access to these trends because each sector has distinct characteristics and a different risk profile.
Investors and consultants at advisory, management, or investment firms will frequently use sector intelligence to help them make key recommendations.
Investment banks, for example, must make buy-and-sell decisions quickly. Sector intelligence is important in making that decision because stocks tend to track the performance of their respective sectors.
Advisory firms, on the other hand, provide knowledge-based recommendations and services. They frequently work with businesses that are going through difficult times, such as bankruptcy. Partners at these firms require current sector intelligence not only to sell their expertise to companies, but also to make these critical recommendations that play crucial roles in a company’s future.
2. Market Intelligence
Market intelligence is data gathered about your entire market. A market is more specific than an industry because it is the meeting place for buyers and sellers. Market intelligence sheds light on a company’s competitors, position, growth opportunities, customers, and current or potential problems. These insights assist partners in identifying and developing a competitive strategy for the company’s products and services.
Businesses face numerous challenges when navigating the landscape of a B2B or B2C market. Market intelligence is an important practice that must be tracked on a regular basis in order for a company to effectively conduct business, close deals, and stay competitive in their industry.
Some of the challenges that businesses may face that necessitate the use of market intelligence are as follows:
- A failure to comprehend the customer’s requirements
- Expansion into new or existing markets
- Analyzing your current product as well as competitor products
- Identifying your competitors’ strengths and weaknesses so that you can modify your product or service to provide more value than your competitor’s.
Market intelligence can provide better insights into customers and market needs in order to improve the organization’s, products’, or services’ position across multiple channels. It can point you in the right direction of allocating more resources to meet SMART goals, explore new target markets, and identify trends among your customers, competitors, and other stakeholders.
3. Competitor Intelligence
Competitor Intelligence is concerned with comprehending the movements and decisions of your industry’s competitors.
It is intended to track how your competitors are selling services, developing products, marketing, winning sales deals, and overall competitiveness in your industry or landscape. It also compares your products and services to those of your competitors.
Every team must understand and monitor what the competition is doing in their related department and how it affects their business, the market, consumers, and so on.
Competitor intelligence is particularly useful for marketing and sales teams to comprehend how competitors are marketing their own products and services and closing deals with prospects that you may have been targeting.
As competition becomes more difficult, the demand for competitor intelligence grows. Understanding your competitors’ overall approach to winning deals in your landscape can assist your product, sales, marketing, and other departments in combating your competitors’ strategies and ultimately bring in more revenue for the business.
Gathering competitive intelligence can lead your company to understand your market position, how to win new customers, and how to retain loyal customers.
Competitive intelligence is critical to your company’s success because it allows you to stay competitive in your industry and potentially remain ahead of the curve. With competitor intelligence, you investigate what your competitors are doing, track their movements, and develop strategies to combat them in order to improve your company’s overall competitiveness, meet the requirements of your clients and prospects, and close more deals.
Competitive intelligence assists various business teams in understanding how counterpart teams working for a competitor manage their movements and business decisions. It is significant because it can identify how product teams develop or refine products, marketing teams adapt their messaging, and sales teams adapt their strategies.
4. Innovation Intelligence
Disruption refers to the process by which a smaller company with fewer resources can successfully compete with established incumbent businesses.
The technique of resolving problems by discovering and incorporating ideas and methods in novel ways is known as innovation intelligence.
To grow and adapt to ever-changing markets, all businesses require innovation intelligence to gain an early-market advantage and remain competitive.
Whether your company is an incumbent or a disruptor, innovation intelligence is critical to success.
- Existing businesses benefit from tracking market disruptors to assist their teams to innovate new products and services or enhance existing products and services.
- Disruptors use innovation and disruption intelligence to identify market gaps that they can fill and where less-demanding customers are dissatisfied with incumbent businesses.
Overextension of a business is one of the hurdles that leads to innovation and disruption. Some incumbents stretch their businesses beyond their capabilities. As a result, some customers get less attention than other high-ticket customers. Market innovators and disruptors can identify customer pain points and provide better solutions.
The essence of a competitive environment is innovation and disruption intelligence, which enables incumbent businesses to further improve their products and industry disruptors to find gaps in the market that have yet to be filled or to create their own market to address new issues faced by consumers.
It assists businesses in dealing with rapid changes in customer behavior and the influx of competitors from various industries attempting to expand their reach, identifying needs for new offerings, and changing their sales model in order to stay competitive in their respective markets.
5. Sales Intelligence
Sales intelligence refers to the use of data and software to assist salespeople in focusing their efforts on buying ready accounts, generating leads, creating customer profiles, better managing their data, and other activities. Businesses change on a daily basis, and sales require tools that continuously monitor them.
Too often, sales teams run one campaign per quarter and are focused on accounts with no current need. Sales Intelligence constantly monitors the market for triggers that indicate buyer willingness. It also conducts research on key accounts in order to provide personalized and relevant outreach.
Notably, battle cards are extremely popular, particularly for SaaS sales. When competitor objections come up on calls, battle cards provide reps with the information they need so they are not caught off guard.
6. Procurement and Supply Chain Intelligence
Procurement and Supply Chain Intelligence is the process of collecting and analyzing information pertinent to your supply and vendor contracts, allowing you to make confident sourcing and category management decisions.
This type of intelligence provides information on:
- Figures for supply and demand
- Production costs
- Sale price that is competitive
- Storage Fees
- Regulatory and taxation costs and risks
- Material supply intel
- Vendor/Partner Breakdown
Primarily, supply chain intelligence constantly monitors what’s going on in the market to inform what production rate is required depending on demand, where the best place to manufacture/store is, and what your costs vs. sale price are so you’re producing what the market wants while remaining profitable to give you a considerably larger competitive edge.
Procurement and supply chain intelligence are important in providing a competitive advantage for a company because it assists procurement and supply chain teams in identifying ways to save money and reduce risk for the organization. It also contributes to advantages such as increased credibility, trend identification, risk monitoring, and supplier identification.
7. ESG Intelligence
Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) Intelligence is concerned with determining the impact of your company’s operations on the environment, social problems, and government relations.
It monitors your environmental footprint, the direction of your industry and competitors with regards to sustainability, and the environmental impact. It also tracks competitors’ social welfare and humanitarian efforts, as well as their relationships with foreign and national governments.
ESG Intelligence is critical for businesses to adapt to changing attitudes toward environmental, social, and government relations. As other organizations adapt their business models, customers demand more ESG impact, and the landscape changes to become more sustainable, businesses must track these changes in order to adjust faster than their competitors and lead the shift that consumers appear to be demanding.
Businesses cannot ignore ESG, as ESG Intelligence enables them to stay on top of changing conditions.
What exactly are you waiting for?
A comprehensive competitive intelligence tool must mine as well as analyze data. Only when meaning is applied to data does it have value. XLSCOUT’s AI-based tools begin and conclude your searches with meaning. This gives you an advantage in understanding the competitive landscape, anticipating your competitors’ moves, and identifying market opportunities.
XLSCOUT provides you with a competitive dashboard where you can compare the portfolios of different competitors and extract different insights like their filing trends, top problems they are trying to solve, their technology investments, their collaborations, their core patents, etc. With just a few clicks, it creates a patent landscape report tailored to your needs.