ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel


Updated on March 19, 2010


Majority of sales strategies acknowledge the importance of competitive analysis. Competitors represent a major determinant of corporate success or failure. Therefore detail account of competitors’ strengths, weaknesses, strategies and any areas of vulnerability should be considered when developing sales strategies and selling tactics.

Analyzing Competitors

Competitive analysis is a central element of the sales planning process with detail attention paid to each competitor’s objective, resources and within the sales territory.

Identifying Competitors’ Objectives

What drives each competitive behaviour?


Competitor will aim for profit maximization either in the short term or the long term.

NOTE: Profit maximization is an unrealistic objective that for a variety of reasons many companies are willing to sacrifice. Each competitor has different kinds of objectives, each of which has a different weight.

These objectives include

a. Cash flow,

b. Technological leadership,

c. Market share growth,

d. Service leadership, or

e. Overall market leadership

Generally, corporate objective is influenced by a variety of factors including

a. The organization’s size,

b. Its history,

c. Culture, and

d. The breadth of the operation

Gaining an insight into this mix of objectives allows the sales person to arrive at conclusions regarding how a competitor will respond to a competitive thrust.

Competitors’ Strengths and Weaknesses

An evaluation of competitors’ strengths and weaknesses is critical to the development of competitive strategy.

The sales manager should concentrate on collecting information under a number of headings as a prelude to a full comparative assessment.

These include:

  1. Sales;
  2. Market share;
  3. Cost and profit levels and how they appear to be changing over time;
  4. Cash flow;
  5. Return on investment;
  6. Production processes;
  7. Levels of capacity utilization;
  8. Organizational culture;
  9. Products and the product portfolio;
  10. Products and the product portfolio;
  11. Product quality;
  12. The size and pattern of the customer base;
  13. The levels of brand loyalty;
  14. Dealers and distribution channels;
  15. Marketing and selling capabilities;
  16. Operations and physical distributions;
  17. Financial capabilities;
  18. Management capabilities and attitudes to risk;
  19. Human resources, their capability and flexibility;
  20. Previous patterns of response;
  21. Ownership patterns and, in the case of divisionalized organizations, the expectations of corporate management

Preparation Towards Selling

Preparation before sales visit can reap dividends by enhancing the salesperson’s confidence and performance when face-to-face with the customer. It is vital to prepare for the sales visit so that the sales person can understand competitors activities.

A number of factors need to be considered to improve the chance of success to achieve competitive advantage for the sales person in both negotiation and pure selling.

These will include:

a. Knowledge of the product

b. Competitors’ product knowledge

c. Sales presentation planning

d. Setting sales call objectives

e. Understanding the buyers’ behaviour

Competitors’ Product

Knowledge of competitors’ product allows their strengths to be offset against their weaknesses. Knowledge of competitors’ product also allows the sales person to bring his competitor’s product features and benefit to reflect the strengths and capability of their product.

Product Knowledge

Product knowledge means understanding both product features and the customer benefit that the product confers. The salesperson has to convey the product features to the benefit of the customer. Knowledge of the product, its features, durability and qualities are all-important tool to the salesman.

Sales Presentation Planning

There are several advantages to presentational planning.

Preparation builds confidence, raises the chances that important benefits are not forgotten, allows visual aids and demonstrations to be build into the presentation, permits anticipation of objections and the preparation of convincing counterarguments.

Setting Sales Call Objectives

Setting sales objective are important and should be phrased in terms of what the customers want rather than what the salesman wants, e.g. for the customer to define what his or her needs are, or for the customer to visit showroom, or for the customer to try the product.

Understanding Buyer Behaviour

Knowledge of the customer’s decision – making unit (DMU) is important to the salesman. Consider the time taken to establish who are the key influencers and decision-makers in the buying organizational.


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No comments yet.


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)