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Some of the most common statements we hear from companies we haven’t yet worked with sound something along the lines of, “We’re doing okay on the day-to-day, but if anything else happens, we’ve got problems.” Of course, if you’re reading this article, you will know this statement all too well, which is why it’s important to convince senior stakeholders of the importance of the right intelligence tools to help the business monitor trends and threats on the horizon.
When “anything else happens”, competitive intelligence can help with Risk Assessment for future preparedness. The truth is, there are so many different “what if” scenarios. For example, team members could get ill, critical IT platforms could go down due to surges in remote use, the business might need to pivot in unexpected ways, customers could stop paying, competitors could merge, and suppliers could even make some surprising decisions such as disappearing from the marketplace completely.
Here are a few benefits of market intelligence which your seniors won’t be able to refuse or argue against.
Competitive intelligence is time-saving. By having data stored all in one place, a dramatic amount of time is saved which results in cost reductions too. Teams can now utilize time much more effectively using the right tools.
Information trustworthy. When using the right market intelligence software, you can find information that is relevant, reliable and curated to filter out exactly what you need.
Put intelligence into action. Communicate effectively with other teams and users, reaching out with intel such as dashboards, newsletters and other visuals.
Automated intelligence. With dynamic dashboards, you can easily set up relevant dashboards on new topics to serve your organization’s new intelligence needs.
Collaboration. Even if your daily routines are disrupted and you need to work remotely, your CI-system should keep going without interruption and with integrations such as Slack and Zoom.
Our advice for those wishing to convince senior leaders of the importance of competitive intelligence is to describe the CI tool as a learning platform that all employees can use to understand market changes. It’s a tool that can be used to better prepare for the future by knowing more about customers, customer markets and competitors. Perhaps put less emphasis on competitors, and more on the markets, CRM connections and customer relations which many customer success teams are using around the world.
The current Covid-19 pandemic will also be a good selling point as this is not the first or last time something dramatic and life-altering will happen in our lifetimes. Use the Covid-19 situation to convince management that you need market intelligence software to have early warning and future forecasting for the next disruption that will occur.
Why produce newsletters of what has already happened when you could rather use it to share knowledge of what is to come? The past will not prepare you for change and disruption, but new trends will.
Another consideration is that intelligence teams vary greatly in maturity levels and so it is important to carefully consider the purpose and application of your market and competitive intelligence platform so that it matches your users’ needs and expectations. You need to ask who the target users are and what intel they require.
CI tools are on the rise as a result of Covid-19
What we are seeing is that there is an increased appetite for competitive intelligence since Covid-19 hit. This interest is not only coming from senior management, but from all parts of the organization from product development, supply and above all, customer success departments.
But what can market intelligence professionals do after Covid-19? It’s a question seniors will certainly ask. Most decision-makers are still in a fire-fighting mode so the benefit of CI is that it can help organizations plan for a “new normal” world too.
We all know that Covid-19 has been around a lot longer than we initially thought, and it’s also why it is crucial to monitor in the weeks to come. Try to detect weak signals of what will prosper in the new normal world, looking for early warning signals of suppliers, competitors, customers, market developments.
Although, risk assessment is not anyone’s favorite thing to work on, often falling behind on the to-do list as “not as important” as other tasks you may have – now it’s more crucial than ever.
Simply put, now is the perfect time to build competitive intelligence capacity so that organizations can build for the future. It’s time to be prepared for the next disruption that is bound to happen.