One of the advantages of working in a technology environment is that I get to meet a ton of startups and even mature companies with software.
As companies develop or refine their software, understanding what's happening around them, especially as far as competitors, can be an incredibly valuable asset. This, among many other things, are items that we touch upon in Generating Insights for Business Strategy and are incredibly valuable assets for companies as they look to grow.
For today's discussion, I'm going to briefly highlight G2 Crowd and how you can use this for a bench marking exercise. G2 Crowd is a website that has validated user reviews about software. As a software company, what a great asset to have on hand about your own software and the software of your competitors. For other options that will give you similar information (G2 Crowd isn't the only shop in town), check out this list.
Benefits of this approach:
1. You'll understand the good, the bad and the ugly of your competitors;
2. It can give you inspiration for your own products; and,
3. You get true feedback from the market.
How do I do it?
I'm going to suggest, for our example, we are a CRM company. Let's say, for our purposes, that we are Zoho and want to compare against Salesforce and Hubspot CRM.
1. Type in the type of software you have. In our case, we are a CRM.
2. You'll then see a screen with various CRMs. Click on your own (Zoho, in this case).
3. You'll notice a ton of interesting things on the next page. Notice the ability to jump into reviews, pricing, and features at the top, and a REALLY interesting thing from a sales standpoint: see who in your LinkedIn contacts are using what software (under LinkedIn Connections, middle right). Think about the power of that from a sales standpoint if you're trying to sell into your own network!
4. Scroll down on the left bar. Eventually you'll see the "compare to similar solutions tool." Pick Salesforce and then add Hubspot. What you then end up with are incredibly powerful side-by-side depictions of your software versus competitors. Of course, you can break this out in your own data methods, but being able to compare apples-to-apples with your software versus a competitor is huge. Bonus note: make sure all your software facts are right. You may be losing customers due to incorrect data.
5. Dive into the data and play around. Even if you want to use a simple tool like SWOT or some form of comparison matrix, be sure to focus on things like differentiators, customer feedback, and pricing.
As you begin to benchmark yourself against competitors, especially on an ongoing basis (as software is a busy space), you'll begin to make better decisions for product development and customer experience. As you have your finger on the pulse, you'll begin to see the value using tools like G2 Crowd to inform your business and strategy.
You can also sign up for a free consultation with Jonathan to understand how this type of thing can relate to your business. If you liked this content, please share it with a friend!