When it comes to sales enablement tools, there are many ways to equip your sales teams. Playbooks, talking points, and customizable collateral templates are often the first things that come to mind.
But what if there was a little card that could have a big impact on your sales strategy and ability to close deals? This is where sales battle cards come in. They can help boost win rates and provide information on customer’s pain points, key features, and specific competitors when your sales representatives need them most!
What are sales battle cards?
Sales battle cards are the sales equivalent of a cheat sheet or Cliff’s Notes. They contain key information about your product or service, unique selling points, pricing, and differentiators. They might also contain some competitive intelligence, like competitor’s shortcomings and pricing details.
Another set of details you’ll often find on sales battle cards are frequently asked questions (and the data points to create a compelling answer) and common sales objections with ideas for overcoming them.
These cards can help sales reps sell more efficiently and improve conversions by putting the most important information at their fingertips when they need it most. In the moment it can be hard to recall all of the small details or remember what competitors do —causing delays in getting a response to a prospect and risking losing their attention. A battle card can keep a sales conversation moving and help shorten the sales cycle.
Why sales battle cards?
There are many good reasons to create and implement sales battle cards. They can help speed up the learning curve for new or less experienced sales reps by putting the most important data and key messaging points into their hands in an easy-to-use way.
The battle card can contain specific messaging points that have worked well for the majority of sales reps.
For senior and more experienced reps, the battle card can be a good quick reference. No one can remember every little detail, and having it all at your fingertips during a sales meeting or when writing a proposal can free up brain space for active listening, and creating a compelling and personalized solution for a prospect.
Sales Battlecards Template
Create and arm your sales team with our practical Sales Battlecards Template – help your team win more deals with competitor intelligence.
Anatomy of a sales battle card
If you’re new to writing sales battle cards or are just curious about ways to make yours better, consider creating a template with the sections below laid out on it. You’ll add bullet points to each section to make it easier to read or skim in a sales meeting.
Identifying key selling points
Start your battle card by listing out the key selling points that make up your product or service’s value proposition. These could include product features that make it easy to use, specialized functionality for your prospect’s industry, ways the product or service addresses common customer needs, or comprehensive onboarding and customer support.
To figure out what these key points are, start by talking with your sales reps, marketing team, customer support, and even current customers to deeply understand what it is about your product that makes people buy. This will help potential customers get to yes faster.
Including competitive intelligence
When reps are making their sales pitch, you may have them, at some point, ask who or what else their prospect is considering. This is because they’re able to use that information to help explain (without trashing the competition) why their solution is superior.
Having information about key competitors in the battle card can help downplay competitors’ strengths and highlight their weaknesses and shortcomings.
Overcoming common objections
Another way that a sales battle card can be a secret weapon for your salespeople is by adding information to help with objection handling. This can be a list of common objections they might hear on sales calls and some data or selling points to address them.
For example, if prospects are often unsure about the pricing, the battle card might have data points around how quickly customers report recouping their investment and even how much additional profit or time they get back by using the product or service.
Another objection that might be helpful to address in your battle card is around use cases. If prospects are concerned they won’t get the full value from making an investment, consider adding some bullet points around common use cases and adoption. Having a feature comparison in this section can also be helpful - this way sales reps can point out how your product or service is superior to a competitor’s product or service.
Creating sales battle cards
Creating comprehensive sales battle cards can be a time-consuming process. In order to give your sales reps a competitive advantage, you might need to create a small suite of battle cards that can be leveraged based on customer profile or vertical as well as the stage of the sales process.
Having the right details at their fingertips can be a competitive advantage for sellers. To give them this advantage, this is the process you want to follow:
Start by gathering insights
The first step in building a winning battle card is to gather insights. You want to ask your sales teams, any marketing researchers, your customer success team, and basically anyone else who speaks to customers (or your target customers) on a regular basis. They will be able to give you valuable information about what makes a winning sale, a satisfied customer and ultimately a success story.
Ask these groups about the most popular key features, the selling points that get customers to say yes most often, and any other data or metrics they use in their conversations or wish they had.
Another way to get valuable insights that might shape your battle card content is by looking at the competition. Gather information from your competitor’s website, scour social media to see how you and your competitors are being talked about and look at any market trends you might want to ensure you’re addressing.
The more information you have about your company’s products, your competition and what is happening in the market, the more likely you’ll be able to put together some truly effective battle cards!
Map out key messaging points
Once you have your insights gathered, you might be looking at information overload. One of the reasons battle cards can be so effective is that they’re well organized. Putting the salient points where sellers need them most!
You might take a look at your marketing strategy and any collateral used to promote your products for some good headings and key talking points. One note on this - if your research and insights don’t align with your marketing, this might be a good time to address that!
Having consistent messaging can be critically important to closing deals.
Design the battle card to be easy to use
This is where you want to think about what your battle card looks like. In some cases, your CRM or sales enablement software might allow you to create battle card templates with key messaging that pops up in real time for the sales rep to leverage in their conversation.
If you’re designing a standalone tool, make sure you’re using clear headings, succinct bullet points, and that your battle cards are easy to skim and find the right information quickly if your sales rep is having a meeting or call with a client or prospect.
There is nothing worse than a sales rep fumbling for data points or having to spend time searching for the right thing after the meeting. Having an effectively designed battle card will help prevent this from happening. You might even consider consulting a user experience designer for some best practices when laying out your information in the most effective way for people to read or skim the most relevant information.
Asking for feedback and refining your messaging
Creating battle cards is not a one-and-done activity. Your battle cards may need to be updated regularly, or new ones may need to be created. Some sales teams create multiple battle cards. These might include:
Sales battle cards - These battle cards focus on key selling points for the sales team to use in sales conversations.
Product battle cards - In a productized environment, sellers may need battle cards focused specifically on the product, its features, common use cases, and comparisons with other closely related products.
Competitor battle cards - This type of battle card drills down on the competition and can be helpful when highlighting differentiators and overcoming objections.
Remember to ask your team members about how they’re using their battle cards often. What is working well? What do they wish they had added to them? Is there anything they’re hearing on sales calls that might be worth addressing on your battle cards? The more feedback you get from the people using the cards, the more effective they’ll be!
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Tools for sales battlecards creation and management
When it comes to creating standalone battle cards to distribute to your team, you have some options:
Qwilr can be used to create beautiful client-facing collateral, proposals, quotes, and other documents used across the selling process. But you can also leverage its capabilities to produce your battle card library.
A visually compelling and easy-to-customize template can be created in Qwilr in minutes. For ease, we offer a customizable battlecard template that sales enablement professionals and sales leaders can use to create battle cards based on sellers’ needs. All documents and pages created in Qwilr are accessible via a unique URL and can be updated in real-time, so your team will never struggle to find the most up-to-date information.
Want to know if your battle card is being used? Take advantage of Qwilr’s analytics capabilities to understand when and how your cards are being used. Access data about who is using the card, what section, and for how long can help you optimize future iterations and possibly even your sales process.
Google Slides and PowerPoint
If you want to do things the old-fashioned way, you can make your battle cards using Google Slides or PowerPoint, whichever presentation software your sales team uses regularly.
If you do this, you might need the support of a designer to create the template for you to ensure it’s easy to read or skim as needed. With PowerPoint, you may have version control issues as you’d need to either have the documents live in SharePoint or somewhere else cloud-based so that people can easily access them. Otherwise, if you’re still emailing out the latest version, you risk having sellers using outdated materials.
With any form of slides, you lose tracking ability to understand how the documents are being used, and they can be more cumbersome to update than a web-based Qwilr battle card.
Another downside to slides is that they aren’t as mobile-friendly for sellers who are field-based or on the go and visiting clients and prospects in their offices.
Like Google and PowerPoint slides, static PDFs are another option for creating battle cards. In this case, you also might need the support of a graphic designer (or someone who is really good in Canva) to create the battle card template.
While these may be more mobile-friendly and easier to use on the go, you’re still going to run into issues updating the documents and sharing them with your sales teams.
Measuring the effectiveness of sales battle cards
After you’ve gone through the process of creating your first round of sales battle cards, it’s important to evaluate their impact. Some ways you might be able to tell that your battle cards are helpful include:
- Sellers telling you that they like using them
- Fewer meetings and shorter sales cycles
- A higher percentage of closed (won) deals A higher
- Less churn (because the right information was shared during the sales process)
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Making your own competitive battle cards
If you aren’t already using battle cards as a sales enablement tool, hopefully, this article inspired you to take the first step to implementing battle cards for your sales team. If you are using them, maybe you’re inspired to make some improvements to the battle cards you have in circulation, or you’re ready to move them into Qwilr to make them easy to update, track, and distribute to sellers when they need them most.
If you want to learn more about how Qwilr enables the creation and maintenance of sales enablement battle cards, book a demo and secure a 14-day free trial to see for yourself.
About the author
Brendan Connaughton|Head of Growth Marketing
Brendan heads up growth marketing and demand generation at Qwilr, overseeing performance marketing, SEO, and lifecycle initiatives. Brendan has been instrumental in developing go-to-market functions for a number of high-growth startups and challenger brands.
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