I was meeting with a VP of Sales yesterday discussing the onramping program for the new salesperson we found for them.  He brought up a good point in that his new salesperson was spending time researching their competition.  Unfortunately, they are in a commoditized market with many – many – competitors.  The VP told the salesperson that there are too many competitors to research since they do not have a specific, common competitor.

This led to a discussion that I heard regarding federal authorities and counterfeit money (a common topic this morning).  There are far too many counterfeiters with different techniques to know all of the scams.  So instead, the feds train their people to know all of the specific markers of genuine currency.  The point is that if you know what constitutes the real bills you will be able to spot any fake currency.

My point is that salespeople in highly competitive markets need to know their value proposition in the market.  The salespeople will be more effective if they know what they bring to the market that is distinct and valuable.  If they know that value, they can put it in play against any competitor.  THAT information is worth far more than any competitive information they will gather through online research.

If you have salespeople with a strong Theoretical motivation, you will want to monitor this aspect of their prospecting.  Do not let them get wrapped up in detailed analysis at the expense of actual prospecting.

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