Know your competition| How to leverage your competition to get ahead
Know your competition| Many founders think that there’s no real competition in their space. That sets alarm bells off in my head for 3 main reasons:
It’s too shallow a view of your competition — no matter how unique your technology is. You need to know your business rivals inside out. Monitoring them beyond the superficial feature-comparison level that’s often a standard approach.
Effectively explain your differentiator and stand-out offering as a founder by separating it from the technology crowd. You need to know your sector landscape in detail, so you can persuasively explain why your product is the best.
Are experienced investors really going to trust you if you say you have no real competition? Call it a founder blind spot, it won’t build you the solid pitch you need to gain investors’ trust.
You can’t bury your head in the sand when it comes to your competitors. They’re definitely out there, so the key is to leverage them to set your product apart. By getting to know your competition inside out, you can utilize the information to explain, sharpen and solidify your differentiator.
The next step? Crafting a watertight pitch that shows you haven’t fallen into the founder blind spot trap. Instead, you know exactly who’s out there in your landscape and what you’re up against, but you have the data to demonstrate precisely how and why your product is a cut above the rest.
To support my clients to do this, I guide them through a Competitive Intelligence Search (CIS). Below, we’ll explore what a CIS is and how you can leverage the findings to create a persuasive, data-driven technology pitch to investors.
What is a Competitive Intelligence Search?
A CIS researches the latest activity in your sector. It explores technological trends in the space and competitor activity, as well as what deals are happening.
By carrying out a CIS early on, you can save months of work and resources by 1) honing in faster on how to pitch your differentiator to investors and 2) avoiding pouring time and funds into pursuing dead-end verticals and use cases for your core tech. Let’s briefly look at how:
Exploring the competitor tech that’s out there: Brings you insights that help you validate your company’s assumptions about your unique differentiator and refine it further.
More than a features table: A standard table of feature differences isn’t enough for a persuasive pitch. A CIS elevates your competitor analysis, positioning you to prove a deeper, data-backed differentiator.
Awareness of deals going on
Transactional data on the latest deals highlights the verticals and use cases on which investors are focusing for core technology. This overview of what’s happening in the sector can help you narrow down your potential use cases to invest where you know there’s already traction. Conversely, it can provide the data you need to launch your core tech into a space you can see is still empty, capitalizing on the opportunity to lead developments in that vertical or use case.
Outlining a strategic business roadmap
The insights a CIS can deliver equip you to speak knowledgeably and confidently about the market opportunities for your tech. Which companies in the space have your CIS identified as potential early adopters or collaborative partners? How will you shape your go-to-market strategy and prioritize B2B outreach based on this? With a clear view of your competitive advantage, you can formulate a coherent strategy to help strengthen your position when raising capital.
So CIS data is a valuable resource. However, you also need to know how to translate the data into actionable insights and utilize it to support your company narrative. Only then can you create the type of convincing, data-driven pitch that investors want to hear.
Knowing how to translate CIS results to tell your founder story
A CIS will set you up with the data you need to guide, craft, and solidify your company narrative. It’s the resource that bridges the gap between having groundbreaking core tech and being able to communicate it successfully and convincingly to investors.
So how do we evolve from pure data to compelling pitches?
The key is to actively acknowledge the competitors revealed by your CIS. This is what creates the narrative arc central to any good story: We have a protagonist (that’s you as founder) who faces a challenge (outsmarting your competition) that you eventually overcome (by leveraging your CIS data to prove to investors that you’re the stand-out solution they should buy into).
With the data to back up your narrative, you’ll move toward a solid position to show investors that you’ve really done your research. That you know the rivals who might be creating faster, cheaper, better solutions than you — but you know exactly how your offering outdoes them all. Add the compelling narrative arc of struggle-to-triumph that we outlined above, and you’ll be primed to tie the numbers and the storytelling together in a memorable, resonant, powerful investor pitch.
Craft your compelling founder narrative
Rather than leaning into your founder blind spot and burying your head in the sand when it comes to your competition, use what a CIS can tell you to effectively and maturely differentiate your tech from the rest. The better you know your landscape, the further you can solidify your unique offering and help build investor confidence and buy-in.
Interested in a Competitive Intelligence Search for your tech? Don’t hesitate to reach out to us via email at email@example.com, or let’s set up a call.