January 2019: Phone a friend and don’t be afraid to ask for help. Chances are, one of your co-analysts, employees, bosses, someone you met at a conference, or even a client, will have encountered your CI situation before. They may have that perfect example or connection, or another solution to save you time and money.
December 2018: Work/life balance is important; our final tip of 2018 is to spend next week with your family and friends.
November 2018: M&A activity and layoffs present valuable competitive intelligence opportunities; these events should be monitored and acted on quickly when they occur.
October 2018: Win/Loss can be an effective tool for validating the rumors that your sellers hear in the field.
September 2018: Win/Loss interviews should identify hints about new product features & functions. This can provide an early warning about R&D and launch dates.
August 2018: A CI unit that only answers questions may be sufficient, but to be exceptional, the CI unit must also ask questions.
July 2018: Effective CI units are 2x more likely to report to the C-Suite or Strategy than the average CI unit.
June 2018: The most effective CI units attend 2-5 trade shows per year. Make sure that your CI unit leverages trade show intelligence.
May 2018: Develop project plans and research agendas in collaboration with end-users to have the greatest impact.
April 2018: Make sure that every CI recommendation has an implementation plan with clear goals and milestones for completion.
March 2018: The most effective CI units across all industries look at 20-40 Win/Loss deals per year.
February 2018: Invest in at least one competitor simulation or scenario planning session per year to help inform your CI priorities and overall strategy.
January 2018: Finalize conference planners and team assignments 2-3 weeks before trade shows to maximize the value of these events.
December 2017: Always think of subsequent questions to ask during a primary interview. Even if you get the answer, the client will want more details.
November 2017: Be brief, specific, and clear. CI professionals should have robust data, but be able to present concise findings. Executives need answers versus too many words.
October 2017: The most effective Win/Loss studies incorporate both quantitative and qualitative data across the key decision factors.
September 2017: Never minimize the potential of an emerging competitor. A threat that seems small today might significantly impact your business down the road.