Sales people are the crucial differentiator in competitive markets

Sales people are the crucial differentiator in competitive markets
Neil Rackam - How does increased competition affect the strategys we teach

Video transcription: In today's world some estimates say the average company has twice as many competitors as it had five years ago and even worse the customer has twenty times as much information about those competitors.

In the old days you might have ten competitors but the customer only knew about two of them. So in effect you only had two competitors. Today you've probably got fifty competitors and the customer knows about all of them.

So what's happened is not only has the world become more competitive in terms of the number of competitors, it's become more competitive in terms of access to competitive information. The customer knows. So what does this do? Well what it means is products have become more and more alike in every market there's a kind of commoditising

If you look at say faults in cars, new cars, twenty years ago the difference between the best and the worst was more than fifty to one. Today it's less than one and a half to one. If you look at reliability, it used to be that a company like say Xerox when I was first working with them could go into a customer and say 'You know compared with our competitors we only have 4% of the break down rate that they have, our equipment is superbly reliable.' It was a differentiator. Today everyone's equipment is reliable.

So what's happening is your product is no longer your differentiator in this highly competitive world, we no longer differentiate by product or service, we differentiate by how it's sold and sales people have become the primary differentiator in most markets through the relationships they build and through the value that they create.

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About the Author
Neil Rackham

Written by Neil Rackham