Magazine article Talent Development

A Vendor-Provided Case Study: Rapid Competitive Intelligence Strengthens Global Sales Teams. (Suppliers)

Magazine article Talent Development

A Vendor-Provided Case Study: Rapid Competitive Intelligence Strengthens Global Sales Teams. (Suppliers)

Article excerpt

Since the beginning of 2001, the telecommunications industry has been in tremendous metamorphosis. Spending on new networks has come to a standstill as carriers look to survive the storm that has driven dozens of companies into bankruptcy. Sales and marketing staffs at many telecommunications giants have been scaled down to skeletal crews. Thus, Lucent faced considerable pressure to protect its global market share. Lucent Learning sales and marketing, the organization responsible for the professional development and training of Lucent's global sales teams, needed to enhance the teams' capabilities so they could compete more effectively in challenging market conditions. Lucent account executives weren't receiving all of the competitive intelligence they needed.

Also under significant pressure to reduce costs, Lucent was seeking additional resources to provide competitive insights without building its internal headcount.

What Lucent needed

Lucent's sales teams needed unbiased competitive intelligence to fully assess sales potential with key customers. Lucent turned to Current Analysis, with whom it had worked in the past. Over three months, Lucent Learning sales and marketing was able to showcase to the Lucent global sales teams how competitive intelligence from Current Analysis would enhance their sales capability. Strong momentum for CA began to build among account executives in the field. "Current Analysis's service is essential," says Mary Slaughter, director of Lucent Learning sales and marketing. "Our product management naturally has a biased view about Lucent's products; that's a good thing. We also need the unbiased view of Current Analysis to supplement the insights of our product managers." Lucent's goal was to be able to quickly distribute competitive intelligence using a Web-based platform to all of its global sales teams.

LLSM continued to conduct meetings throughout Lucent with stakeholders in new business development, technical sales, and account management. The decision to invest in an expanded relationship with Current Analysis was intensive, with a strong emphasis on CA's ability to help drive Lucent's revenue. Lucent needed to respond rapidly to its customers about competitors' products and activities. Access to tactical sales tips would enhance Lucent's ability to develop sales proposals and to conduct customer conversations.

Enter Current Analysis

The Current Analysis competitive response solution for Lucent included rapid and tactical analysis, Web-based platform and collaboration tools, and content integration.

Rapid and tactical analysis. Lucent now has access to a continuously refreshed repository of unbiased competitive analysis. Critical industry, vendor, and competitive information is updated within 24 to 48 hours of a new development. That includes timely, in-depth assessments of the strengths and weaknesses of key products and services from other equipment and network vendors, and nonevent driven market and competitor assessments.

Web-based platform and collaboration tools. Competitive intelligence is delivered via Web-based applications around the globe. The platform enables Lucent sales teams to filter the competitive intelligence to fit their specific needs and to customize their interface as well.

"The Current Analysis approach enables our global sales teams to have 24/7 access to competitive insights," says Slaughter. …

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