If you have decided that it’s worth spending time and resources on keeping track of your competition (Part 1: why, Part 2: process), here is a template for how to do this with a spreadsheet.
Before that, a short announcement.
I will be in “low power mode” for the entire month of July. I will try to recharge my mental batteries for what’s coming in the autumn, once we launch the beta version of our pricing optimization application.
Low power mode means I will not be writing anything new.
You will receive from me a pricing email every Monday, as usual, but only with short ideas and links.
My next “article” will be on August 15th.
What to track
There are obviously a lot of things you could be tracking about the competition.
As we aim to have a spreadsheet that is both manageable and useful at the same time, I would limit it to these topics:
Basic company details
- Team size
Customer Segments they target (according to your definitions and labels for customer segments).
Services and Quality
- Types of services they offer (technologies, design or not, QA or not, etc.)
- Types of projects
- Estimation of Quality, on a scale from 0 to 100, on these measures
This is how it could look:
I have used real, anonymized data and changed the table to portrait mode, so I can fit it in this vertical newsletter.
What to do with this spreadsheet
Once you have a first go of filling it with 5 or 10 of what you consider to be your direct competitors, it can become a living document.
It’s useful for the sales process, to compare your position or defend it in front of potential customers, to justify your prices.
It’s useful when you need to calculate your rate card.
And when you calculate the price for each project or new contract.
It should be updated every time someone on the team finds some relevant information about any of the competitors tracked.
And you might want to make a conscious effort every 3 or 6 months to bring everything in there up to date.
WHAT THIS MEANS FOR YOU
This is up to you. Or your team.