As I revised for the MB2-713 exam (Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2016 Sales), I’m publishing a series of posts covering all aspects of my revision, this time I am going to look at competitors.
Microsoft Dynamics CRM has a “competitor” entity designed to allow companies to record and report on competitor related information. In my experience this is an often forgotten area of CRM but capturing information on why you lost out to a competitor or recording details of how your products compare to theirs can (over time) provide valuable insights on how to improve or better position your products and services. Used wisely this information can be a powerful reference database to help win more opportunities or strengthen the relationships with existing clients.
Competitors are pretty simple to understand / use in CRM, hopefully you will quickly grasp the concepts needed for the MB2-713 exam.
One key advantage of competitors is that the information is organisation wide, meaning everyone can benefit from others experiences. A new sales person, for example, might not have gone up against a particular competitor before so any insight available can be a great support.
Competitor functionality includes;
- Helps with SWOT analysis. SWOT = strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats.
- Records on the opportunity one (or more) competitor bidding for the business.
- Captures why an opportunity was lost to a specific competitor.
- Statistics include the number and total value of opportunities won / lost connected to a competitor.
- Sales literature can be related to a competitor.
- Competitors can optionally be related to a specific product or products.
Think of a competitor as ANYTHING that can block a sale, more often than not this will be a company. But other blockers could exist which could be captured in the competitor entity. For example, when selling software a “competitor” might be for the potential customer to develop their own code. In this case you could use the competitor entity to help record the pros/cons of developing an in-house solution.
Tracking this information against competitors lets organisations see when / why they lost against a particular organisation. And therefore help identify how to win next time.
Below you can see how you can add a list of competitors to an opportunity;
And below you can see the dialog for closing a sale and how you can add who you lost the sale to. It is worth noting that the competitor you lost the opportunity to does not have to be named on the opportunity. (In some circumstances you might not know who the competitors are until the end of the sales cycle.)
Having done this, I could produce reports showing the total revenue lost to a given competitor etc. It is worth also knowing that out of the box directly on the competitor form you can see a list of opportunities, their stats and a chart showing how many opportunities have been won/lost to this competitor.
I hope this post has given you a flavour for the basics of competitor analysis in CRM. (and hopefully you agree it is pretty simple to understand.) J
In my next post I will continue my series on MB2-713 revision by looking at sales territories.
5 thoughts on “MB2-713 Certification (Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2016 Sales) – Competitors”
This is a pretty useful OOTB feature, but we can’t make the competitor mandatory in the opportunity close form (or can we?) so is hard to make full use of it
Thanks for the post.
Thanks Anne, my post aimed to describe basic functionality in context on the Microsoft certification. I think you are right that using the standard opportunity lost dialog you couldn’t make competitor mandatory. As that dialog can’t be customized. I think you would need to create a custom approach to marking opportunities as won / lost. So not a simple config change. But in my experience you wouldn’t want competitor to be mandatory. For example, You might be the only company involved!
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Hi Neil, Could you please let me know how Competitors can optionally be related to a specific product or products?
Thanks for your question, assuming each competitor could be associated with no or many products. And each product could have no or many competitors.
You’d want a many to many relationship between product and competitor.
This relationship actually exists out of the box. So you should be able to find a products option in the navigation on competitors already. And one for competitors on products.