SalesTech Star

SalesTechStar Interview with Jason Smith, CEO at Klue

Jason Smith, CEO at Klue chats about the growing use of competitive intelligence and its benefits to sales teams and marketers:


Welcome to this SalesTechStar chat Jason, tell us about yourself and more about Klue and your role there…

I’m the CEO and Co-Founder of Klue, a leading competitive enablement platform. I’ve built my career through sales, marketing, product and services teams. Those experiences really drove home the value of knowing what your competitor is up to – competitive intelligence is vertical agnostic, meaning that every business needs to understand their competition in order to succeed in the market. This realization drove me to start Klue. Klue collects data from millions of sources using AI. These insights and competitive intelligence on businesses are shared into one central location for sales, marketing and product teams.

How are competitive enablement platforms growing in prominence in the B2B market today?

To succeed in competitive markets, companies need an in-depth understanding of their competitors and buyers. The best organizations use market and competitive intelligence as a way to stay ahead of the competition, reduce risk, and increase market share.

But most organizations lack the processes and tools needed to distribute competitive insights across the organization. As a result, winnable deals are constantly being lost to the competition and the competitive revenue gap continues to widen. That’s why more companies are looking to combine competitive intelligence and organizational-wide enablement into a single ‘competitive enablement’ platform.

These platforms not only help you collect intelligence, but make it accessible and actionable for everyone across your company. Revenue teams can have the insights they need to win more deals, product can build differentiated products, and executive leadership can build an effective go-to-market strategy.

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Can you talk about the various ways in which you’ve seen leading brands use competitive enablement platforms to beat their competition faster?

We’ve worked with leading brands like Dell Technologies, Adobe, and Shopify, to help them build successful competitive enablement programs.

When people hear competitive enablement, they often think about enabling a sales team. And that is definitely a strength of our platform. For example, companies like Datto and SymphonyAI use Klue to enable their revenue teams with actionable competitive battlecards. As a result, Datto saw their competitive win rate increase by 50% and SymphonyAI knocked 75 days off their average sales cycle.

But our customers are also enabling multiple other departments across their company with competitive insights fueled by our platform, from product management, to strategy, to marketing, to executive leadership.

And in an economy when every department needs to do more with less, our customers are able to increase efficiency by as much as 50% (Highspot) and track significantly more competitors with the same time investment.

How can sales teams drive better output with enhanced intelligence in 2023: a few tips they should keep close to their core processes?  

Equip reps with actionable battlecards:

Forwarding competitive news and updates to your reps without any context is not going to help them win deals. Reps need to understand ‘why’ intel matters and how they can use it to their advantage. Competitive battlecards provide things like suggested messaging, call recordings, and insights into how they can win against a competitor.

Identify competitors early:

Enable your reps to spot competitors early in a sales cycle. This is critical to getting out in front of competitor sales tactics and doubt that they may try to plant in the minds of your prospect. This also gives you the strategic advantage of knowing how to differentiate early and tip the deal in your favor.

Identify and focus on your biggest threats:

If you look at the data, there’s a good chance that the majority of your competitive losses are going to 1-3 top competitors. Do your own threat analysis to understand who these top priorities are and focus 90% of your enablement efforts on them.

A few thoughts you’d share with B2B sales teams as they navigate a complex recessionary phase in 2023?

Close your Competitive Revenue Gap:

Your CRG is a calculation of the total $ value lost directly to competitors. This is an important metric for your revenue team because it represents  a huge opportunity to increase revenue without having to drive more leads. Among these competitive deals are a number of winnable opportunities that you lost by thin margins due to a lack of competitive enablement. By better supporting your revenue organization with competitive insights, you can tip more of these winnable deals in your favor. That’s one clear way to quickly increase revenue without spending more.

Protect your existing customer base:

With tighter budgets and fewer companies looking to purchase new solutions, your competitors are naturally going to look to where the budget already exists — your customers. As we head into 2023, companies should be thinking about how they can enable their account managers and CSMs to identify competitive renewals, differentiate effectively, and help champions communicate the value of your platform internally.

Don’t lose sight of the competition:

In this economy, with every purchase being scrutinized, you should assume that multiple alternatives are being considered in every purchase. In other words, every deal will be competitive. It’s more important than ever to enable your revenue team to navigate competitive deals and differentiate effectively. In this environment, especially with the rapid innovation in AI, you can also expect many new solutions to emerge in your market.

We’d love to hear about some of Klue’s upcoming enhancement/features and what users can expect from the platform in 2023?

Recently, we’ve announced the acquisition of DoubleCheck Research, a leader in win-loss analysis, making Klue the first platform of its kind to also include qualitative win-loss analysis. This is a huge step towards our vision of building an all-in-one “compete platform”. The power of combining buyer intelligence with market and competitive intelligence gives a company a full picture of go-to-market insights to help them compete more effectively across all areas of the business.

Read More: Digital Business Growth Exploding in 2023

Category Leader Klue Raises $62M to Accelerate its Competitive Enablement Platform

Klue is a competitive enablement and win-loss platform. Using Klue, product marketing and competitive intelligence teams collect and analyze intel from across the web, inside their company, and from their buyers to distribute actionable insights across their organization. This includes sellers needing actionable battlecards to win competitive deals, product management needing competitive and buyer insights to shape their roadmap, and executive leadership who need market context in order to make strategic go-to-market decisions.

Jason Smith is the CEO at Klue

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