04013 Competitive Analysis for M&A

Previous issues have provided tips on competitive analysis to make the sales force more competitive, and to make the product more competitive. Today’s topic covers another important use of competitive analysis, which is to gather valuable information for Mergers and Acquisitions (M&A), to find companies that would make good potential acquisitions for or purchasers of your company.
This same activity can have a different outcome from an actual merger or acquisition. It could be “M&A lite,” such as a strategic alliance or partnership that strengthens your product in a new sales channel or adds competitive functionality.
And looking for new functionality, then figuring out how to put it in the product, whether by developing it internally, embedding another company’s technology, or partnering, falls right smack into the area of responsibility of a Product Manager.
Read below for tips on gathering competitive intelligence for use in M&A or strategic alliances.

04011 Competitive Analysis: Digging For Info

Product Managers are often called upon to analyze the competition, perhaps with an eye to positioning the product to sell better, or as a way of determining which features to add in order to better compete in the market. In the two previous topics, we covered competitive analysis as a general topic and specifically for sales.
This week’s topic continues the discussion with some miscellaneous tactics and techniques, detailed below, to point you in the right direction when you are called upon to analyze the competition.

04010 Competitive Analysis For Sales

Competitive intelligence and analysis is a big part of any company’s job, and is a duty that often falls to Product Managers. In last week’s issue, called “Competitive Analysis: Ready When They Are,” we looked at the topic of how to get a read on your competitors’ plans and next moves. This week’s discussion focuses on getting information so that your sales reps can sell better against the competition.
Read on for useful insight and tips to help focus your competitive analysis for use by your sales organization.

04009 Competitive Analysis: Ready When They Are

Competitive analysis is a vital function at a company, especially in the fast changing software industry. Yet it is an activity that is often neglected or haphazard.
Usually, gathering competitive intelligence doesn’t fall squarely in the camp of one department. In fact, like product management itself, ultimate responsibility for competitive analysis may be found in different departments at different companies.
Like many functions that don’t fall consistently into one department or another, competitive intelligence often becomes the responsibility of Product Managers. Product Managers, because of the scope of their jobs, which span sales, marketing, development, and management, make good point people for gathering information on competitors to meet different needs in multiple departments.
Gathering competitive intelligence is like being a scout for an army. You may take some secretive and unexpected pathways in order to spy on the other side and report on its forces and their movements. If your company doesn’t have a good idea of the current and expected moves by the competition, it risks losing sales and market share.
Read on for guidance on gathering competitive intelligence so that when the competition makes a move, your company is ready when they are to counter them effectively.

04002 Trade Shows: Measuring ROI

It seems that the necessity to exhibit your product at trade shows is one of those trying truisms in the software industry. Like press releases and advertising, manning a company booth at trade shows is considered de rigueur for a marketing plan. Product Managers are often called upon to man the booth at shows as well ...

03008 How Can Product Managers Help Marketing?

Whether you as a Product Manager report into Marketing, Development, or another group, you play a critical role in helping Marketing position and explain the product so that the message resonates with your product's prospects. The Marketing folks are the experts at taking an image of your software product and polishing it until it really shines. ...