One of the most common questions I get when talking to someone who is familiar with one of our competitors is “How are you guys different from xyz?” Naturally, as with most industries, there are a multitude of competitors out there, most of which we never compete against. Here are a few approaches to the competitive differentiation question:
- Focus on target company size, industries, and verticals (e.g. SMB vs enterprise or healthcare vs financial services)
- Address specific product functionality and use cases (e.g. feature X vs feature Y)
- Talk about customer acquisition (sales) and service approaches (e.g. insides sales vs field sales)
- Articulate the different corporate cultures, fundraising, and other strategies
The most important thing to do with the competitive differentiation question is to answer it concisely and clearly. Too often when I ask others that question I get a long answer that doesn’t leave a memorable hook in my mind. Keep it short, simple, and memorable.
What else? What other recommendations do you have for competitive differentiation questions?