Most of us make it a habit to know why our customers buy our products and services. A lot of us have entire teams dedicated to curating and marketing customer success stories and rave reviews. But how many of us follow the client testimonials of our competitors’ offerings? Become familiar with your competitors’ customers so you can outrun the competition and bring home more wins.

Uncover Customer Needs
To catch a prospective client’s attention, you have to identify a need and meet it. Testimonials usually address a solution’s ability to meet a customer’s needs. We lose prospects to competitors for a number of reasons, one of them being because the competition can meet their needs better than we can. Sometimes the loss comes because the competitor’s solution is a better fit for a prospect than ours, and sometimes we lose because the competitor has done a better job articulating and addressing a prospect’s needs.

The latter should never happen. You can’t afford to waste time selling to a prospect if you don’t know exactly what they need. However, prospects don’t always do a great job articulating their own needs. Sometimes they can only see one answer to a multifaceted problem. Find out why your competitors’ customers are happy. Maybe their products assisted key players in strategic negotiations or saved money and time. Or you might find that their services met a more intangible need, such as making the client feel more confident or more knowledgeable.

Analyze the Approach
We often focus on how our products are different from our competitors’, but we don’t always dig into how our sales process varies from our competitors’. Happy clients often explain how a business went about meeting their needs. You might see references to professional, approachable and helpful salespeople, or immediately accessible customer service. There may also be indications of why a customer switched to a new product. Maybe the previous one had too many product glitches or inadequate customer assistance. Possibly, the client switched over because of training services or exceptional sales assistance.

Listen to the Silences
Notice what is not included in competitors’ testimonials. If there are no references to certain services that a company provides, this may be an opportunity to outshine a competitor. Maybe your business offers exceptional product orientation or regular client follow up. If testimonials don’t address essential aspects of certain products or services, you might lead with these benefits in outbound prospecting.

Assess Client Loyalty
Client testimonials also signal where loyalty lies. For example, a testimonial might say, “We have been using this company’s products for 10 years and do not have any reason to switch.” As a salesperson with quarterly goals to meet, you might not cross off that prospective client completely from your target list, but because of its staunch loyalty to your competitor, you might move it lower on your target customer list.

Studying what your target audience wants and how its needs have been met in the past will give you an edge in B2B sales. For greater success, devise your sales strategy after carefully studying the words of your prospective clients.