We know our customers. We know their journey. Now we need to fit ourselves into it in the best way possible. This comes from defining your competitive advantage.

Your competitive advantage is what sets you apart from the competition, which fully understanding and articulating is a crucial element of your sales plan template. Start by asking a few simple questions:

  • Why do customers buy from us?
  • Why do customers buy from our competitors and not us?
  • Why do some potential customers not buy at all?
  • What do we need to do to be successful in the future?

Remember that customers buy benefits, not features. When describing your value proposition, it’s easy to get caught up in talking about you. What you’ve made. What you do. Instead, flip the script and talk about what your product will do for your customers. A strong competitive advantage:

  • Reflects the competitive strength of your business
  • Is preferably, but not necessarily, unique
  • Is clear and simple
  • May change over time as competitors try to steal your idea
  • Must be supported by ongoing market research

It’s not that your helpdesk software has social media integrations and real-time ticket tracking that matters to most customers. It’s the fact that it makes their lives easier and allows them to focus on what they care about most: Creating a great customer experience rather than keeping track of what that one customer said on Twitter last week.

Focus on value, not features in your sales plan template.

Your competitive advantage is not just an integral part of your sales plan, but will inform everything your company does moving forward, from marketing to product development. It’s a great example of where sales can influence the development of a product and the direction of a business.