A good competitive feature benchmark report reveals where competition is strong, where it’s weak, where adjusting a feature could offer a competitive advantage, and what customer sentiment is on aspects of your competitors’ products.
That said, getting an unbiased, accurate, and comprehensive report is easier said than done. Traditionally, there are three potential routes that businesses take: market research reports, consulting services, or an internal sales/marketing team soliciting feedback from customers.
How to Use B2B Executive Surveys for Competitive Feature Benchmarks
Competitive benchmarks should consist of a combination of qualitative and quantitative data. For instance, it’s important to know a certain number of quantitative data points such as sales volume, pricing or promotions (such as determining if your competitors charge clients prorated amounts or have package deals). In addition to this, however, you want qualitative data — how happy are customers with certain features? Which features are easiest to sell? Which features are customers most unhappy with? To get answers to the qualitative and quantitative questions that companies have for feature benchmarking, you need to speak with stakeholders in key categories. Here’s what these stakeholders would look like for each element of a competitive benchmark:
- High-level market scan: former heads of marketing and/or sales at the market leader company. These people know the market leader’s products, the competitors, the distributors, and the available features on the industry landscape inside-out.
- Precise feature analysis on a specific brand: Former heads of product at the competitors or a distributor who distributes the features for the feature benchmark
- Precise feature comparison: large survey of customers for a “voice of customer report” on sentiment of various features.
- Advertising/positioning: former head of advertising or marketing at each competitor, or a senior ad executive from a large agency that worked with the industry leaders.
Executive B2B surveys collect insights and data from large sample sizes of each of these groups. Unlike market reports, expert surveys use data taken straight from the source: customers, employees, and distributors. Additionally, because expert surveys do not rely on networks for contacting members of each data source, they can access a large enough sample size of unbiased respondents to ensure the accuracy of the data. This gives companies valuable information on how they should position themselves vis a vis pricing, messaging, and product roadmaps.
The most important aspect of a robust competitive feature benchmark is getting comprehensive, accurate data from the right sources. And the best way to do this is to leverage the power of B2B survey providers like NewtonX.