There is a reason to focus on competitive displacements, even though they take time, and even though taking a client from your competitor requires effort. When you pursue a prospective client being served by your competitor, they have already made a number of decisions that a lead may not yet have made.
First, they have decided to buy what you sell. You no longer have to establish the need for what you sell. In other sales, you have to make a market, convincing people they need something they haven’t ever purchased. If you believe taking a client away from your competitor is hard, spend time trying to convince someone to buy something they don’t believe they need.
Second, and even more important, is the fact that your dream client depends on what you sell, increasing the odds it is important to them—and even rising to being “strategic.” If they depend on what you sell to operate their business, there is continuity, i.e. they continually buy what you sell.
Finally, when the first two are true, it is a certainty that there is an improvement available. There is always something your dream client wishes were better, and there are always internal and external factors that compel companies to change what they do and how they do it. There is an opportunity for a better future state for your prospective client, and that provides you with an opportunity of your own.
Better Than Leads
There are many who wish for more leads, better leads, leads they believe are “ready-to-buy.” This is the order-taker’s dream. A lead, however, is not likely to have decided to buy what you sell (least of all if the only factor that makes them a lead is that they downloaded a white paper). If they are not already using what you sell or some alternative, what you sell hasn’t yet become strategic to your lead.
As markets mature, more and more salespeople and sales organizations are going to need to live, thrive, and survive in the red ocean. This is now true for the startups with the big idea that is going to change the industry they serve as they fight to displace other ideas and other priorities.
For more on this idea, pick up Eat Their Lunch: Winning Customers Away From Your Competition.