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Sales Battlecards: Landmines

In the context of a sales battlecard, landmines are carefully crafted questions or remarks that sow seeds of doubt in a potential customer’s head about a competing company. Landmines can take the form of pointed criticism about a product or service, but they’re usually more indirect, leaving the customer to come to his or her own conclusion.

An effective landmine can be as simple as asking how much a potential customer values timely customer service, when you know for a fact that the other company they’re considering struggles with poor customer service and excessive wait times. The customer’s response in the moment matters less than the line of thinking it will hopefully trigger-- one that highlights your competitor’s flaws and positions your company as the superior alternative.

Landmines often do their best work long after your sales teams drops them into conversation. Ideally, a well-placed landmine will go off in your sales prospect’s head the next time they’re talking to your competitor, leading the prospect to ask pointed, damaging questions that the other sales team will struggle to answer.

To create a landmines section, start by evaluating your competitor in question. If you routinely conduct competitive intelligence research, you can draw on that information to create a short list of their strengths and weaknesses. Look at how their products, features, and support services compare to your own. If you’re starting from scratch, look for professional reviews, customer feedback, and industry reports that give insight into the services your competitors provide. You want to identify as many of their weaknesses as possible, specifically the ones that correspond with your own strengths.

Your sales team can serve as a great resource when building your landmines. They have direct contact with potential customers and often know what your competitors’ selling points are, because they’ve heard them from past prospects. Beyond research, it’s also crucial to include your sales team in the writing process so that they feel comfortable (and sound natural) delivering the landmines you come up with. Phrasing and word choice can have an outsized impact on a landmine’s effectiveness—too direct and it might be brushed off as a clumsy attack, too subtle and it might not go off at all. Crafting your message to sound conversational, as opposed to confrontational, is a worth the effort.

Once you’re satisfied with the landmines you’ve created, it’s up to your sales team to deploy them during sales process at the most opportune moment. That means not jumping the gun the moment it becomes apparent that a certain competitor is also in the running. Listening and engaging with the customer’s concerns first will put them in a problem-solving mindset, creating a natural opening to ask leading questions. That’s when landmines are most effective.

Overall, if you’re competing against a known quantity, landmines are a great way to position your company as the best option in your potential customer’s mind without directly attacking their offerings. Landmines are a great tool for your sales team, and a key card in your sales battlecard deck.


If you’re interested in learning how CI Radar’s battlecard offering can improve your sales process, check out our other posts on the subject or contact us for more info!