Table of Contents
What are Battle Cards?
Sales battle cards are concise, easy-to-read internal documents that give sales teams a quick reference guide during sales calls. They contain key information about the company’s products, messaging, and value propositions. Normally, they also compare competitors’ products, their strengths and weaknesses, and how to position against them.
A battle card is typically a one-pager. It’s formatted as a table with checklists, bullet points, and short paragraphs. Depending on its contents, it can also include visual aids like charts and graphs to clarify complex information.
The goal of battle cards is to equip sales teams with the necessary knowledge and tools to respond to customers’ objections and accurately differentiate the company’s products from competitors. They are an essential resource for sales teams to have at their disposal, ensuring they are always well-informed and prepared during sales interactions.
- Sales battle cards
- Competitor battle cards
- Competitor profile
Importance of Battle Cards in Sales and Marketing
For sellers, each sales engagement is somewhat unpredictable (i.e., there’s no way of knowing what the prospect will say, do, or need. Keeping a battle card handy is an easy way to stay prepared for dozens of potential scenarios — like using a cheat sheet for a test.
For marketers, battle cards serve as a reminder of the value proposition and messaging they want sales teams to communicate. They also ensure consistency in how the company’s products are positioned against competitors.
Battle cards are a practical way to display competitive intelligence, which is sometimes hard to read and comprehend. They focus on specific competitors, so they are an excellent resource for salespeople to study and understand competition better.
In addition to learning their product’s benefits, capabilities, and limitations by comparing it to others in their industry, sellers can use battle cards to familiarize themselves with the company’s product portfolio. Some battle card templates also include sections for important data, features, and benefits that give salespeople more context when selling.
Understand Target Audience
Battle cards help salespeople understand their target audience by compiling their ideal customers’ key demographics/firmographics, psychographics, and behavioral traits. They highlight the challenges they face and demonstrate how the company’s product or service can solve these issues. Salespeople can tailor their pitches to meet potential clients’ specific needs and interests.
Consistent Brand Messaging
Strategic sales tools like battle cards are crucial for aligning a brand’s messaging across marketing and sales. Salespeople and marketers can effectively convey the brand’s core messages to potential customers by using consistent language and key details from the battle cards. Uniformity maintains brand identity, enhances customer trust, and avoids sales discrepancies or misunderstandings.
Sales Team Training
Since they’re designed in a visual format, new reps generally find battle cards to be one of the most digestible and quick-to-learn sales readiness tools. They accelerate onboarding, improve knowledge retention, and reduce the time reps need to spend familiarizing themselves with the product or service before engaging in real-life selling situations. When it’s time for sellers to start conducting cold outreach or managing inbound leads, they can do so confidently because they have all the necessary information at their disposal.
Preparation for Sales Conversations and Objections
It’s impossible to anticipate with 100% accuracy what customers might say or ask. But, there are common objections sales representatives face more than others. Battle cards include potential customer objections and corresponding sales responses for effective conversations about the company’s products and services.
Types of Sales Battle Cards
There are three types of sales battle cards: product, marketing, and competitive battle cards.
Product Battle Cards
Product battle cards educate your sales team on the company’s products, including:
- key features and benefits
- customer pain points and how the product solves them
- exclusive differentiators
- pricing and packaging options
A product battle card might focus on one product. Or, it could compare multiple products/use cases.
Marketing Battle Cards
Marketing battle cards break down a competitor’s marketing strategy by describing who they’re selling to and what they’re doing to reach their target audience. They’ll include competitor information like:
- their channel sales partners
- their multichannel selling strategy
- the industry verticals they service
- their business model
Product positioning is the main reason for the sales team to use marketing battle cards. Knowing where their product sits in reference to others (e.g., a high-cost, high-quality enterprise product vs. a low-cost alternative) guides the sales team into a conversation on pricing and value.
Competitive Battle Cards
Competitive battle cards are the most extensive type of sales battle card. They contain information on your brand’s direct industry competitiors, including:
- products/services offered
- strengths and weaknesses
- target audience information
- objections to expect from customers
- how to position the company’s product/service against the competitor’s
- comparisons of key areas of value (e.g., “CRM integration”)
They are an all-in-one resource to help salespeople understand the competition and know how to respond effectively during a sales conversation. They’re also helpful for role-palying, sales training, and coaching.
What’s Included in Battle Cards?
Every battle card is different. You may choose to add or omit certain sections based on the type of product you sell, your target audience, your company’s sales objectives, and the reason you’re using the battle card in the first place.
However, most battle cards contain some of the following sections:
Nearly all battle cards start with a brief overview of your company, including its name, mission statement, and value proposition. This section helps sales reps understand what makes their company unique and how to position it in the market. This section doesn’t need to be long. It only needs to highlight the most important information that sets your company apart from others.
Product or Service Benefits
For product battle cards, you’ll also want to include information about the product itself, like:
- Product name
- Key features and capabilities
- Pricing structure
- Use cases
- Industry verticals
- Integrations or compatibility with other tools
- Limitations or indicators the product won’t be a good fit
Often, battle cards look like a product comparison page on your website or a review platform like G2 Crowd (i.e., with depictions rather than words). They have a table with three or four rows (for your product and its main competitors) and several columns that list critical areas of performance and value (e.g., “cloud-based,” “Salesforce integration,” “customer support”). Some also have a summary section that shows how the company’s product stands out from competitors in each category.
Common Objections and Responses
Here’s where you provide solutions for common objections that sales reps regularly hear from customers or prospects. Some objections could include pricing concerns, product limitations, or competitors’ features. For each objection, add a standard response with a point that overcomes it.
Ideal Customer Profile (ICP)
Your ideal customer profile (ICP) represents your target client. This is the type of customer that gets the most value from your product or service and is therefore more likely to convert into a sale (and stay a customer). Make sure to include key characteristics such as industry, company size, job titles, pain points, and priorities.
Customer Pain Points
Anything that makes a customer look for an alternative to your product falls into the “pain points” category. These are current problems or challenges that buyers face with their current tool or process.
- Inadequate support
- Slow response times
- Poor user experience
- High costs
Connect each of your pain points directly to a feature that solves it. That way, your sales reps know which ones to present during sales demos.
Unique Selling Proposition (USP)
Your USP is your secret sauce — the one thing that makes you stand out from others the most. It’s normally ten words or less and explains why customers should choose your product over competitors’.
For example, DealHub’s USP might be “One Fluid Revenue Motion” or “Streamline your quote-to-revenue process.”
Pricing, quality, market positioning, features, customizability, and customer service are among the several types of product differentiation. Work with your team to identify each area of differentiation and list them in your battle cards.
If you’re using battle cards, inbound/outbound sales is a huge part of your business. Most companies like this are in the B2B SaaS space where pricing isn’t cut and dry.
On a battle card, you might include information about your price tiers, user/seat models, free trial versions, monthly/annual subscription prices, and what’s included in each plan. You can format this the same way you would in a pricing page on your website.
Use Cases and Success Stories
You don’t need to include entire case studies on your battle cards, but you should mention proof your product works for the customer you’re selling it to.
- “Company X increased their sales by 30% using our platform.”
- “Our tool helped this team save 10 hours a week on reporting.”
Success stories should be industry-specific and focus on the most relatable results for your target customer.
How to Create Sales Battle Cards
The most important thing to remember when creating battle cards is that not all the information will fit on one. Each should only be one page long, and its contents should logically flow from one topic to the next. To give your sales team all the context they need, you’ll need to create more than just one.
Most people use sales battle card templates to build their battle cards. To create your own and add your information, use the following steps:
Set Sales Targets
First, identify the sales objectives you want our battle cards to help you achieve. These should be tabngible.
- “Increase sales for product X by 10%”
- “Generate $1MM in new revenue from our product launch”
- “Grow sales in a new vertical by 15%”
Your overall business goal will change how you use the battle card. If you’re selling into a new market, you’re best off equipping your sales team with marketing or competitive battle cards. If they’re part of your GTM strategy, product battle cards are better.
Gather Product Information
Connect with your product team and gather crucial information about what you’re selling. This will include things like:
- product features
- pricing structure
- use cases
- differentiators from other products in your portfolio
- differentiators from competing products
Segment product features and benefits based on use cases. For example, if your product can be used for both sales and marketing teams, create separate sections within the battle card for each use case.
Research Target Audience
Next, research and compile key information about your target buyer. This will include:
- demographic/firmographic data (e.g., industry, company size)
- psychographic data (e.g., pain points, preferences, interests)
- tech stack or tools they currently use
A buyer persona is a separate document, but you might want to include basic information on the battle card to help sales team members reach the right leads and tailor their sales pitch.
Analyze Your Competition
Research your direct competitors and gather information on their products/services, pricing, target market, and key differentiators. This is crucial for creating competitive battle cards that effectively position your brand against the competition. If you can, learn how they sell to their customers, including their sales process, tactics, and strategies.
Keep in mind your research should be ongoing as the market and competitors may change.
Organize Information Into a Template
Once you gather all the necessary information, organize it into a sales battle card template. This can be a simple document with sections for each type of information or a more visual template with graphics and charts.
When it comes to templatizing your cards, you have a couple of options:
- Creating custom-branded ones from scratch using Figma or Canva
- Using existing or customizable templates from your sales enablement software
Whatever you do, use a format that is easy to read and navigate for sales team members. Logically separate each section from the others — for example, adding your competitor comparison on the left and creating a table for objections/responses on the right. And don’t put too much information on one page. Break it up into multiple categorized pages if you need to.
It’s best to add color and dimension to your battle cards.
- Make the most important information (e.g., a unique selling proposition) easy to read.
- On product comparisons, use green checkmarks and red Xs to make it clear which products do what.
- Use images, charts, and infographics to break up text blocks and make it easier for salespeople to understand complex information.
Train the Sales Team
After creating your sales battle cards, make them accessible to your sales team. You probably won’t have to train reps on how to use them (they’re obviously for informational purposes), but you should use them in your future training and coaching.
Here are a few key ways you can distribute and share your battle cards:
- Add them to the company wiki or intranet for easy access.
- Include them in new hire onboarding training.
- Share them during regular sales team meetings for practice and role-playing scenarios.
- Use them as a reference in coaching sessions to help reps improve their sales conversations.
- Give each sales rep a digital and photo copy of the battle cards to keep at home or on their desk.
Track Battle Card Use
You can’t see who’s using them and who isn’t if you don’t use sales enablement software. If you do, you can track how they’re being used and when by looking at document usage and engagement analytics.
You’ll know whether reps are using battle cards in their daily work or if they’re only using them during training sessions or important conversations. Based on this data, you can provide coaching and make improvements to your battle cards. You should also ask your sales reps if the battle cards help them at all.
5 Best Practices for Using Battle Cards in the Sales Process
- Battle cards should be concise and easily understandable by the sales team, so avoid industry jargon and complicated language.
- Keep them updated with the most recent information about your product, competitors, and market trends.
- Make sure to train your sales team not only on how to use them, but also on how to adapt the information to real-time sales conversations.
- Use your battle cards as a living document and continually improve them based on feedback from the sales team and performance analytics.
- Incorporate success stories, case studies, and content in your battle cards to make the value proposition more tangible for your sales team and help them sell to prospective customers.
People Also Ask
How do you write a competitor profile?
To write a competitor profile, start with basic data about your competitor, such as their company name, product or service offering, and market positioning. Then, research their strengths and weaknesses by analyzing their website, social media presence, and customer reviews. Compare this information to your own company’s strengths and differentiators to identify areas where you can differentiate yourself and stand out in the market.
What makes a good battle card?
Whether it’s for competitive, marketing, or product purposes, a good battle card is easy to read, concise, and conveys all the information your sales team needs to use it on calls, in demos, and during negotiations.
How long should a battle card be?
Each battle card should be no more than one page long, with clear sections and headings for easy navigation. You can create multiple battle cards for different types of information that match together.