I saw this great post by Joshua Zerkel on the Evernote blog and wanted to share it with you. We’ve looked at using Evernote for prospecting but, of course, there are many other things that you can use it for and tracking your competitors is an ideal task. As Joshua outlines, Evernote also makes it easy to share your research with your coworkers. It’s no use if you have great information on your rivals but keep it to yourself.
It’s great to understand your competitors and what they are up to, but remember to be very careful about knocking your competitors when dealing with your customers. It can easily backfire on you.
When you have insight into your prospects and competitors, you’re able to make better decisions. Since Evernote lets you collect many different types of information, it’s an ideal tool for capturing business research.
Read up on prospects. When you’re going into meetings and sales calls, it’s helpful to have background information on the individuals you’re meeting with and the companies they work for. Using the Evernote Web Clipper, capture industry information and recent news about your prospects in Evernote. If they’ve sent you white papers, reports, RFPs/RFQs, or other data, store those in Evernote as well. To keep things organized, tag notes with the prospect’s name or put them in a notebook for that prospect. As you prepare for a meeting, you can quickly refer back to the notes you’ve collected.
Keep an eye on the competition. No business operates in a vacuum. Chances are there are multiple players in your industry, and even if they’re not direct competitors, it never hurts to keep an eye on what they’re up to. Again, use the Web Clipper to capture press mentions, relevant blog posts, and articles about what companies in your industry are doing. If your competitors are using email marketing for newsletters or updates, forward the messages they send to your email-to-Evernote address to keep them permanently.
Review the notes you’ve collected as you’re planning what’s next for your business.
Know what your team knows. If you work on a team and have multiple people who perform research, create a Shared Notebook so everyone can contribute in an organized way. Evernote Business can help your team further leverage each other’s efforts. For instance, as you’re clipping articles about a prospect, you’ll automatically see Related Notes your colleagues have previously collected about them. The same is true for researching competitors.