Sales Battlecards

11 Steps to Create Sales Battlecards that Win More Deals

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Sales Battlecards – Top question from Google

What are sales battlecards?

Sales Battlecards are pre-prepared documents containing the best sales strategies and tactics that salespeople can use to compete and win against their competitors.  They highlight at a glance, the best approach that sales people can use and the most important points of their value proposition they should focus on.

1. The origins of Sales Battlecards

I first came across Sales Battlecards when visiting one of our dealers in Grand Rapids, Michigan back  in the 1990’s.  I was a travelling salesman and regularly toured the US supporting our aerial lift dealer network, and was given one of my best lessons in sales. 

Terry, the dealership manager had arranged some meetings with local prospects and prepared by creating a sales battlecard which showed our aerial lift versus the competition. 

I was frankly amazed by both the simplicity of the tool, and how powerful they were when used expertly by a professional like Terry. In essence the battlecards helped the prospects convince themselves to buy our product. 

Fast forward to today, and everyone will be familiar with the basic battlecards that SaaS brands use when comparing both one plan level against another, and when comparing their product, versus the competition. 

Whilst these are great, the best battlecards have much more detail and when used in conjunction with a consultative sales technique are simply game changers for salespeople.


Sales Battlecard Coaching
Sales Battlecard Coaching

2. How to create a sales battlecard

There are many potential variations in terms of what to include in your sales battle cards.  As a minimum we would suggest you start off with the following and then add and additional content you feel necessary.

In order to create your sales battlecards you should document the following:

  1. Competitors information – their name address and key contacts?
  2. Background – what is the history of the company, their track record and key accounts?
  3. Competitor Sales strategy – how do they go to market against you and how do they win?
  4. How to Win – what proven ways have you won against them that you can repeat?
  5. Create a feature comparison matrix – list out the key features of your product vs the competition.
  6. Highlight the areas where your product or services is both different and better than the competition.
  7. Create a list of “challenge” questions to ask your prospect that will highlight the differences/advantages of your product/service
  8. Create a list of “challenge” sales stories that you can use to reinforce the benefits that other customers have experienced because of the differences/advantages in your product or service
  9. Train the salespeople how to use the battlecards.  Practice and role play are all important.
  10. Record the sales peoples calls to ensure the salespeople are using the battlecards and track their success.
  11. Refresh and refine your sales battlecards to ensure they are always up to date.

For obvious reasons you must be honest when compiling your sales battle cards and not mislead your customers. 

For further details on how we can support you please checkout our bespoke sales training programmes.


3. Best strategies for using sales battle cards.

  • Sales Training – Battle cards are an essential part of your sales training and a great starting point for new sales hires.  The quicker your sales people familiarise themselves with the content on the cards then the better prepared they are for and sales conversation.

  • Sales Strategy – in sales there will inevitably be times when we are up against stiff competition.  There will be times when the customer perceives a weakness in our value proposition.  Our job is to counter this and without a doubt the best way we have found time and time again is to turn any perceived disadvantage into an advantage.  Here are some examples:

Local supplier vs National supplier

Many of our customers have found that local works for them because they are seeking a more personal and responsive service than you typically get from a national distributor. What level of service is important to you?

Premium pricing vs discount pricing

I agree Mr Prospect we do have premium pricing. May I ask why you think all our hundreds of customers are happy to pay that premium price year after year?

  • Handling stalls and objections

Thanks for raising that point Mr Prospect its an important one. Many of our clients originally came to us for some form of training but they later found that unless they first put in place a structure that their sales people can follow and they can then track and hold them accountable to they would never receive the full benefit of the training. Can we have a conversation about how we might help you do that?

Sales Battle cards are one of the best tools available to help salespeople prepare for the inevitable stalls and objections that customers will have. 

Forewarned is forearmed so by researching the most common stalls and objections that your team receive you can quickly build up a bank of answers and stories that counter these. 

Furthermore the Battle cards allow Salespeople to practice and roleplay until the objection handling becomes second nature. 

Sales Battlecard Coaching
Sales Battlecard Coaching

4. Sales Battlecard Template

We include sales battle cards within our Sales Playbooks which have a template for you to follow. If you need support to customise the template feel free to contact us with any questions.

sales battlecard template

Here’s an example of a completed card:

Sales Battlecard example

5. Microsoft Sales Battlecards

Microsoft have invested heavily in sales and marketing resources for their channel partners.  For selected products and services that they are focussing, Microsoft have full sets of high quality Go To Market campaign materials.

These can be downloaded by their partners and customised where necessary.  A typical campaign set includes:

Infographics, video, email templates, PowerPoint decks and thought leadership content.  Not all the campaigns include sales battlecards but some do. 

Please note: Microsoft Battlecards are restricted for use within the Partner Channel which is why we have not included examples here. 

If you are a Microsoft Partner you can access the Microsoft Partner Marketing Portal here: https://partner.microsoft.com/en-us/solutions/marketing-resource-hub


Sales Battlecard coaching
Sales Battlecard Coaching

6. How to Use Sales Battlecards

There are three main uses for sales battlecards within your training programme as follows:

  1. Comparing your organisation as a whole to your competitors

2. Comparing specific products or services to your competitors

3. Comparing one approach or methodology versus another such as On premise vs Cloud Computing

Whist it may take longer to complete the task we have always fund the best approach is to get Salespeople to create their own battlecards.

By doing so they must do research and invariably learn more about the competition and their products and services.

Once your sales team have completed their cards you can collate them and create a single or master for use throughout the organisation.


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Iain Swanston Klozers

Author Bio

Iain Swanston has spent over 30 years in B2B sales selling, training and leading teams both domestically and internationally.  In addition he serves as an Associate at Strathclyde University Business School where he has delivered the sales content for the Masters in Entrepreneurship since 2015.

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