Delivering Value through Competitive Intelligence

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Competitive Intelligence (CI) functions help organizations to make informed decisions, anticipate threats, plan effectively in today’s ever-changing marketplace, and ultimately avoid corporate risk. Despite this, the CI function is often undervalued, as it is not yet a traditional corporate function, like Finance or Sales. The value of the function remains poorly understood by senior leadership, which can leave CI executives often struggling for attention and resources.

The many struggles encountered by CI leaders, including the periodic ebb and flow of corporate resources, can make it difficult to maintain lasting relationships and generate influence. In order to encourage success within your organization’s CI function, leaders should focus on the following key findings from our recent primary research:

  1. Provide Recommendations: The most successful CI groups provide top executives with the information and insights they need to make strategic business decisions. On average, 31% of benchmark partners’ deliverables involve analysis.
  2. Build Client Relationships: Earn a seat at the table by producing high-quality deliverables for key decision makers. Delivering high-quality intelligence builds the relationships that help CI develop insights, increase influence, and gain voice on commercial issues and decisions.
  3. Measure CI Impact: Savvy groups measure their impact in financial terms that executives can understand and believe.

CI adds value to organizations through transforming raw competitive data into actionable insights that have a financial impact for the company. The CI function is constantly evolving, which is an important fact to stress to senior leadership. Other recommendations we have to help convey the importance of CI programs include:

  • Focus on top decision makers and understand their issues
  • Hire staff with past experience involving outcomes responsibility
  • Provide relevant, forward-looking deliverables with analysis and recommendations
  • Reduce risk by engaging Legal in developing policies & processes

By following these recommendations, executives can begin to show global leaders just how important it is to have strong CI capabilities. In order to compete in today’s economic environment, leaders should look to their competitive intelligence strategy as a powerful tool.

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