Over the weekend we were able to crown the contenders for the NFL's Superbowl. We watched the NFC’s miraculous comeback for Seattle and the AFC’s definitive statement by New England to meet each other in the XLIV Superbowl on Feb 1, 2015 in Phoenix, AZ.
As I watched the commentary over the weekend on ESPN I couldn’t help but hear Keyshawn Johnson bring up multiple times about “Spygate”, the Patriots and how Coach Bill Belichick was known for videotaping or “spying” on defensive coaches to learn their defensive call signals. Belichick had been known to record these defensive calls all the way back into the early 2000’s until the league caught wind and in 2008 was disciplined for the infractions. Now this is not intended as a slight against the Pats as this is water under the bridge and they continue to be a juggernaut in the AFC. What it brings out is the intensity to win. Bill Belichick was willing to go the extra mile and spy on his opponents to gain Competitive Intelligence on what their plays would be. If he didn’t feel that doing this would have been worth the Competitive Advantage then he wouldn’t have done it and wouldn’t have faced the consequences. So yes, it was worth the espionage.
Is it still worth gathering Competitive Intelligence on the Competition in business?
Gathering Competitive Intelligence is still worth the hassle of understanding the Strategies of your opponents but in business there are far more effective and ethical ways of gathering this Competitive Intelligence. Utilizing a firm that can gather and make this Competitive Intelligence Actionable allows a company the means to better understand the opponent.
Gathering this information in the business world is best done not by spying on your competition but by interviewing the buyers. In an interview you can gather theSales Intelligence needed to set yourselves apart from the competition. The buyer lets you know what they liked and what they didn’t. On top of that they give you the same information on the competition. Utilizing this information can help to strategize when you come up against an opponent in an RFP or Sales Engagement and can have a general idea of what their strengths and weaknesses are based on the Sales Intelligence you have gathered on them.
In the end the Patriots and Belichick were both fined and the Patriot's lost a 2008, 1st round draft pick. No further evidence has come about that Belichick has ever gone back to spying on opponents but what he has continued to do is win! This is Belichick's 6th venture into the Superbowl and the Patriot’s 7th overall. So now we have to ask, was potentially playing with a deflated ball and "Deflate-gate" worth it? Well we will find out by Monday February 2nd, after the winner is announced, if it was.
Vinay D Cardwell is a Global Sales Consultant for Primary Intelligence, The Global Leader in Win Loss Analysis and Customer Experience Programs. Understanding the plight of the sales person, Vinay allows his clients access to Competitive and Sales Intelligence information that only business game film can provide. You can find Vinay on Google+, Twitter and of course connecting on LinkedIn.