In the biblical story of the shepherd boy David and the highly favored warrior Goliath, we find a story that has been told though out the ages: the underdog who overcomes incredible odds to gain victory.
In ancient times, when two armies found themselves in a deadlock, they would send out their best warriors to face off to determine the outcome and avoid further bloodshed from battle. In one such battle between the Philistines and the Israelites, the Philistines selected their best warrior, Goliath. A 6’9” man wearing a bronze helmet and full body armor, Goliath carried a javelin, spear, sword, and a large shield that would deflect any projectiles sent his way. The Israelites also had to select a warrior. However, no one raised their hand, as they knew going head-to-head with Goliath would signify impending death.
The only one who rose to the challenge was David, who was bringing food to his brothers. To the dismay of King Saul, David was not 6’9”, and when offered armor he refused because it would slow him down. He simply selected five smooth solid stones for his sling. David knew that he could not face Goliath straight up, but needed to play to his strengths. David changed the rules of engagement and brought a gun to a knife fight!
As we have come to know, David took his stone and slung it towards Goliath with the same amount of force as a 45-caliber bullet and with such extreme accuracy it hit Goliath in the head. As Goliath went down, David ran up to him, took Goliath’s sword, and slew the giant.
How does the story of David and Goliath relate to Win Loss Competition?
If there were Vegas odds makers betting on this fight, they would have been favoring Goliath hands down. However, the shepherd boy with a lowly sling took down the giant. How? He studied his opponent and knew his strengths and weaknesses. He knew Goliath was slow and covered in heavy armor. Goliath was tall — a bigger than average target. Goliath carried close range weaponry and was used to fighting hand to hand. David knew that he could not challenge Goliath head-to-head, as he did not have the battle experience or equipment to do so. He was just a shepherd boy, but he was phenomenal with a sling, having had to fend off lions from his herd. Today, Goliath was that lion.
Similarly, as companies begin their journey to success, they have to come up against competition and other giants of their industry. The giants in their industry leave few customers for the little guy or the underdogs to go after. It is only after you study your opponents on their strengths and weaknesses that you can begin to strategize on how to go about attacking them.
Having a battle card that lays out who your opponents are, how often you face them, what your win rate is against them, etc. helps provide your company with the confidence and courage to be able to compete against these giants. When this information is presented in a clear and easily accessible way (as in the graphic above, taken from our TruVoice tools), your sales team will be able to “pick up their slings” and change the way they engage with clients. But, how do you get this information in the first place? Asking your customers or decision makers about these engagements is the absolute best way to gather this information to make it actionable when in the heat of the “RFP Battle.” So pick up your slings and select your stones because you’re about to bring your gun to a knife fight!