It’s just common sense that companies that clearly communicate their understanding of the customer’s problem, and then explicitly define their value & differentiation in the context of that problem, have a distinct competitive advantage. Unfortunately, in order to create effective contextual value and differentiation messages, you first need to break down the customer’s problem into […]
Sales organizations are not very good at objectively assessing the probabilities of winning sales opportunities. By default, they spend more that 50% of their precious selling time on opportunities that are lost to competition or to “no decision.” There’s also a subtle, deeper problem with this issue. What the research is really telling us is that sales organizations are not applying process and structure to selling on a consistent basis, so they have no real way to understand where sales “quality” problems exist, and how to address them.
Currently, in the CRM industry, there are a myriad of potential solutions to pick from (this isn’t a 5 Guy’s style menu, where you can have anything that you want, as long as it is burger or a hot dog); instead there are many options in this crowded and commoditized market. Therefore, you may want to ensure that your search is focused on several key concepts that we will explore
The fundamental difference between product messaging and solution messaging is the process of breaking down a customer’s problem into its underlying causes. Sales people have been taught this concept for several decades now, yet over 95% of business oriented marketing organizations fail to reflect this fundamental aspect of a solution strategy in the content they produce.
Like all cultural transformations, the transition from product-aligned thinking and messaging to solution-aligned thinking and messaging requires management vision, leadership, and process. The good news is that just like implementing a buyer-aligned sales process, it’s not rocket science, it doesn’t create traumatic culture shock, and it doesn’t take a lot of time, cost, or effort to get started.
An overwhelming majority of marketing organizations adopt the Hybrid Value Model when they decide to support a solution oriented sales strategy. The hybrid model combines both buyer-aligned and seller-aligned perspectives and it supports high level problem-solution messages along with more tactical and explicit feature-function messages.
The Strategic Importance of Value Models: Whether you sell a commodity product or a complex business solution, a value model is the foundation for your positioning and messaging strategy because it determines how you communicate the purpose, value, and differentiation of your products and services. Like the product-feature-function model, value models provide the taxonomy for collecting, organizing, and sharing the marketing and selling knowledge that drives the three critical marketing deliverables that I mentioned in the introduction.
The pressure on B-to-B product marketing organizations to increase their strategic relevance and their impact on sales has never been greater. They have to quickly find a way to: Create more customer relevant positing and content; Do a better job of generating, cultivating, and nurturing leads; Improve their alignment with sales and deliver tools that enable salespeople to have more meaningful business and value conversations with their customers…
We have all heard of – and many of us follow – the supposition that selling to existing customers is easier and a more cost effective way to generate revenue and thus a great way to grow business. Based on a recent observation I would like to offer a contradictory theory to this widely held perspective.
The risk associated with making a major purchase is not a new emotion to buying and selling, however, it appears to have taken on more significance given the current economic conditions.The first step in overcoming buyer risk is…