Have you ever sat in a meeting with a customer and spent most of the time talking about how great your product or service is? Or perhaps it is someone else on your team, who is great about talking about the features, and the customer just doesn’t see the value?
Today I will try to address a few of these issues and look at how we can solve a few of them.
It seems like there is something new on the horizon, customers’ expectations are always changing and the ballpark never stands still. For business leaders change can be frustrating, and for sales and marketing, this challenge is what keeps us going.
Too much focus on features and services
One of the major struggles of marketing and sales in IT and Service based business, there is always a focus on the product, the latest and greatest widget, and how this little feature can change the colour of the application blue… are all these features necessary?
If you spend all your time marketing the product and its features, there is one key problem. Technology and customers’ expectations shift. Businesses that focus on their product and what it does, are always chasing their tail, I feel sorry for their employees, they must be tired of this constant change.
Is there an easier way to sell your products and solutions to your customers? Yes, there is, and it’s all about getting to know your customers and find out what matters to them, at the right time in the customer journey.
Value Marketing in the buyer’s journey
Value marketing is also known as the customer’s perceived value. This is what drives how much your customer is willing to pay for your product and the demand for it. Value is the difference between what a customer perceives of the benefits and costs of one product compared to another. The value can be expressed as the relationship between the perceived benefits and perceived costs.
Understanding this value is key, but how do we understand what the value is to the customer?
There are four key elements that we need to understand:
- Who is your customer?
- What are they trying to achieve
- What is their pains and their gains?
- What part of the buyer’s journey are they in?
Understanding your customer is key, it doesn’t matter if you are in B2B or B2C, there are considerations that need to be overcome before you can really derive home the value of your product. There is a number of ways you can build a great profile of your customer, and one tool we use is the value proposition canvas.
The next area is something that a lot of businesses forget about, the buyer’s journey. Many Technical leaders operate in the business from a technology or service based approach, and if their background is from a product focus, they often stay focussed on what the product or service does.
What buyers stage are you selling to?
And that’s where the problem lies: businesses that sell to customers who are in the wrong buyer’s stage. Imagine if you were at the supermarket and you had to read a huge list of ingredients before you even had a chance to look at a few recipe ideas. It just doesn’t make sense. And this is where businesses need to stop looking at their features and understand what the customer is really looking for.
I understand that we haven’t solved your problems here, but in later posts, I will explore more about the buyer’s journey, and how we can understand the value at each point of the customer’s lifecycle.