Well, here we are in almost the end of an unbelievable year for mid-market small businesses. Many who have made it through, to some level of survival, are looking ahead to “next normal” in 2021 to positively grow and thrive!
What will companies who “sell” business products and tech solutions or services to business clients need to ‘change’ to persuade their customers’ decision-making process to pick them when in a competitive buying process? The street-level definition of insanity is “doing the same old things but expecting a different outcome or results”!
Selling to business customers, who are smart buyers, want more value delivered from the selling organisation, communication now becoming “hybrid normal” online which will align to their issues and differentiate enough for a long term relationship to form. Learning how to build the customer’s motivation for an engagement or commitment, based on measurable, differentiated, and compelling value is the selling professionals focus.
Customers are running their businesses for all the same reasons of revenue and profit growth as the selling organisation. Working together with the customer to specify the direction of the relationship and creating a shared vision is critical. The depth of understanding the customer and his/her business is important and is the level of knowledge needed to build the conversations. This provides developing implementation and operations plans to achieve shared vision and determining the costs and price for offerings.
Here we should become fully aware of the importance of the creation or a quantifiable value proposition. By doing this with focus helps clarify and quantify the net benefit and the value of doing business together. Developing the Value Proposition, which many companies have done, is not an easy exercise, as it is more than a word smith’s exercise. An effective and compelling and differentiating Value Proposition requires cross functions, such as the marketing, sales, service, operations staff to assemble and create the message, which will be or can be delivered to the markets targeted, or specific customers articulating “how” we are different to competitors of the same products or services which all look same or similar to the customer.
Once the business across functions agree it communicates “how” the difference can be delivered to the customer, then the sales team must be competent and confident enough to know who to deliver it to during the selling process. Communicating an effective and powerful value proposition to the levels of decision-makers, correctly validated, is powerful to building value. However, delivering a strong and compelling message of business value to the wrong level of buyers is a waste of costly resources, and opens the door for competition.
Jay Johnson, Director, Pelorus International