How many times have you been led by your customer to the point of sale – with the majority of the conversation being boiled down to costs, not actual customer outcomes?
This is certainly not uncommon, and why many partners struggle to articulate their unique value proposition. You don’t want to slow down the sale, or waste valuable time with your prospect trying to convince them it’s not just about cost.
Partners need the confidence to lead the customer, and have a conversation about value. That’s why the SalesPlay On-Ramp™ Program pays very specific attention to this topic.
Value trumps dollars – any day of the week
Let’s think about what you sell. Microsoft Partners sell a vast array of products and services—everything from productivity tools to cloud storage to Unified Communications. To find your value and define your customer outcomes, you need to understand three things:
- What problem you are solving for your customer
- Which incumbent vendor or solution currently serves that need
- What you can offer that would replace the incumbent solution
Nearly every company you target is going to have an incumbent solution. If you’re offering an all-in-one UCaaS solution, then your target company may be using a competing solution, or traditional TDM phones, or even just their smartphones. If you’re offering cloud storage, your target could be using a competing cloud, or a shared drive, or just emailing files to one another.
Your goal is to convince your target customer to consider your product for longer than the half-second it takes to delete your email, which means that you need to think about outcomes again.
How to switch your (and your customer’s) thinking
Take a look at the demographics of your customers.
If the buyer at your target customer is a business leader—a CFO, a CEO, or someone who doesn’t work with technology every day—then they might be more receptive to economic outcomes as opposed to productivity or convenience. Meanwhile, younger buyers and those in more technical roles may be more interested in outcomes that add productivity, give them more abilities, or eliminate boring manual tasks.
Back to the Market Lens
We covered this in an earlier blog, so jump back if you need some background.
The Market Lens analysis is relevant here too, so make sure you revisit it and make sure it stays relevant over time.
It is important to consider how any changes will affect your target customers specifically—their representatives will be strongly engaged by outreach that is aligned with their desires, worries, and present circumstances. When you use these factors to put an offer together, your personalized materials will have a much better chance of gaining leverage with the decision-makers you’ll need.
- Having a cost conversation will reduce your perceived value to the customer
- Your target customer should have money to spend (otherwise why are they on your list?) – so you shouldn’t be talking about money
- Lead with your value, that’s most important.