What's your story?
Why do organisations find it so hard to articulate and quantify the value they deliver to their customers? It should be easy - “This is what my product or service can do for you. It will remove this issue you have or allow you to do this thing that you want to do. It will save you money or make you more money.”
Too often a company’s go to market function hold two halves of a jigsaw but don’t connect them up. Marketing knows how to build a compelling narrative about the product or service – but it’s usually generic as it seeks to connect with a wide audience. Sales understands the client’s context but until they have developed a relationship they can rarely articulate their solution in a way that connects to quantifiable business value, instead focusing specific solution selling approaches. Marketing sees its job as raising awareness. Sales sees its job as winning orders. Both are right but with a better connection could deliver so much more.
What if you could combine the best of Sales and Marketing and build a story that is personal to your client’s situation and shows her the value of changing her current way of working? Those embracing “challenger propositions” are better at this than most. CEB’s Challenger Selling™ model refers to Commercial Insights which it describes as “a compelling defensible perspective from a supplier that materially impacts a customer’s performance and directly leads back to their unique capabilities”.
Challenger propositions are excellent devices for solving one of the hardest problems in business development – crossing the gap from “awareness raised” to “conversation held”. Giving marketing the ability to campaign with challenger propositions creates the perfect basis for sales to have their discovery dialogue. Why? Because you have moved the perception of the buyer away from “they’re here to sell me something I don’t want”. You are more likely to gain entry because they are intrigued how you came up with the challenge, want to tell you it’s wrong, can't understand why it’s on the money or are pleased you have bothered to do some home work.
What if your story for each of your customers was personal, quantified and directly linked to what you help them achieve (in their terms)? Shouldn’t you be having that kind of conversation with your customer before someone else does?