There is a daunting task in today’s economy of creating a value proposition for your product or service in a commoditized market, no matter if you lead the sales division of a large company or run a start-up. In other words, what separates you from your competition?
First off, you need to ask yourself: would you buy from yourself from a relational standpoint? Secondly, would you buy your own product/service? Hopefully the answer to the first part is yes, but you might struggle with why would someone use you instead of your competitor.
Is it price? Is it service? The first exercise is to conduct a competitive analysis of your competitors. Make sure you examine both sides of the spectrum from the least competitive to the biggest competitor. As you analyze their business philosophies you’ll know which ones to avoid and which ones align with yours. 90% of companies are not going to be that original in their go-to-market strategy, which is why relationships are critical but that’s for another blog.
Now that you have gathered intelligence on your competitors, you can create features and benefits of your product/services against your competitors, e.g. pricing, value, etc. Okay, you think you have something that you can sell now, how will prospects hear you in a sea of competitors? I can’t stress enough on the importance behind a strong digital marking strategy. Take the time and in invest in SEO and social media. I recently just hired a marketing manager and the ROI vs. the salary expense is huge.
The first item to remember in digital marketing is BE PATIENT, it takes time for SEO to start working, and depending on your product/service it takes at least six months to see the return. How do you accelerate site traffic? You need to have excellent keyword searches that resonates with your product/service, this process will also take time to figure out the perfect combination. The hard work starts by having an active social media presence, this is accomplished through white papers, weekly/monthly blogs, LinkedIn, Facebook updates, explainer videos, press releases of new business, etc. All of these things add up to traffic but it has to be new and fresh all of the time.
Digital marketing is just one aspect of getting noticed. Don’t forget good old fashioned B2B marketing, cold calling, trade shows, networking events and partnerships. This all sounds super easy and fun doesn’t it? It is fun, if you have the right people on the bus for business development. It’s imperative that your sales arm is sending the right message out to the field.
This might sound antiquated but I still role-play with my sales teams and leadership. You should role play what separates us from your competitors, why should we use your services? Why is your product more expensive than your competitor? Sales is quintessentially the tip of the spear for your organization, and it is crucial that sales can articulate the value proposition effectively and consistently every single time. In my next blog we’ll discuss identifying and finding the right people for your sales organization.