Business Impact, NOT Product Features

Business Impact, NOT Product Features

How you think shapes everything that you do in sales and marketing. Because most sellers and marketers have their company’s products and services at the top of their mind, they tend to lead with them when engaging with customers and prospects. They focus on features and specifications, not critical business issues. As a result, trust is rarely established as most customers and prospects have been featured too death. Leading with features most often results in them being filtered as “noise” and getting ignored (i.e., too boring or too technical).

Sales and marketing professionals must shift their thinking from product features to business impact. It is not about what products do. It is about how customers and prospects can use them to solve problems, reduce costs and create improvement in their businesses. It is similar to the solution selling mantra: “diagnose before you prescribe.” That is, understand the problem and then work to solve it. The most effective way to communicate business impact is to demonstrate how similar customers have realized meaningful results with your product or service.

Example: BYOD is a recent trend where employees bring their own device to work and use them to access privileged company resources, including databases, email and file servers. Preventing data breaches and security threats are critical business issues for CIOs. The ability to define and manage policies and other controls for devices running on multiple platforms (e.g., Android, iOS, Windows, etc.) creates significant business impact for them. It helps CIOs reduce risk and allows them to focus on other activities that add value to their companies.

Microsoft’s System Center provides the capabilities needed to solve the above BYOD issues. However, leading with the product or its features (e.g., Active Directory integration, etc.) would not have the same effect as discussing how other CIOs have addressed the critical business issues related to BYOD. Logic (product features) makes people think, but emotion (business impact) makes them act. When you lead with features, you put the burden on customers and prospects to figure out why they need the feature(s). Do the work for them to establish competence and trust.

All contents copyright © 2012, Josh Lowry. All rights reserved.

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