Often times, we think that because we offer some unique capabilities for the marketplace, that we are differentiated. This is almost always not the case. Offering something unique, aka being different, has absolutely zero value to potential clients. Zero, nada, nothing…
The unique capabilities that you offer become valuable to potential clients when, and only when, you can intelligently connect your capabilities to solving their specific problems, which they agree they have.
When I’m working with clients to accelerate their growth I ask sales leaders this question:
“How well is your sales team able to connect your differentiated capabilities to solving specific client problems that your company can best solve? Meaning that only you can solve, or that you solve better than the competition, to the point where the client is willing to pay a reasonable premium to the market for your capabilities?”
The related question I ask marketing leaders is this:
“Have you truly defined your unique capabilities to the point where the sales team clearly understands?”
- What is actually unique about each capability compared to your competition
- What are the problems that these capabilities solve for each decision maker/influencer in the sales cycle (key point here is that while the capabilities don’t change from person to person, the actual problems they solve do; meaning, the discussion with a CFO would be different than a discussion with a CIO…)
- What is the financial impact (aka, Value) that other clients have achieved by solving these same problems and leveraging your unique capabilities
How well is the sales team delivering this differentiated message in their sales cycles?
How well is the marketing team weaving this differentiated message into your marketing efforts? Is your message about solving problems for the target persona, or are you still living in the feature/benefit past?”
Revenue and margin growth accelerate when there is an intentional partnership between sales and marketing toward driving a truly differentiated single version of the truth message to your potential clients.
One of my favorite sayings is, “amateurs practice to get it right, professionals practice to never get it wrong,” there is a big difference…
Doug Von Koenig
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