Buyer perceptions are a dangerous thing.
I remember it all too well from my quota-carrying sales days. There were competitive products that solved the same exact problems, and then there were competitive products that didn’t even come close, but their marketing or sales teams did something to convince buyers otherwise.
In either case, using technical explanations to convince buyers that our solution was superior or that a competitor was seriously deficient was like splitting hairs. I can even remember a time or two when we lost a deal because our attempts to differentiate with technical explanations made us sound like the worst solution.
Change the Conversation From Product to Practice
Playing “feature cat & mouse” with the competition is hard and worse yet, it’s even more confusing for buyers. The easier way to differentiate your product and highlight superior value is to shift the value narrative from customer problems & features to customer outcomes.
Here’s the difference. Lots of products can go toe-to-toe with anyone on a checklist. Where they hit the wall is on the usefulness of the features. Focusing on outcomes gives you a simple way to showcase superior value without going into a technical explanation. Here’s why.
When buyers go shopping for a solution, they have specific business goals and outcomes in mind regardless of the solution provider. All you have to do is highlight the obstacles you eliminate versus the competition. The impact on the buyers’ goals and outcomes will be crystal clear, regardless of features.
For example, a lot of products claim they’re superior at streamlining or simplifying a customer workflow. If your product is superior, that means you do a better job of eliminating more critical obstacles than the competition, which results in a superior outcome. It’s a language your buyers easily understand.
When I was doing pre-sales demos in a prior life, I used this technique all the time. It never failed me!
Here’s what you’re doing. You’re shifting the conversation from a product comparison to a procedural best-practice comparison. You’re showing buyers how you’re going to make them quantifiably better than the competition at something that’s critical to their success. It’s the classic definition of a solution!
The bottom line is this. Your positioning has to help customers envision greater success with your products versus the alternatives. The key is telling your value story the way buyers imagine it.
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