Last week, I wrote an article – CEO! Sales Are Struggling Because of YOU! – on why salespeople often struggle to discover and create customer value because of the way YOU talk about your products, services and solutions – what they are vs. what they do specifically for your customers.
In today’s blog, I want to share another observation based on a conversation I had with a CEO I spoke with recently. The CEO, who is supposed to be a thought leader in her space, was concerned with what was hampering her sales team’s ability to get meetings and sound different during their discovery conversations with new clients.
As part of my pre-engagement diagnostic work, I was trying to isolate why her salespeople were struggling to get the meetings they needed to be able to meet their sales and growth objectives. Was it messaging, process, the DNA of the people, something else?
It became apparent quickly that the reason they were struggling was because the CEO was unable to clearly articulate the positioning and messaging of their solution in a way that was simple and easy for me to understand. And they lacked basic prospecting process and discipline (Watch Video: Random Acts of Prospecting).
I discovered this by asking the CEO for her opinion and point of view on how her service and solution were different to her competitors. There was the usual chat about “experience, better people, great clients” etc. (all valuable), but I really struggled to understand how they were much different from the other alternatives out there.
I also asked what other incumbent service providers did that was wrong, or didn’t get right for customers and how that would be costing potential clients money (how much?) and results. Again, the answers were woolly at best.
She admitted that perhaps her solutions weren’t actually that different to what other providers delivered…
THAT, is a bit scary.
As the leader of your company, YOU need to be the thought leader, expert and have a point of view of how other service providers cannot possibly or don’t address the issues that your customers face and the issues you solve more effectively.
Here are a couple of ways of teasing out how you are different and have an original approach:
- What is a problem that your customers’ executive teams are not aware about – and you know it will be costing them a lot of money? (Identify a broken mission critical process that has a great deal of $ impact.)
- What is a traditional way of addressing this issue – and why and how do you think that the old way of addressing it no longer works? (Your original point of view.)
AND, here is the good news in the story…it’s a case of not seeing the woods for the trees.
Over a few interviews with the CEO and team, we were able to identify the core issue that they solve for and solve very well and differently than the rest of their crowded market.
And, the sales team are now getting meetings and CEO referrals in the Fortune 1000 companies that make up their addressable market.
If you are struggling to identify how you’re different from your competitors and have been wrestling with this issue for more than 30 days, that is a clear indication you need help. Give me a call.
If you want to learn more, feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or call me on +1 647-402-2096.
Latest posts by Matt Conway (see all)
- Inside Sales Leaders! STOP Calling Potential Customers TARGETS - October 21, 2019
- CEOs and Sales Leaders, How Is Your Offering Different? - October 11, 2019
- CEO, Sales Are Struggling Because of YOU! - October 7, 2019