Among the ongoing excellent recent posts from Lauren Goldstein, VP, Strategic Planning at Babcox and Jenkins, was some advice on how to talk to technical decision makers in business to business (B2B) sales. She recommended giving these “TDMs” more technical information earlier in the sales process than you would to a business decision maker, and to “Be clear about what your product is and what it does.”
I’d argue being clear is vital to reach any IT decision maker overwhelmed with things to do and sales pitches to sift through. Too many pitches I see are too obvious and self-serving when describing the problem they solve, and too vague in describing how they solve it.
This led me to dust off a simple template I used during my 15 years as an IT trade press reporter to understand whether, and how, to cover the Latest Great Thing someone pitches to me. Here it is:
Our product is (hardware, software/a service, or a combination thereof) that (describe the technical function it performs) to (describe in the business benefit it provides.) It is better than competitive offerings because it is (less expensive, easier to use, faster to implement, more scalable, more reliable, etc.)
This template works regardless of the type of customer you’re selling to, the industry they’re in and what problem you’re solving. Because it forces you to be specific, it also discourages you from using jargon such as “solution,” “seamless,” or “best in class” that obscures your message.
Finally, it forces you to define your value proposition very clearly. And that helps you develop everything from elevator pitches to product taglines to defining target markets and the segmented content necessary to reach them.
Do you have a template or formula that defines your value proposition?
- Two “Must-Haves” For Every Case Study - December 18, 2014
- Content Cookbook: Three-Step Campaign for Containers - December 9, 2014
- Should We Really “Think Like Publishers?” - November 25, 2014
- Is Our Content Turning Off Tech Buyers? - November 18, 2014
- Is “Transformation” Bad For Marketing? - November 11, 2014
- Content Cookbook #3: Selling DevOps - November 4, 2014
- Differentiating Local IT Service Shops - October 28, 2014
- Cloud Buyers Want New Benefits, Old Reliability - October 21, 2014
- Should Case Studies Leak Your “Secret Sauce?” - October 13, 2014
- Would You Trust Your Directory to the Cloud? - October 7, 2014
Filed under: PR/Marketing Writing Tips
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