Companies that investigate innovative technology solutions generally do so for one of two reasons: either they have a unique (and uniquely important) problem for which no tried-and-true solution exists, or they see a unique business opportunity that they can’t capture on their own.
For a company to move beyond investigation to purchase, top executives must have a personal stake in these problems and opportunities – executives with the power to take risks, and the ability to reach into buckets of discretionary budget dollars.
What happens when sales teams aren’t able to make their solutions matter to these senior executives?
Deals Move Fast to Proposal, Then Linger. Innovative technology is hard to buy if you are a few levels down in an organization. New solutions can appear risky, and the benefits unclear. These risks are especially prohibitive if they are not weighed against benefits that matter to the business. This often shows up at proposal stage. If your positioning doesn’t link to an urgent problem or opportunity that matters personally to a senior executive, then who will pull the proposal through the resistance to risk?
Prospective Clients Don’t “Get It.” Our client knows that her technology innovations deliver real value. They are ahead of the market. Our client often knows she can communicate this value to the target market – deals close when she delivers the message personally. But others in the organization struggle to communicate the value and vision as powerfully as she does. The reason? Often it is a sales team that is talking feeds and speeds to a technical buyer, rather than an executive talking to his/her peer about business impact.
Average Contract Value Is Too Small. Tools are great. Without them, we can’t fix our bikes, or compile our code. We like them to be durable, flexible and, most of all, inexpensive – especially if it’s a tool we’ve never seen before. But, as business buyers, we can’t afford to spend a lot of money on every little problem. Sound familiar? You are probably selling tools to a technician. If you want to capture big markets, and big contracts your positioning must link your innovation to a business impact that a senior executive cares about personally – generally sales or EBITDA growth. That requires very different positioning – and a conversation with a very different person.
Great positioning motivates the target buyer, owns an urgent problem or opportunity, connects with specific budgets (or buckets of discretionary budget), and inspires senior-level sponsorship.
Does your positioning strategy do that?