What you need to remember in today’s world is that having a unique product is only a ticket to play the game…
It’s not going to help you win the differentiation battle.”
That’s what Chris Orlob, the Senior Director of Product Marketing at Gong.io, believes about differentiating yourself in the marketplace. He understands that it is not your technology that will set you apart from your competitors.
It’s all about setting your company up as a strategic partner immediately in sales conversations that will lead to you dominating the marketplace.
Chris and his team at Gong have found success positioning themselves as strategic advisors in the marketplace rather than just another piece of technology. Their sales conversations center around strategic problem solving, not features and products.
Chris joined us for this episode of B2B Revenue Acceleration to talk about differentiation & positioning in the marketplace and your first meeting with a prospect.
Driving Differentiation Through Sales Conversation Vs. Features and Products
You should strive to have a unique product, but that is not the end all trump card that will allows you to win in your space. The focus of sales has shifted from a laser focus on having a unique product to having really great sales conversations.
What sellers say and do during the sales process is where the perception of differentiation is really created, not when clients just look at your product on your website.
There has been an explosion of competition in many B2B verticals. MarTech, for example, has taken off in recent years, and there are between 5-7 thousand vendors in that space alone. The reality is you just can’t rely on having a unique product to break through the noise if you are competing there.
Your salespeople are probably the only people who understand how unique your product is. Buyers can’t tell the difference right off the bat and only will start to see differences through high quality strategic sales conversations.
Are You Seen as a Strategic Partner?
In order to differentiate yourself, you need to tell the right story about your customer, not your product, in such a way that threatens the stability of their status quo. You need to be constantly talking about your customer and their problems, not your product.
Once you start talking about a relevant problem of theirs, you trigger loss aversion in their mind, and you become a strategic partner that they have to do business with.
Tie your product value proposition to a strategic problem that a prospect is facing. These are higher level conversations that you can have while many of your competitors are talking about something tactical rather than strategic. The perception of differentiation is created here in these strategic sales conversations.
First Meeting With a Prospect
Differentiating yourself as a strategic partner needs to happen right out of the gate during the first meeting. You can avoid dreaded conversations with a company’s procurement department if you are having high level strategic conversations with a focus on loss aversion. If you set this tone early on high level executives will tell procurement “just go get this” without as much of a need to haggle on price.
Don’t have discovery calls with senior level executives. If you’re meeting with someone senior, you should’ve met with some less senior team members first so that you are well versed in what the company does.
Spend some time researching the account and do your homework before you’re in the room. Once you’ve done that you can plan 2-3 well thought out diagnostic questions designed to spur the rest of the educational conversation about what problems they have and how you can help.
It doesn’t take the greatest technology or the newest product to think strategically with potential clients and earn a seat at the executive table.
This post is based on a podcast interview with Chris Orlob. To hear this episode, and many more like it, you can subscribe to the B2B Revenue Acceleration podcast here.