Trying to work out why your message isn’t getting through? Why your sales teams can’t ‘crack it’ with key clients?

Let’s face it, your B2B sales people need all the help they can get. Winning the complex sale isn’t easy, but to make their job easier, you need to make sure your message is clear. Your message should encapsulate your unique value proposition (USP), which needs to be meaningful to the people you want to attract.

Your USP is communicated in your brand message and all the other ways your enterprise presents to the outside world.

Getting your brand right first is critical – this means understanding who you are and why you’re different in a way that matters to your customers.

Brand matters… are you different in a way that matters?

To develop a brand message that makes a difference you need to know 2 things:

  1. Your customers and their motivations
  2. Your competitors and how you are different from them in a way that’s valuable to your customers

Knowing your customer and their drivers is about understanding your B2B Buyer Profiles and then defining your Personas. Once you get that sorted understanding your USP and turning that into brand message becomes a lot easier.

Identify your brand message and USP by asking staff and customers

You probably already know your target customer and personas but how can you quickly work out how you need to be different? It’s about research, research research. Talk to the people who can help you work this out. In the first instance, this means staff and customers.

1. Ask your staff what makes you different

Your B2B sales and marketing teams, production managers and account managers and people close to your clients and competitors often have a good sense of what makes you different in a way that’s valuable to your clients and prospects.

Here are some questions you can ask staff to answer if you are pitching B2B IT, professional or business services to C-suite prospects, for example:

  1. What do our customers ‘look’ like?
  2. Why buy from us?
  3. How would we pitch to the CEO?
  4. How would we pitch to the CFO?
  5. How would we pitch to the CIO?
  6. How would we pitch to the COO?
  7. Who else would we pitch to and what would be our message?
  8. How would we pitch ourselves to prospective partners?
  9. What do you think we should include in our message?
  10. How do you think we should position ourselves in the market to win the work and attention of C-suite executives?

USP Feedback from a Staff Member

Pitch to the CEO

We develop mobile business networking apps that people find easy to use.

Pitch to the CFO

Our networking apps reduce costs and optimise efficiency, and this positively impacts revenue and profit.

Pitch to the CIO/CTO

We aim to be the app team you’ve always wanted but couldn’t afford to have inhouse.

Why partner with us?

We are the app dev partner that will deliver on-time and on-budget.

Pitch to Head of Sales

Choose us and we’ll make you a hero to your CEO – you’ll have the best app in your industry.

Potential Partner – why partner with us?

Whatever the solution you devise for your client, we can deliver the mobile app to make it happen. Don’t let business as usual get in the way of what you want to achieve. With us, we can make it happen for you.

2. Ask your customers what makes you different

Ask your customers how you are different in a way that matters – and be prepared to be surprised.

Remember, they choose you over your competitors, so there must be something about you driving their decision. Running a survey or, even better for B2B, having a one to one coffee with both new customers and long term customers is a great way of understanding how you are different.

You may be surprised at the main drivers for a client’s decision. They’ll often be different to your own and that of your staff. You might believe that things like your product range and a highly experienced team drive your USP only to find that your network of national offices and close proximity to the client’s own facilities are what makes you so valuable.

Here are some questions to ask clients to get you started.

  1. Why did you choose us?
  2. How did we come across different to our competitors?
  3. Not considering price, what was the #1 thing that got us the deal?
  4. What made you rule out the competitors?
  5. What do you think we should do to put more distance between us and our competitors?
  6. What would make us even more valuable if we ran the pitch again?

3. Study your competitors to decide how to position against them

You can’t find out what makes you different from the rest without looking at your competitors. Understanding how they are positioning will help you find a unique (that’s the U in USP) position that’s valuable to your prospects.

Looking at competitors helps you ‘out-position’ and outmaneuver them using your strengths to meet the needs of your prospects better than the competitors.

Look at their websites, their proposals, competitor blogs etc and consider:

  1. How are they positioning?
  2. How can you create a message that trumps theirs and is more valuable to your prospects?
  3. What are you all touting?
  4. What is the common ground in the message?
  5. What are their unique selling points?
  6. How are they positioning themselves?

How do you stack up? Have you got some ideas on how you can valuably position against your competitors in a way that’s meaningful and more valuable than your competitors? Yes? Great, you’ve done much of the hard work towards making it easier for your customers to choose you.

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