Different Clients, Different Strategic Outcomes

One client’s perception of what strategic value is may not be another’s.

  • If a company is a startup and growth is their most important strategic outcome over the next 24 months, the ideas that will drive growth are going to be valued more than some other initiative.
  • Another company in the same industry as the startup may instead need to increase their profitability. The solutions that help them improve their profitability are going to be strategic to this company based on their priorities.
  • A third company might be pursing market share and be willing to deal with lower profitability to gain market share. Maybe they have first-mover advantage and time is of the essence.
  • A fourth company might be pursuing acquiring clients at the higher end of the market, where they can create greater value for people who perceive that value and are willing to pay a premium for it.

Generally, the more your solution can contribute to your prospective client’s most strategic initiatives, the greater the perception of value. Without doing good discovery work, it can be difficult to attach what you do to what your prospect needs. And worse still, when you believe that every one of your prospects is pursuing the same strategic outcomes, you can be proven wrong. Not everyone is pursuing cost savings, even if their purchasing and supply chain people give you reason to believe that’s true. All prospects are not pursuing speed to market or market share. And many of them would trade one for the other.

It’s important to have a theory about what your dream clients want and need. You also need to know enough about the intersection of your business and theirs to know what kind of challenges may compel them to change now or in the future. But if you want your initiative to displace initiatives higher up on their list of priorities, you make that easier when you can tie your solution to what they really want.

Filed under: Sales 3.0

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