We all remember the song “The Best” originally recorded by Bonnie Tyler but made famous by Tina Turner in 1989:
You’re simply the best
Better than all the rest
Better than anyone
Anyone I ever met
Sure, to be the best is what we want to hear from our partner — but also in business.
But is it realistic to hear that from our customers and prospects? Yes, very much so, if you follow these principles…
How the lyrics would translate in a B2B sales context
“Simply the best” — > Customer evaluated your product as “the best” solution among your competitors.
“Better than all the rest” — > Customer is totally aware that there are more alternative solutions out there but they are convinced that your solution would beat them all.
“Better than anyone I ever met” — > You did a great sales job. You obviously addressed the obstacles and expectations created by your customer’s previous experiences.
Why you have to be The Best in order to succeed on a new market
In another post we wrote about the 3 reasons purchases are made. The article picked up and created some discussions on social media – not everyone agreed it’s that simple, and that’s totally fine. My simplification is:
- People tend to buy locally because they expect several favorable conditions.
- People tend to by cheap, especially when it comes to commodities and low-risk purchases.
- People tend to buy from The Best when cheap is too risky and local is not compelling.
Well, there’s not much you can do about being local or cheap when you enter a new market. Either you are or you’re not..
So, what’s left is becoming The Best. Am I serious? Absolutely!
Your ONLY chance to succeed outside your domestic market is to be recognized as The Best.
Luckily “Best” can mean totally different things for totally different market segments.
Becoming The Best in a market segment
Well, best doesn’t say most features, most flexible, best UI or most stable solution. Actually, best is a very subjective rating by individuals in a specific market segment. What’s best for large enterprises might not be the best for SMEs. What’s best for large financial institutes might not be the best for large manufacturing companies. What’s best for company A might not be the best for company B.
There is no industry standard defining best. That’s good news. Best is defined by each of your customers and prospects and can be influenced by you and your competitors.
The parts you can control
- Product functionality
You have full control over the features and benefits of your product. And sometimes it is really necessary to make large modifications towards customer needs. If your product does not meet the basic requirements of a market segment you simply do not deserve to expand your business in this new segment. Period.
- Addressed market segment
For sure, there are companies that are more likely to buy from you and there are companies that are less likely to buy from you. You define your market segment by defining the criteria of your ideal customer profile (firmographic, environmental and behavioural).
- Transformation story and sales message
Based on the strong product features combined with what you know about your market segment (needs and pains of your ideal customer profile) you can put a very unique and compelling transformation story and sales message together.
Being unique is the foundation to be The Best
If you are aware of the real needs and real desired end results of your ideal customer and their buyer personas, then your transformation story should be considered as a good fit for them. Make it unique. You have an USP (unique selling proposition) and you can differentiate from your competition.
If your prospects perceive your USP as most valuable, then they will finally consider your product as The Best.
Of course this does not happen automatically. Your competitors pitch their USP and you pitch yours. Here, sales seniority comes into place. You have to be able to challenge your prospect on their status quo and on their initially-prefered solution. Here’s some details about the Challenger Sale: Buying is about losing the status quo.
What’s really funny
I hear you saying: “All nice, but my product and services are not so different from my competitor’s. How shall I be The Best?”
Having a compelling transformation story for a particular market segment doesn’t mean that your product or services have to be completely different from your competitors.
No, not at all actually!
Having a compelling transformation story means that you managed to pick a particular market segment (a.k.a. niche) where you know their needs and desired end results and that you are able to articulate the high value your product brings to their current situation.
Here’s some real examples of becoming The Best in something Not-so-obvious Differentiators for SW Development Companies.