Clients buy solutions, not products

A lack of in-depth knowledge of customer needs is a common problem for vendors of B2B products. Over 60% identified “Knowing what is most important to the audience(s)” as a challenge for them, according to the 2019 Content Management & Strategy Survey put out by the Content Marketing Institute and Vennli. Similarly, the study found that only 21% of respondents are “extremely confident” that they are “Identifying key themes or messages to emphasize (in their marketing materials)”.

Good products and good sales professionals will always generate revenues – at least up to a point. But we’ve found that without a granular understanding of client needs, buying processes, and industry trends, sales growth often falls short of target. It’s a variation on the old adage that vendors sell products, but their clients buy solutions.

DWM Consulting Services’ Product-to-Market Alignment framework provides a disciplined way to ensure that your products are meeting the needs of your current and prospective clients. It’s especially powerful when selling into the financial services sector, with its many complexities and large number of decision-makers, especially at large institutions. The result is an understanding of what your current and prospective clients really need and, most importantly, what they will pay for. Obtaining these insights takes time and money, commodities that are always in short supply, especially for early stage ventures.

In addition to cataloging product features that are relevant to your target market, the framework encompasses a detailed understanding of the end clients’ needs and pain points in areas addressed by your products. This can also be used to build client personas, as needed.

Analyzing the gaps and assessing the opportunities

The product-to-market exercise also assesses the gaps between client needs and product features. It’s essential to remember that that just because a gap exists, it doesn’t mean that your product is the one to fill it. There are many reasons why this might be the case. Your clients simply might not have a compelling need for a solution to a “problem” that you’ve identified. Or meeting the need would require expertise and solutions that lie too far outside your core competencies to be worthwhile developing. Or clients see the need but aren’t willing to pay enough to solve the problem. And so on.

The result of the gap analysis is a prioritized list of projects led by those that combine the greatest revenue potential with the lowest execution cost and risk.

Creating an action plan

We also provide action plans to turn the list of gap closure projects into sales. These are team efforts involving senior management, technologists, product managers, marketing, and sales professionals. An essential part of such plans is the creation of feedback loops to track the ROI of the changes implemented and to adjust tactics and strategies as required.

Interested in learning more about how a product-to-market analysis can accelerate your sales growth? Please click here