It’s happened to all of us. We a CEO, perhaps at a social function or a conference, and she becomes a ‘Champion’. She sees the value of what you are selling, even the vision. She is very excited. She signs a contract, then sends you off to the people that would actually use your product. More often than not, they don’t become True Believers. They either are offended that they weren’t involved in the decision, didn’t see the value in what you are offering, or simply didn't like using your product. The engagement turns out to be short-lived.
Or conversely, you meet with the producers, perhaps the IT department. You convince them not only can you help them do their jobs better or save them money, but make them into Champions. They send your proposal in for sign off by the person whose job it is to approve expenditure and issue the purchase order. They don’t see the value, and you lose the deal.
This dynamic of Believers, Buyers, and Producers exists in all capitalistic institutions. All deals require sponsors. The others on the deal team include buyers, usually financial directors or procurement officers, and the people who will be working with your products on a day-to-day basis. If all three players are not onboard, the probability of a sustainable engagement with the organization is close to zero. The CEO may push the first purchase through, but the producers may refuse to implement the solution, or even purposely break it. Or the CFO may not sign off on the second contract if a positive ROI cannot be proven.
This is where marketing messaging comes into play. Our messaging platform model starts with the ‘why’, why you do what you do, how you do, and what you do. These messages are distributed strategically throughout your marketing assets – the website, collateral materials, social media postings, sales decks, proposals, etc. But what happens when you are only messaging to the champions, but not the financial managers or producers, as is often the case? It creates a disconnect between marketing and sales that leads to poor close and/or renewal rates.
So when you look at your messaging, think in terms of addressing the champions, financial managers, and users. The first believes in the vision you present, say, digital transformation or zero emissions. They buy into why you do what you do. You can communicate your ‘why’ and your vision through your website, speaking at conferences, writing thought leadership papers, and presenting on Ted Talks (or TedX).
The Buyers needs to justify the cost of your products in terms of ROI, EBITA, or other measures. Your financial model, even financial model innovation, becomes critical to the Buyers. They are interested in ‘what’ you do, and this can be communicated through your positioning statements on your website and proposal documents. They need to put you in a box, as much as you may loathe being put into one.
Lastly, our friends the producers, or users, are interested in ‘how’ you do it. You can communicate your how through datasheets, deep dive documents, demos, and tutorials.