Selling the intangible

Marketing strategy for a multi-national services business

You know you should be selling ‘value’, but value can be hard to define, value can be ‘intangible’.  But once you realize that value is expressed in terms of what the customer believes you can do for them, and what that’s worth to their business – then creating propositions and shaping deals becomes much easier – and much more sustainable.  This is hard enough to do for a market you already understand and it gets so much harder to do when you are moving into a new market … like the organization in this story…

This on/off shore, multi-national business services organization had been spun  out from a large airline in 2002. It had well established legacy businesses in a couple of verticals but wanted to expand into others.  However the company had no experience of entering new markets and winning new customers, having always relied on incremental business from existing customers.  The Venture Capital group who had financed the spin out had high expectations and the management team were being put on the spot to deliver.

We worked with the organization to develop its go to market strategy sector by sector with marketing plans and approaches to position the company in each market, clear value propositions built around what the customer needed backed up with focussed account plans for each key customer account.  We designed a smarter and shorter approach to the sales cycle which demonstrated fit and value early and helped them to qualify out so they didn’t pursue bids where they were unlikely to win so they could re-direct the effort to where it counted.

As a result the sales team were absolutely clear on what they were going after in each market, the sales cycle was dramatically shortened, and the win rate increased.

“Their input enabled us to become clearer about where we wanted to focus our sales and marketing effort and how we could communicate the value we bring to customers effectively and efficiently” Chairman