When will people learn? You can’t sell a product or service until it is converted to an offer?
First, let’s give offers a context and then dive into the details of the relationship to a product or service.
We are talking about high value B2B offers. Those B2C companies like Version, P&G, Mattel, and the car companies know how to create intentional offers that are so compelling we forget what we are buying as long as we get the rebate.
The more value to the B2B offer the less clear the offer. Offers are the 5th of the 5 key Revenue Strategy questions for a reason.
Your 5 Revenue Strategy questions:
1. What is your Brand Promise
2. What is the Problem you solve for your client that no one else solves
3. What is the Niche or Niches you do or will dominate with this offer
4. Who exactly is your ideal buyer (the human with the problem you solve)
5. What is the offer you make to compel the ideal buyer to be your partner
The offer is 5th because it is customer focused and gets that focus from the first 4 questions. Too often companies start with a product focus, make some fast decisions about how they want the buyer to acquire this product, and that becomes the offer. Next they wonder why so few orders have been received and why the buyers don’t want to pay what the seller believes the product merits.
An offer in its simplest form calls out the problem to be solved for the buyer in the niche where the ideal buyer operates their business and presents a solution to the ideal buyer’s problem addressing business and operational outcomes to be achieved.
Of course inside the offer (at the very core) are those products and services the seller is so passionate to provide. This core is combined with the other elements of the offer to fully solve the ideal buyer’s problem.
Surrounding the core (seller’s product or service), are those other things that will compel the buyer and the buyer’s team to proceed to a Joint SOW with a degree of confidence that the Joint SOW will make the buyer and the buyer’s team comfortable that this offer is the best way to arrive at “problem solved.”
When an offer is developed, it is from “the client’s frame of reference.” When your thought leadership’s (product or service) value is fully presented in the form of an offer it addresses things like this:
1. What are the outcomes that deliver the business value the ideal buyer is getting?
a. Increased Income
b. Less Risk
c. Improved Brand
2. What are the outcomes that produce operational value that the buyer’s team is getting?
a. Fast, better and great quality operations
3. What is the value to the other parts of the buyer’s organization for the outcomes from this offer?
4. What is the engagement model that delivers these outcomes?
b. GatesManaging change
c. Roles and Responsibilities
d. Relationship of the problem solved to the fees charged
The outcomes must be aligned to the 4 other strategy questions to show the buyer your True North is more than words. Since most companies have more than one offer it is important that they are all aligned to your organization’s brand promise and each one creates leverage for the others.
If you are presenting this offer to an ideal buyer, your offer needs to compel them to put both the business and operational leaders from their team into the Joint SOW process with your team to be sure the offer fits the buyer and is highly likely to deliver the desired outcomes with value that exceeds the investment (time, money, risk, etc.).
The offer is NOT a detailed pitch (until you do the Joint SOW you don’t know the details for this client). The offer is about the outcomes you can help the client achieve if the two organizations partner based on a Joint SOW leveraging your best practice and Intellectual Property to solve the problem.
You may have a single strategic offer that compels one or more niches or you may have a single strategic offer supported by sub-offers that are niche specific creating the additional value for each of the different niches.
It is important to decide how many offers you have and how many you really should have as well as how they leverage each other. Part of the consideration for how many offers is based on available resources to invest in offers and the return from those resources. Truly developing offers is work and has cost. As you approach the optimum number of offers, part of the decision will be based on the mix of offers that produce the most profitable revenue growth over the short-term and the longer-term based on market change.
Fully developing offers is critical. When you make a specific, well designed offer to an “ideal buyer,” you get a very different outcome than when you have a vague offer that you have to make up as you go along. The specific, well designed offer will give you a shorter sales cycle, higher margins and a higher percent of closes, plus a specific offer is easier for the buyer to share with peers, leadership and those who control the money.
Ideal buyers want to believe you can help lead them. As a leader you need to know where you will lead your buyers vs. vendors who want to sell something to anyone and will then worry about the offer details later.
Turn your products and services in client focused offers that solve a specific problem for the buyer that NO ONE else solves. Both you and the buyer will have a great experience, while making a lot more money.
What do you think?
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