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Betting on Better Requires Patience

by Hank Barnes  |  February 6, 2018  |  Submit a Comment

I speak with many tech and service providers that love to talk about how they are better than the alternatives.  No surprise there.  It is important to believe that you have a better product, better people, and/or better service(s).

But, if your strategy is betting on being better, you will need to be patient.

Photo by Clark Adams on Unsplash

Photo by Clark Adams on Unsplash


Wins based on being better don’t come in quickly.    They come in when the customer decides it is time to do something different.  There is rarely urgency based on better.

Imagine a company that produces a better time and expense solution.  It is more user friendly.  It may have better mobile capabilities.  It is better than the incumbent solution.  Great.

But the customer has a lot invested in that incumbent solution.  Maybe they just deployed it a year or two ago.    Will they make a change for something better?  Maybe—in a few years.

At that point, they’ll be looking for something better.  And you (the company with the better product) will be competing with other companies with better products–including the incumbent with a new release  or new add-ons.     It will be a battle.

Are you patient?

If not, you can’t bet on better.  Instead, you need to create a case for changing the status quo sooner rather than later.   Better is not status quo changing.  You’ll need a point of view, a commercial insight (from the world of Challenger), or a case for the business impact of not changing.

Create those stories, help customers apply their specific business parameters to make sure they can relate, and then assess if the customer accepts the advice to change now.  If not, think about the priority of this opportunity.  It should probably be lower.  And, you and your organizations will have to be patient.

Patience may be a virtue, but it doesn’t help when revenue is needed.   Betting on better is not a virtue.  Its a strategy for slow to no growth.


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Category: go-to-market  

Tags: messaging  sales-effectiveness  strategy  

Hank Barnes
VP Distinguished Analyst
6+ years at Gartner
30+ years IT Industry

Hank Barnes explores the dynamics, challenges, and frustrations enterprises face when buying technology products and services. Using that customer-centric lens, he advises those responsible for marketing technology products and services, general managers responsible for product portfolios, and startup CEOs on next practices to drive success for their customers and their business. Read Full Bio

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