I had a call with a client last week to discuss their storytelling. The client opened this discussion with a story (something that rarely happens) that illustrated how things work today, some of the implications of that current process, and how their solution makes things better. It was pretty much perfect–exactly how we guide and coach.
But there was one problem. In this B2B scenario, the story was all about the value to people who benefit from the solution, but not the people that would buy it. As we explored this issue, another story emerged–or at least a path for that story–that would also address their actual customer.
While seeing this written down seems somewhat obvious, it happens more often that you might expect. Great ideas and great solutions often provide benefits to different people in a value stream than those that have to make the buying decision. When that happens, the challenge to get a deal can be high–and frustrating. The value feels so real and compelling, but the sales don’t happen.
There is nothing wrong with providing benefits across value chains, but if you can’t connect to the compelling reason for the budget holders to act, then it doesn’t matter. If you can’t highlight the implications of the way they work today on not just their customers (or users or employees) but them specifically, then they may push back on change.
Even in the era of customer experience, solutions that are better for the customer aren’t enough of a reason for many to act–us less they see why it is better for them too (see an older blog post on this topic).
As you explore your positioning and your stories, make sure you are creating them for ALL of the right people.
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