Gartner Blog Network

Who Is Paying for the Value

by Hank Barnes  |  June 25, 2019  |  Submit a Comment

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.

via Joey Kyber on

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.



Additional Resources

View Free, Relevant Gartner Research

Gartner's research helps you cut through the complexity and deliver the knowledge you need to make the right decisions quickly, and with confidence.

Read Free Gartner Research

Category: go-to-market  

Tags: customer-experience  cx  storytelling  

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

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Comments or opinions expressed on this blog are those of the individual contributors only, and do not necessarily represent the views of Gartner, Inc. or its management. Readers may copy and redistribute blog postings on other blogs, or otherwise for private, non-commercial or journalistic purposes, with attribution to Gartner. This content may not be used for any other purposes in any other formats or media. The content on this blog is provided on an "as-is" basis. Gartner shall not be liable for any damages whatsoever arising out of the content or use of this blog.