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What to Do when Your B2B Sales Story Is a Snooze


What to Do when Your B2B Sales Story Is a Snooze

Does your sales copy fail to connect to customers and gain leads? Kedar Gharpure shares an article that may help you improve your B2B sales story.

#Price can often be the first casualty as companies compete in markets shrinking due to #COVID19. However, now more than ever, it is essential to compete on value and not just on price.

In the previous articles we spoke about how companies have avoided a race to the bottom on price by adopting a sharper segment-specific commercial approach (here) and by delivering what really matters to their customers beyond price (here). In this article we describe how to craft a sales story that engages and excites your customers and helps you to win with price.

B2B industries often trade in highly technical products. So, it is not a surprise that most B2B companies have sales stories that talk about the technical specs and features of their products. Some go a step further and show how their product is better than their competitor’s product. However, very few companies have sales stories that speak about why the customer will be commercially and strategically better off if they use their product.

Customers are looking for benefit not just specifications

A famous quote of American economist and HBS professor Theodore Levitt is

“People don’t want to buy a quarter-inch drill. They want a quarter-inch hole!”.

Customers want to use your product to do a their job, and as such they really care about the benefit that the product brings to them. The same thought applies when it comes to crafting your sales story: it needs to focus on how customers will benefit by using your product. If your sales story can convince your customers that your product can offer more benefit vs. the competitors, then you will be in a pole position to earn a premium price and/or a premium share of the customer’s wallet.

DuPont revamped its sales story

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In the 1950s, DuPont launched Alathon 25 – a new polythene resin for making plastic pipes. Up until that time, an inferior resin was used to manufacture plastic pipes. Pipes made from Alathon had a lower failure rate of 1-3% vs. 7-8% for the competition, a longer life and an ability to withstand higher pressure. However, DuPont’s superior product initially received a lukewarm reception to their premium pricing in the market. It appeared that the technical sales story that centred around lower failure rates, longer life and the ability to withstand higher pressure were not compelling enough reasons for customers to pay a higher price.

DuPont then improved its advertisements to show, how, it is important to have a reliable and a strong pipe especially for below-ground irrigation systems. DuPont highlighted an obvious point that a burst underground irrigation pipe requires more time and money to fix. Furthermore, if the plants were in a vulnerable seedling phases, the burst pipe could also damage and wash away those seedlings. DuPont’s pipe was stronger, would not burst and would hence save their customers the time and money on repair jobs and potential crop loss.

Key points include:

  • Revamping the sales story

  • Razor-sharp focus

  • Commercial and strategic benefits

Read the full article, Is your B2B sales story too technical?, on LinkedIn.