When I chat with CEOs, CMOs and VPs of Sales in B2B technology companies, it’s almost always about “re-messaging” or “re-positioning” their company, product or service or some combination of these. Often I hear, “I know we need to do this, but I am not sure it’s the right time…”
Well, I believe that if you are not sure, it probably IS the right time! Here are five windows of opportunity that I find are DEFINTILEY the right time, and if you miss these, you miss an opportunity to increase your breakthrough, opportunity generation and sales.
#1 – Our sales guys say the “messaging is broken” – Sales is your canary in the coal mine. They are the first to feel market shifts, long before the folks in the “factory” become attuned to it. If sales says it is broken, it probably is. Also, fixing messaging is a great opportunity to bring senior sales folks into the process and get both their insight into the market and buy-in into the output.
#2- We aren’t in the deals we should be – Sales is finding out about deals late. And when we do find out, the competitor has already nearly locked up the deal. This is a symptom that you are playing on someone else’s turf. You need to step back and develop a Viewpoint message that aligns with your customer’s world. This may be the missing piece of the equation.
#3- A new product, product line or major capability about to be launched – A natural time to step back and ask, “why does this matter to our customer’s world”, “what’s our unique value”, and “have we told the story the way we need to”. Every homeowner knows that when you add an addition to the house, you often end up rippling changes through everything, not just the addition you did. Cohesive messaging, like cohesive design, can’t just be tacked on. When it’s time to remodel, think about the whole, not just the new part
#4 – That pesky competitor is getting all the buzz – And damn it, we’ve been shipping all that stuff forever, or that one feature sure seems small, what’s going on? Often the landscape of the customer shifts in a way that a small nimble start up notices and you don’t. Pay attention not just to the technology, but to the VALUE that customers think they will get from the new shiny object. And why is that value rising to the top of the buyers priority. Are we aligning our value with the customer’s reality as much as our messaging should?
#5 – We are doing great but.. – There’s a bigger opportunity out there and it is time to be bold and capture it. Re-positioning from strength is often one of the most overlooked ways to accelerate demand and growth. Especially when combined with #3 above. Positioning from strength let’s you grow your market faster and leverage the experience and customer success you’ve worked so hard for.
Of course, it’s usually some combination of the reasons above. If you have not revisited your messaging and positioning with the last 12 months, it’s probably time, and there’s no time like now!