“Buyers don’t buy products, they buy the outcomes the products deliver.”
Darrell Amy, Revenue Growth Engine
For those who are obsessed with their products, the superiority of their business, or the beauty of their brand, this statement contains a hard pill to swallow. As great as your products are, as experienced as your team is, and as responsive your customer service may be, that's not what buyers are buying. People do not buy your products, they buy the outcomes your products create.
Bob Moesta explores this principle in Demand-Side Sales 101. He shares the story of how he stopped trying to push his product on customers. Instead, he worked to understand the actual outcomes the customer desired. Then he engineered the buying process to satisfy the customer’s demand.
Buyers have a “job to be done”. That is why they buy a product. Period.
The “Jobs to be Done” theory (pioneered by Moesta and Clayton Christiansen one of my...
When it comes to tracking revenue, we all want to know the total amount of top-line revenue. However, underneath the total revenue number are two critical revenue numbers that every business, marketing team, and sales rep should track:
In working with companies across multiple industries, I’ve discovered that that most businesses are good at one or the other. They are either good at net-new businesses or cross-selling by deepening relationships. A business that is only good at one may be growing year over year, but they are leaving a lot of revenue on the table by not shoring up the area where they are weak.
Cross-selling more products and services to the existing client base is the number one missed opportunity in the vast majority of businesses. Every year, businesses leave millions of dollars on the table. Why? Because they stopped selling once they closed a new deal.
Mark Hunter says, “You don’t close a sale, you open a relationship.” Yet in most companies, once the paperwork is signed, the client gets handed off to operations and the sales rep moves on to the next deal. The selling phase is over.
Last year at a technology conference, I heard Tiffany Bova say most sales teams are like prospectors in the Klondike looking for gold. They dedicate all of their resources to find a new customer. Then, once they get the new account, they slap high fives, ring the bell, and move on to the next deal. This would be like a prospector finding a gold mine and then moving on to find the next mine. Insanity--that happens every day in the vast majority of businesses.
Trust is the currency of business. Without trust, business dies.
The challenge is that trust is at an all-time low. The Edelman Trust Barometer continues to present data that shows people are very distrusting.
While low trust may feel discouraging, the good news is that companies and salespeople that build and maintain trust create an incredible competitive advantage.
How do you build trust? I want to propose a formula:
TRUST = MESSAGE + RELATIONSHIP + EXECUTION
This formula is based on three questions:
Let’s explore how these three factors work together.
The first component of trust must answer the fundamental question: “Can you help me solve my problems and achieve my goals?” Buyers don’t buy products, they buy the outcomes the products deliver. And the outcomes buyers are looking for...
Every business owner wants to grow revenue. That’s a given. My question to you today is, “Why do you want to grow?”
Your reason for being in business needs to be about more than profit. Yes, there are personal dreams and motivations, but in order to hit your personal goals, you need to have a bigger vision.
My “why” behind Revenue Growth Engine is to help 10,000 great businesses double revenue so they can create meaningful jobs and give back to their community. I developed this “why” through 18 years of service on non-profit boards. I saw that the largest donations, the ones that really moved the needle, were coming from successful and generous business people. I want to help these companies grow!
What’s the “why” behind your business? If you want to grow, you need a meaningful answer to this question. I believe this is true for three reasons:
1. Because It Will Take...
Is your company message delicious and sticky? Or, is it watered down and bland?
As a child one of my favorite events of the spring was making maple syrup. As the snow would begin to melt, we would head out into the woods. Holes would be drilled in trees for the spouts that would gather sap into buckets. Then, we would drag 40 gallon barrels through the woods to collect the sap.
In the middle of the forest was the sugar shack. This housed a firebox with a vat on top. The sap would be poured into the vat. Over the following hours the sap would be boiled down to create the most delicious substance on earth: maple syrup.
It takes about 40 gallons of sap to make one gallon of maple syrup. The sap tastes like the melted ice after finish a soft drink. There is a little bit of sugar, but no one would say it is delicious. Maple syrup, however, is sweet, smooth, and sticky—pure joy.
Your company message needs to be delicious and sticky. Creating this message is very similar to making...
Harvard Business School professor and the father of modern marketing, Theodore Levitt, asks a powerful question that every business leader, sales representative and marketing manager must answer: What business are you in?
The answer to this question will determine the future of your company. At this critical moment when the needs of your customers are changing, this question needs to be answered correctly.
The reality is that what you sell and what people buy are different. As I say in my book Revenue Growth Engine, "Buyers don't buy products, they buy the outcomes the products deliver."
Theodore Levitt would famously walk into his marketing class holding up an electric drill bit. He would tell the class that no one has ever purchased a drill bit, but what they bought was the hole. Some take it a step further and say that they aren't buying the hole, they are buying the ability to hang a picture on the wall so they can look good to their friends. Others takes it even further,...
I’m not sure who first said this popular quote: “Hope is not a strategy.” (Who Said Hope Is Not a Strategy?)
In one of my favorite strategy books, Blue Ocean Strategy, the authors observe that companies are rarely open to changing their strategy because they are heavily invested in the status quo.
What prompts a strategy change? A strong leader and/or a serious crisis.
Most companies are in a serious crisis. Some have seen a drop in revenue. Others have seen a dramatic increase of demand. In either case, this is time to reevaluate strategy.
The fact is, most companies should have reevaluated their strategy long before the crisis. The inertia of a growing economy and relatively easy growth created an environment that leaders were reluctant to change.
Well, guess what? Things have changed. That means now is the time to evaluate our strategies.
How do you adjust your business strategy? (These are concepts I’m organizing as I prepare to lead a Revenue...
The reason to buy a company is to take what you purchased and grow it. Unfortunately, what often happens is that companies let the customers of the companies they acquired slowly get picked off by the competition. Instead of growing the new base of customers, the new base dwindles away.
You can buy a business but you cannot acquire customers. Keeping customers requires trust. After an acquisition, that trust must be built.
When we buy something big, we all experience buyer’s remorse. It’s that moment of time where we are nervous that we made a bad decision. (You may have some buyer’s remorse on the company you bought!) At that moment, the sale is very vulnerable to cancelation.
The same thing happens to customers after an acquisition. The customers of the acquired company get acquisition remorse. They are nervous. The customers of the company you acquired are vulnerable.
Sprint has provided my cellular service for over 10 years. Recently, T-Mobile acquired Sprint....
Every company wants to grow. At the end of the month, end of the quarter, and end of the year, we all look at our top-line revenue. How much did we grow?
What we need to be looking at is one level deeper. These are the the two drivers of revenue growth. Unfortunately, many companies do not look at these simple numbers.
What are the two two revenue metrics?
They come from the two sources of revenue. If you boil it all down, there are only two ways to grow revenue:
That’s it. The problem is that most companies tend to be good at one or the other. Some are good at landing new deals. Others are good at developing client relationships. Rarely do you find a company that has the processes in place to do both well.
Here’s why that’s important. If you can show modest growth in net-new business and cross-sell business, you can experience exponential revenue growth. (Download the...