Market Edge Advisor July 2019

    Maggie Girolamo

    Create Value for Your Most Valuable Customers

    Help your sales and marketing teams invest their time understanding and creating value for your most valuable customers with these three quotes and a Market Edge Framework.

    “We’re not competitor obsessed, we’re customer obsessed. We start with what the customer needs and we work backwards.” – Jeff Bezoz, CEO Amazon

    Understanding how the customer creates value for their customer is key in B2B sales and marketing.  Too often, we see a narrow focus on understanding the buying cycle.  Mapping the complete customer activity cycle from innovation triggers to product launch to product obsoletion will generate insights into other touchpoints and ways to help your clients.  You will know your teams have made the mind-set shift when conversations switch from what makes the product better to how can we make customers more successful and profitable.

    “Your most unhappy customers are your greatest source of learning.” – Bill Gates, Microsoft Corporation Founder

    There is a need to change the lexicon from “Voice of the Customer” to “Voice of the Market” and then to “Voice of the Target Segment.”

    • Voice of the Customer – falling into the trap of just speaking to your current customers, or even worse your current, loyal customers.
    • Voice of the Market – suggesting there is a broader customer landscape which includes customers we have won and lost. This also suggests there are customers we have never spoken too!
    • Voice of the Target Segment – knowing your target segment and narrowing your focus to that segment of customers will help you innovate, iterate and sell in shorter sales cycles. When your teams are focused on VOTS, you know it is time well spent!

    “People do not care how much you know until they know how much you care.” – Theodore Roosevelt, 26th US President

    Avoid the junior folly of “Show up and Throw-Up.”  Your company’s marketing collateral, technical expertise, data sheets, and implementation guides are extremely valuable for the clients – just not all at once! (and definitely not at the beginning of the sales cycle)  Understanding where the customer is in their value creation journey and feeding them the right information at the appropriate moment shows great respect for their time and understanding of their process.

    Below is a Framework that will help teams map your customers value creation journey.  We call it the Customer Activity Cycle.  Pick a Target Segment and map the roles, actions and desired outcomes for a target segment as they create and sell value to their customers.  Do this with a cross functional team and a wealth of actionable insights will emerge.  If you need assistance or facilitation, contact us – info@mkt-edge.com   FRAMEWORK