Competitive Differentiation via Whole Product Analysis - Great Demo

Competitive Differentiation via Whole Product Analysis

Here’s a tip most people don’t know…!

While I strongly recommend against inflicting corporate overview presentations on your prospects, some elements from typical corporate overviews can be harvested and used to differentiate very effectively (but not in the form of the dreaded traditional presentation).

Once a prospect has seen that your offering can provide a solution to their problem, they begin to think about your organization. After all, they are not just buying your code, they are also buying a relationship with a vendor, and that offers other ways to differentiate.

How do your customers perceive your strengths, as an organization. For example, what is your reputation regarding support? Implementation? New feature delivery? Technology leadership? These strengths represent opportunities to differentiate beyond your software.

For example, let’s say you have a particularly strong and active users’ community, and your competition does not. Here’s an opportunity to use a Biased Question to differentiate.

You say, “Some of our other customers had situations very similar to what you’ve outlined so far. Intriguingly, they found that one of the most important aspects of their relationship with us had nothing to do with the software itself. They found that their interactions with the users’ community enabled them to solve problems they had previously struggled with, deploy more broadly than expected, and implement new, unanticipated applications that they learned about from the community. They were able to realize hundreds of thousands of dollars in additional gains and savings as a result. Is access to this sort of community something you might also find useful in your situation?”

Your prospect responds strongly in the affirmative, “Why, yes, I hadn’t thought of that before!”

You add, “Well, I’d be happy to introduce you to the principals of the users’ group so that you can get connected right away…”

The result? Positive differentiation based on organizational strengths. What are yours?

(The process of identifying these strengths is known as “Whole Product Analysis”, the term coined by Regis McKenna and popularized by Geoffrey Moore in “Crossing the Chasm.” Great stuff! Additionally, you can find specifics on the use of Biased Questions in Doing Discovery.)


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