B2B businesses need to communicate to prospects the benefit of purchasing their services and products. B2B decisions are based more on measured outcomes than B2C purchasing decisions. I have found in conversations with other business owners that this area is not taught or discussed much, so I wanted to share what I have learned about how this works in building your business. In my experience, there are three metrics that you should examine: Time, Money, and Success. Let me explain how to look at each of these metrics.
This metric has two dimensions: less time on required tasks, and more time for family, hobbies, etc.. First, your services and products might help a prospect save time on tasks that they must do or spend less time on tasks that do not add value or produce results. Spending less time on required tasks is more valuable to most prospects. Measure the amount of time that your clients save on these types of tasks. This allows you to show prospects how much time they could save.
Second, your services and products might help a prospect have more time for things they value, such as family, hobbies, etc. This may be related to the first dimension. If the prospect is spending extra time on tasks outside of the normal work day, time that they would prefer to spend with family and friends, they will value your ability to give them more time on those pursuits.
The two dimensions of this metric are: less spent on required items, and more revenue. The first aspect is about spending less on those products and services that the prospect requires to run their business. While this is a very popular dimension for many businesses to emphasize, it may not be as valued by your prospects.
The second dimension of the money metric is how your services and products can help a prospect increase their revenue. This can be a very powerful incentive for a prospect, but it may be hard to quantify this metric from past clients. You may only be able to give general ranges instead of a specific value, since the revenue lift your clients experience can depend on many factors.
The success metric usually only relates to helping prospects achieve their goals (how they define success) more often or at a higher level. Whatever your prospects and clients define as a successful outcome in their business is what you need to measure in order to use this metric. It may not be easy to measure the different success metrics, but it can pay off if you are able to communicate this to prospects.
|Time||On required tasks||For family, hobbies, etc.|
|Money||Spent on required items||Generate more revenue|
|Success||N/A||Achieve goals more often|
My business is mainly providing customized training workshops that help financial or operational business professionals create PowerPoint presentations that have a clear message, focused content, and effective visuals. When I communicate benefits to prospects, the ones I focus on are:
- More Success – my clients and prospects define a successful presentation as one that is understood and acted upon by their audiences. One metric they use is how many questions the audience asks and whether the audience makes a decision quickly.
- Less Time – because my clients must create and deliver presentations regularly, creating these presentations in less time allows them to use that saved time on other valuable tasks.
- More Time – for the executives that hire me, they value reclaiming the time they currently spend at night and on weekends trying to decipher the confusing presentations they are being sent by their staff.
The other dimensions of the metrics are not as valued by my prospects because either the dimension does not apply to them (revenue is not a responsibility of a finance professional) or they do not readily measure the cost of creating a presentation. Some metrics may not be valued by your prospects because they find it hard to measure, and the cost of measuring would outweigh any benefit.
I have found it is critical to listen to what new clients say when you ask them why they chose you over your competitors. When you hear a common thread in these comments, take note and emphasize those specific metrics that your prospects value. If you don’t already ask new clients why they chose you over a competitor, start asking that question. You won’t always get an answer you can use, but you will start to hear common themes emerge over time.
At the same time, go back to conversations you have had with existing clients and focus on the comments they made regarding the specific benefits they received. Organize these comments based on the dimensions of the metrics above. Then you can communicate the benefits of your products and services concisely.