To prevail, answer this one question
You‘ve got it under control. You feel you are 100% ready. You’re about to step into your soon-to-be customer’s office, equipped with a product that will undoubtedly increase their ROI. This is a big sale. You go in. It feels like it’s going well. They really like your product, and it seems they understand the benefits. But what you hear at the end is what you feared most “Come back in a month or two. We’ll think about it”.
You got it wrong.
Wondering why? Because you didn’t ask one simple question.
Ask yourself “Why Now”?
A go-to-market plan is comprised of many questions you must answer. Yet, the importance of your answer to “why should a customer purchase my product NOW?” need not be neglected. “Why Now” ultimately means business opportunity. It is understanding what will drive your target audience to purchase your product as soon as possible, before the customer needs have an opportunity to change.
As consumers, we meet the “Why Now” in many of our shopping experiences. In consumer goods, “special deals” is a common tactic for “Why Now”, creating a sense of urgency and driving consumers to buy. Let’s take the real estate market as another example. If you’ve ever shopped for real estate, your agent must have said that “there is a very high demand for condos in this area, prices are absolutely going to rise”.
In B2B technology markets, things are much more complicated. Let’s take for example a ticketing system for an airline. It’s obvious that an airline cannot be relevant these days without a good ticketing system. What would convince the decision makers to allow for a web-based ticket reservation system? How about adding a mobile app software? Or maybe moving the reservation system to the cloud? The answer lies in market trends. As long as technology changes people’s buying habits, airline companies must follow it in order to stay in business.
Business leaders are always afraid to lose if they don’t follow market trends, especially when it comes to technologies that are already adopted by their competitors, and, of course, when they have a potential to disrupt their business.
The importance of market trends
The business opportunity is closely tied to the most recent trends that can be identified within the market. As business pace gets faster and market shifts occur often, your customers’ attention shifts accordingly. As a result, these ever-changing trends have a direct effect on your positioning, messaging, sales strategy and the product or service features, and are crucial in order to keep your offer at the center of attention. Before you decide to enter any market, you must understand what promotes a sense of urgency among your potential customers. This will diminish your chances of losing the deal.
Market trends may be in many times a good “Why Now” reason: If you don’t follow the trend, you are going to lose, while following the trend early enough creates an opportunity for you to extend your business and become a market leader. The sense of urgency is achieved by identifying a strong market trend that pushes decision makers to take action.
When your product is a ”Nice To Have”: Getting it wrong
Failing to identify what drives immediate consumer engagement and customer commitment can lead to an unwanted outcome – willingness to use your product or service, but no inclination to pay for it. Customers might view your offering as a nice-to-have rather than a pain reliever which they simply cannot get by without. Changing your target audience’s mind about their perception of what you represent will become a great challenge, which not all companies are able to overcome.
Trends, customer needs, and your product: What it means to get it right
As people search for ways to improve their professional and personal lives, new trends are formed. These trends disrupt technological, financial and many other markets, causing the existent equilibrium to shift. If the trends have a strong impact they might even lead to the rise of entirely new markets, such as mobile phones which replaced landline communication, allowing us to be connected at any given moment. To understand the business opportunity, you must first identify the trends in your market. Next, try to understand your customers’ needs as a result of these shifts. Eventually, in order to create a truly effective go-to-market plan, you must find an irrefutable justification for a sense of urgency in choosing your offer over any other available option.