How to sell Efficiency

Many new products in the B2B world promise to increase “efficiency” in the workplace. The leading idea in B2B sales for a long time has been to sell something that helps the customer make more money with the time/work they have or make the same amount of money while working less.

Both of these are essentially what selling “efficiency” means: the goal is to make the customer’s processes work faster or easier or more cheaply then they do now, thus leading to a greater return on invested capital, time, or energy.

The problem is that most B2B solutions do not increase efficiency or make life easier for the customer. At best they are simply new ways to manage the same old problems. At worst they are simply another tool in a sea of promised solutions that actually makes like more difficult and cumbersome for the customer.

So how do you sell efficiency? The most important part of the sale occurs long before you’ve pitched the customer. First and foremost, you have to make sure your product is truly an improvement over the existing solutions. Trading out Salesforce for SAP isn’t about efficiency anymore then using Chatter instead of Yammer is. Both are simply solving the same problems in different ways and come down to user preference.

The best way to sell efficiency is to sell a solution that solves two problems for the effort/price of one. A solution that makes email more efficient up front but generates a sales pipeline in the background is a solution selling efficiency. A solution that makes storage simple up front while providing automated documentation in the background is selling efficiency. Making it so the user can do task A while ALSO getting task B done without additional effort is selling efficiency. Combining tasks in to one platform is the smallest type of efficiency you can sell, and the one most easily replaced when a truly efficient solution comes about.

If you want to build a product that makes your customers more efficient, don’t spend time making the work they do easier; that’s a marginal gain. Instead, build a product that takes the input needed for one task and automatically generates results for task 2, 3, 4, etc. Reducing your customer’s workload a little is not efficiency. Reducing your customer’s workload a LOT is.

At Signature Electronics we work to reduce the time and cost of procuring large bills of material. We work hard so our customers don’t spend too much time pricing out components when they would be better off talking to their customers or working on new designs. Check us out at http://www.signature-electronics.com!

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