Episode 56: Getting the MEGADEALS w/Christopher Engman
4 May, 2021 / Host: Magnus Billgren
A Strategic Roadmap for Large-Scale Business Contracts
In a rapidly evolving business landscape, sales and marketing processes need to adapt to secure the big deals that can drive substantial growth. Christopher Engman, an accomplished author and marketing thought-leader, argues that most companies have significant room for improvement in their sales and marketing strategies. Engman's extensive research has identified eight critical steps for securing MEGADEALS, particularly in the B2B environment. While his methodology primarily targets B2B companies, elements of it can be applied to both B2C and B2B2C contexts. In this article, we will delve into a few of Engman's insights and explore how product management plays a crucial role in achieving business success, especially through effective messaging architecture.
The Star Power of Product Managers
Product managers are the true stars who can make things happen, particularly when it comes to crafting effective messaging architecture. Engman suggests that product managers should focus not only on promoting individual products but also on positioning the entire product category and subcategory in the market. By broadening their perspective and understanding the competitive landscape, product managers can enhance the effectiveness of their messaging strategies.
Engman draws attention to the fact that successful product managers possess exceptional interpersonal skills, enabling them to bridge various functional areas within an organization. They act as the linchpin between different teams, facilitating collaboration and ensuring that customer trends and insights inform product roadmap decisions. Engman argues that product managers' pattern recognition abilities and talent for understanding customer needs make them ideally suited to drive successful marketing and sales initiatives.
Unveiling the Secrets of MEGADEALS
Engman highlights some common mistakes made by companies when pursuing large deals. One such error is over-reliance on individual sales representatives rather than establishing a team-based approach. Successful mega deals require orchestration, with teams collaborating seamlessly throughout the sales process.
Another crucial aspect Engman addresses is the importance of effective messaging. Many companies fall into the trap of promoting their product too heavily, failing to provide a clear and compelling message that resonates with customers. Engman advocates for a systematic and customer-centric approach to messaging, where companies focus on addressing customer pain points and prioritizing solutions over product features.
The Power of Positioning and Messaging
One of the key elements of Engman's methodology is the development of a robust messaging architecture. He argues that companies should shift their focus from selling their products to guiding customers through the decision-making process. Engman proposes a four-part messaging architecture: fundamental messaging, category messaging, subcategory messaging, and solution messaging.
Fundamental messaging involves understanding and articulating the top problems that drive customer decision-making. Instead of solely promoting their products, companies should align their messaging with the key initiatives and challenges that resonate with their target audience. This approach ensures that customers see the value in the solutions offered.
Category messaging requires analyzing the various category choices available to customers. Engman suggests that companies should understand the different solutions within their industry and position themselves effectively against competitors. By focusing on the category rather than just their own product, companies can demonstrate their expertise and differentiate themselves from the competition.
Subcategory messaging dives deeper into the specific types of companies operating within a given category. Engman emphasizes the importance of understanding customers' decision-making criteria and creating messaging that dives deeper into the specific types of companies operating within a given category. This level of messaging allows companies to position themselves as the ideal solution provider within a specific subcategory.
Finally, solution messaging focuses on showcasing the unique benefits and value that a company's product or service brings to customers. Engman advises product managers to emphasize the outcomes and results that customers can achieve by choosing their solution. This requires a deep understanding of customer pain points and crafting messages that clearly demonstrate how the company's offering solves those challenges.
Orchestrating the Sales Process
Instead of relying solely on individual sales representatives, companies should establish cross-functional teams that work together harmoniously throughout the sales process. This collaboration ensures that every aspect of the deal is addressed, from initial prospecting to contract negotiation.
To effectively orchestrate the sales process, Engman suggests the following steps:
- Build a dedicated MEGADEALS team: Assemble a team of experts from different functional areas, including sales, marketing, product management, and customer success. Each team member should bring their unique perspectives and skills to the table, working towards a common goal.
- Develop a playbook: Create a comprehensive playbook that outlines the roles and responsibilities of each team member at each stage of the sales process. This playbook should also include messaging guidelines and strategies for addressing customer objections.
- Collaborate closely with customers: Engage with customers throughout the sales process to understand their needs, pain points, and decision-making criteria. This customer-centric approach allows the team to tailor their messaging and solutions to meet specific customer requirements.
- Leverage data and insights: Utilize data and analytics to gain deeper insights into customer behavior, market trends, and competitive dynamics. Data-driven decision-making empowers the team to make informed choices and adapt their strategies as needed.
- Continuously refine and improve: Regularly review the sales process and performance metrics to identify areas for improvement. Engman emphasizes the importance of learning from both successes and failures, refining strategies, and continuously iterating to achieve better outcomes.
A Customer-Centric Mindset
Understanding customers' needs, pain points, and decision-making processes is crucial for crafting effective messaging and positioning strategies.
To cultivate a customer-centric mindset, Engman recommends the following:
- Deeply understand your target audience: Conduct thorough market research and engage in conversations with customers to gain a deep understanding of their challenges, aspirations, and decision-making criteria. This understanding forms the foundation for developing compelling messaging and positioning.
- Tailor solutions to customer needs: Develop solutions that directly address customer pain points and provide tangible value. Engman advises product managers to focus on outcomes and results, demonstrating how their solutions can help customers achieve their goals.
- Build long-term relationships: Engage with customers beyond the initial sale, nurturing long-term relationships built on trust and mutual success. This approach not only increases customer loyalty but also opens doors to future opportunities and referrals.
- Leverage Product Managers as Strategic Allies: Engage your product managers early in the MEGADEAL process to align product offerings with customer needs. Their deep understanding of the market, competitive landscape, and customer pain points can help tailor solutions that resonate and differentiate your company from competitors.
- Craft Compelling Messaging and Value Propositions: Develop clear and persuasive messaging that communicates the unique value your company brings to the table. Highlight the specific benefits and outcomes that customers can expect by choosing your solution. Effective messaging helps build credibility, trust, and confidence, increasing your chances of securing MEGADEALS.
- Embrace Sales Orchestration and Customer-Centricity: Coordinate your sales efforts across multiple touchpoints, ensuring a seamless and consistent experience for customers. Create a structured approach to account planning, prospecting, and relationship building, focusing on the customer's long-term success. By prioritizing customer-centricity, you position your company as a trusted partner, increasing the likelihood of winning MEGADEALS and fostering long-term customer loyalty.
As you explore ways to enhance your product management skills and become a strategic ally in securing MEGADEALS, consider investing in professional development opportunities like The Productbeats Product Management Certification Program. This comprehensive program is designed to empower product managers with the knowledge and expertise needed to excel in today's competitive landscape. By enrolling in the program, you can gain valuable insights into market trends, customer needs, and effective product strategies, further equipping you to navigate the MEGADEAL landscape with confidence.
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