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Rocket GTM 🚀 - F*ck Feature Battles

Alfie Marsh
Alfie Marsh
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(Estimated read time: 2-3 minutes)
F*ck Feature Battles
There’s a big problem in sales. Too many salespeople get caught up in feature battles.
Feature battles suck.
When you compete on “better, faster, cheaper” you are competing head on with your competitor.
You become a commodity.
And commodities compete on price. 📉
Not good.
  • ❌ “We are better, faster, cheaper than….”
  • ✅ “We are the only company to…”
You don’t want to be better. You want to be the only.
When you try to be better. You end up selling on features.
When you focus on being the only. You win by selling outcomes that only you can provide.
Much better.
👇 Here’s an example of what i mean by selling to outcomes (from a previous newsletter.)
Most people already know they need to sell on outcomes, but hardly anyone does it.
Why?
Because it’s hard!
You have to nail the discovery. And if there’s one thing I’ve learned in my sales career it’s that all deals are won or lost in the discovery.
So here’s a little trick that’s helped me avoid “Closed_Lost”.
Objective Hierarchy
Not all goals are made equal. Let’s take Spendesk as an example. We sell corporate cards and expense management software.
Many finance people come to us because they have trouble chasing down their employee’s receipts at month-end.
Tactical goal: Capture over 90% of receipts on time
Chasing down receipts is a surface level problem. What’s important is what this prevents them from being able to achieve. At the team level, missing receipts means finance teams are unable to close the books in a timely fashion.
Team strategic goal: Close month-end in under 5 days
Closing the books quicker isn’t that important either though. What’s really important is WHY they need to close the books in such a short period of time. This is the strategic level objective.
Company strategic goal: Mitigate risk of regulatory fines
Many companies get audited. If regulators audit your company and find a bunch of transactions without receipts they may fine you.
Average salespeople, who sell on features, would highlight how much quicker or accurate their receipt capture functionality was compared to the competition.
Whereas A* Player salespeople would identify the strategic goal is to avoid regulatory fines and therefore craft a demonstration around this theme. Features act as sufficient proof that you can achieve the desired outcome, but it’s the outcome that matters, not the feature.
Link features to strategic goals
Your discovery calls should identify strategic goals.
When a prospect comes in saying “I want this feature”. Don’t just sit there and say “awesome - we got that!”…
Pause and ask them
  • why?
  • what goal are you trying to achieve?
  • why is that goal important to you?
  • what would happen if you couldn’t do that?
  • what’s the cost of inaction?
Once you have the strategic objective nailed you can then contextualize all of your product’s features by linking them back to that core objective.
❌ “We have the fastest, most accurate receipt capture software”
✅ “We are the only platform that helps you mitigate the risk of regulatory fines”
The reality is your prospect couldn’t care less about your product. Nor should they.
The only thing they care about is how it can help them achieve their goal. And when you sell to a strategic goal, it’s a hell of a lot easier to get the buy in from your key decision maker.
As I said in the title of this newsletter.
F*ck feature battles.
Sell to strategy.
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Alfie Marsh
Alfie Marsh @alfieisamarsh

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