The four R’s of selling more stuff
Technology companies are seeing their R&D budgets slashed as a result of current economic conditions. It’s a natural reaction to a slowdown in purchases of existing products. We get so enamored with new products we forget about the products that carried the company. With the next new thing on hold, it’s time to focus on products in the portfolio and make them relevant to buyers.
Products sell when they satisfy a need in the market that is urgent, pervasive and buyers are willing to pay. In good economic times this rule is relaxed because companies are flush with cash. In tough economic times the rule is absolute.
Your challenge is a direct result of a change in the buying environment. It has changed violently and you must respond to regain a position of relevance.
1. Reacquaint yourself with your buyers and their problems. Don’t fool yourself. Your buyer’s problems and priorities have changed. Get out into the market and find out. Talk with people. Don’t rely exclusively on industry reports and hearsay. If you were guessing at the problems you solve for buyers and who the buyers really are, now is the time to get back on track.
2. Revisit your product portfolio. Hopefully some of the products can solve problems that are urgent, pervasive and customers are will to pay for in today’s market. Focus on the products that have the most promise. Be prepared that this may shake the foundations of your core product beliefs.
3. Realign the products in the portfolio within your new understanding of your buyer’s problems. Re-position the products that can solve those urgent, pervasive problems that buyers are willing to pay for. Add incremental features to support the new positioning, if necessary. The goal isn’t to re-engineer the product. The goal is to repurpose it based on prevailing market conditions, and do it quickly.
4. Relaunch the repositioned products emphasizing buyer problems and how you solve them, not the features. Present a fresh perspective to your buyers and regain a position of relevance that well enable you to sell more stuff.
Instead of fretting over at you can’t do, focus on what you can. I’m not suggesting you put lipstick on a pig. That’s too transparent. There is value in your portfolio you can mine and repurpose to gain new revenue. It’s up to you to find the value and share it with your buyers.
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