Participating in deal reviews, I often ask the question, “How do we win?”

The answers are always similar:

  • “We have to show how our product/technology/solution is better than the competition.”
  • “We have to meet or beat the competitors’ prices”
  • “We have to build support across the organization showing them how our solution is the best.”
  • “We have to sweeten the deal in some way.”
  • “We have to get in front of the key decisionmakers and show how we are the best solution.”
  • “We have to leverage our references, telling the customer how great we are.”
  • “We have to get our top execs calling on the top execs at the customer.”
  • “We have to……..”

Usually, the answers focus on us, our product, and our company. They seldom focus on the customer–and how we help the customer.

But we have to earn the right to win–and this seldom is about product superiority. The reality is any solution on the customer short-list will probably solve the customer problem. So continuing to focus on product superiority, isn’t helpful in earning the win. Focusing on how we beat the competition isn’t useful.

Winning is really about helping our customer win!

Winning is about creating value with our customers. It’s about helping them identify opportunities to learn, innovate, change, and improve. It’s about helping them navigate their buying process. It’s about helping them make sense of the issues they face, and to identify the information most useful to achieving their goals. It’s about helping them understand and manage their change process.

Too often, our “win strategies,” focus on what we do to our customers. Instead, we win by what we do with our customers, standing out from everything else.