Compete On Value—Stand Out from the Pack

For today’s Microsoft Dynamics Partner, value is the name of the game.

Particularly from a sales and marketing perspective, everything a Partner does must deliver concrete value to prospects and customers to keep them engaged. Value is what we sell, pure and simple.

To succeed, the search for ways to add value must be continuous, and relentless—starting with, for instance, how we present ourselves to the market.

We don’t want our products to seem like a commodity. When they are, we end up competing on price rather than value. No one wins. One of the first rules of marketing is to break through the clutter; to say something different, to bring something new to the party—something of value to the prospect.

Another article this month “Know Your Competition” points out that this starts with defining who the real competition is. It’s not other Microsoft Partners, but other software publishers, the business solutions they offer, and the resellers who install and support them. Bottom line, it’s what makes you different from these players that counts, and the value that you add that they cannot.

Solid sales approach
Sometimes it’s our sales approach that sets us apart. While others are selling the bits and bytes of the technology itself, we can instead focus on delivering bottom-line operational and financial impacts. While some competitors pin their hopes on a “killer” product demo, we can instead build solid business cases for our solutions that get our projects funded because they have demonstrable value.

Domain expertise
Sometimes it’s our domain expertise that makes the difference. Knowing our customers’ businesses is a huge source of value to them. We speak their language. We don’t need to spend endless hours “learning” at their expense. Our solutions are automatically better tailored to their needs—and more cost-effective.

Implementation: Sure Step
Sometimes it’s how we position our implementation approach that hits home with prospects, particularly those who have suffered through failed installations in the past. As we all know, not all implementations succeed, and many prospects will initially view us and our claims with skepticism. Positioning Sure Step as a means to decrease project risk, speed implementation, and deliver higher quality business outcomes can counter that objection and give the prospect the confidence they need to proceed. Check out how to make the most of the Sure Step methodology from a pre-sales perspective.

Special offers
Special “cross-grade” offers can also be a way of taking on local competitors, and winning market share. Do regional biases exist among competitors such as Sage, Epicor, and Oracle that you can exploit as a way to incent their customers to switch to Microsoft Dynamics solutions? How can you make the migration to these products easy, painless, and risk-free?

Marketing approach
How we draw traffic to our website, and how we reward those visitors with easy access to relevant content can also be a source of value to prospects. Most of us instinctively believe that the way prospects explore their alternatives on the Internet involve “search strings” that include the product name. Most of the time, however, phrases like “Dynamics ERP” or “Dynamics NAV”, for instance, draw people who are lower-level technical resources rather than decision makers. The people with signing authority tend to search using less “technical” phrases; for example, “inventory control systems” in the case of manufacturers or distributors.

Assuming we pick the right keywords and pay-per-click ad-words to drive quality traffic to our site, what greets prospects when they arrive? Do we offer up content that adds value to their decision-making process, such as vertically-focused white papers, or are we simply handing out brochures with content customers could find elsewhere?

From initial contact with a prospect right through to signing the deal, value needs to be the name of our game as Microsoft Dynamics Partners.

Those who find and deliver that value truly stand out from the pack—and win.

Happy Selling!