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Looking For Revenue in All the Wrong Places

My Dad loves telling the story about the guy who was on his hands and knees looking for his contact lenses one night under a street lamp. When a stranger asks exactly where he lost the lenses so he can help, the man says about three blocks away. “Why are you looking here, then?” the suddenly confused stranger asks. “Oh, the light is better here,” the man replies.

It seems like such a far-fetched story, until we realize that companies who are looking to increase revenue do this all the time. How often do companies develop new products or services with great benefits, but not for the right target audience? These are usually benefits that the targeted audience considers a “nice to have”, but not a “need to have.”

In order to make the sale (find the contact lenses in the story), companies need to make sure their product (contact lenses) has real value, and is targeted at the right audience (street corner with light).

Incorrect targeting often happens because the product benefit is truly a “need to have” for one target audience, but that target audience does not have the power or clout in the organization to convince the person who can make the decision/write the check that it is a “need to have” for the organization. Products targeting children often have to confront this dilemma as parents usually control the credit card!

I have a client who recently ran into this exact problem with a SAAS (software as a service) product they had developed. They were selling the product into large conglomerates with many constituencies and the product was most certainly a “need to have” for a number of the departments within the conglomerate. Leaders in those departments advocated strongly within their company to purchase the technology. Nevertheless, my client was not getting any sales.

The problem was that they focusing on the wrong target audience with their product benefits. While the department leaders were an important part of the decision-making process, they were not the decision-makers.

We did the research to identify the decision-maker, find out the decision-maker’s needs (which were actually quite different than the needs of the other departments and constituencies), and demonstrated why this product was a “need to have” for the decision-maker, too. The decision-maker agreed. The result – we closed our first large six-figure deal last month.

Sometimes, the answer to increasing revenue is a very simple equation:

“Need to have” value proposition + right target audience = More Revenue

Looking for additional revenue under that light is going to give you the results you want!

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