article | March 2, 2013
Win Themes – Where Your Offerings Meet Customer Wants
It is an efficient and memorable way to convey your offerings. The value in win themes is that they can become a powerful mantra. Effective mantras can span sales opportunities and resonate with the customers’ buying criteria. Connecting with customer priorities is what will make win themes the most successful.
Aligning win themes to customer priorities sounds easy enough. But don’t be fooled. We see constant misalignment due to poor planning, bad assumptions and weak customer insight. The intersection of your offerings and the customers’ wants – that is where you’ll find your win theme and a winning sales strategy.
In order to help you find this intersection, SBI created the Evaluation Criteria Matrix. Consider it your crystal ball into customer priorities.
Evaluation Criteria Matrix
The benefit of the Evaluation Criteria Matrix is that you complete it with the customer. Schedule a discovery meeting with the buyer. Request their input on the specific criteria which will be used on the project. During the meeting you present a partial list from the Evaluation Criteria Matrix. Ask if items on the list align with the customer’s thoughts. Request they provide more evaluation points and rate each on a scale of 1-5. From these ratings, you can then create your win theme. Utilize highest-rated criteria to discern where their needs intersect most with your offerings. That will be your win theme.
Creating a poignant win theme message is difficult to do. Not everyone can seamlessly connect with buyers. If it were simple, everyone would have a great win theme. As it is, most companies don’t. There are a number of ways to botch your win theme. Some of the main ones to watch out for are listed here for you.
Win Theme Pitfalls:
Win Theme Best Practices:
There are a few “tried and true” categories for win themes. These categories allow you to tap into root customer needs with your win theme. Review the list below and find the category(s) that fits your organization best.
If you want to improve your win ratio, Use the Evaluation Criteria Matrix to pinpoint your best win theme opportunity.
Win Theme Areas:
Last thought on win themes, remember, most purchasing decisions originate from the “left brain,” (aka: emotional centers of the brain). We will often use “right brain” analysis to justify “left brain” decisions. That said, it’s imperative to locate the heart of customer wants in your win themes. Once you do that, you can then interweave your themes seamlessly throughout your communication channels with the customer. This is where the customer’s priorities and your strengths intersect and interest is truly activated.
The main thing to remember: You don’t choose your win theme. Your customer does.