Selling B2B Technology: Translate Features into Benefits

Here at Vidalico Digital we are specialised in helping B2B tech companies grow. Tech companies are often founded by knowledgeable, technically-competent engineers, developers or scientists. This combination ensures an amazing and advanced product or service that solves complex problems. An example is a company who developed sensors to reduce energy waste in buildings. Another example is in clean tech, where a company developed a solution to naturally remove chemicals left behind by antifreeze used on airplanes.

These are high tech solutions solving relevant problems, but they also have great market potential. One of the most interesting challenges when working with these companies is getting the messaging right. They fail to translate the technical expertise behind the product or service into a more digestible and coherent message that is also understandable and relevant to non-technical people. 

"IF WE BUILD IT THEY WILL COME" - Does not work anymore! 

You might ask yourself why this is important. In B2B business you are not selling to one particular person; you are selling to a whole company. When selling to a big company, most likely there is a whole chain of consumers or actors in the purchasing process. That means there are several different content consumers and decision makers you need to take into consideration and convince. Close up image human hand drawing circuit board

Entrepreneurs often assume that their ideal buyer is just like them; that they are as familiar with the basics of their industry as they are. Whether your product is an app, an industrial filter system or a bread slicer, the average prospect will only be interested in how your product or service can make their lives easier and not all of the technical details behind it. When creating your message, one could think you can focus on the end-user, who might be your peer, a fellow engineer or developer who has the same skills and technical understanding as you. For this person, you can give the technical information; how your product works, the technical details, how your product or service solves specific problems in their day-to-day life, and so forth. 

What other actors are at play in the purchasing process? That could be the purchasing department, the marketing department, the CEO or others who probably don’t have the relevant technical background to evaluate whether your product or service is better than the competitor.

How do you convince them to buy your product or service? 

You have to imagine the whole buying structure in the B2B company you’re selling to. That means you need to take everyone into consideration, from the influencer in the company to the gatekeeper (the one who answers your phone call) to the purchasing manager and the operations manager to the CEO and everyone else. Your message as a tech company has to be translated from the technical, detailed information to something much more clear and simple. 

This is what we specialise in, and we see great value in helping businesses, such as yours, with very valuable, technical products or services, translating your message into something that is understandable to everyone and makes people want to learn more.

Once you have a message that helps people understand the problem your product or service solves, then you will be able to reach those in need, the ones who want exactly what you are offering. Then you can address this segment who wants all the technical details, how it works, how it integrates with other systems and processes or automation in the factory, plant, network, cloud, etc. That is a different discussion, where you need your specialists and experts to deliver that knowledge and message.

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You have a website and launched your marketing activities and efforts. Additionally, you’ll also be exposing yourself to a number of media outlets. If you’re in cleantech, HR tech, mine tech or any other tech field, you’ll have a certain number of publications and magazines that you follow and in which ones you would like to be featured. All those magazines will not just appeal to technical people. You’ll want to appeal to a wider audience within your industry. 

This is one of the biggest challenges when it comes to marketing for most B2B tech companies. Often people within the company are so into the technology, product, or service they have developed, that they don’t understand or see why their message is not accepted and consumed by a wider audience. You might think you don’t need to talk to people who don’t understand your product or service, who don’t have the technical knowledge. 

5 steps to reach your buyers with relevant information

1. Know your audience

Understand their goals and challenges and address their concerns. Don’t forget more often than not the technical person is not the one approving the budget. Most of the time they are not the decision makers. In most cases the person you are talking to in technical terms is the end-user. That’s why you need to communicate to these other stakeholders, who are a crucial part of the buying and decision-making process, if you really want your product or service to solve problems on a bigger scale.

2. Don’t use jargon

Tell a story, evoke a sense of desire, and resonate with a pain point that your audience has. Give people a warm, "this product/service understands me" feeling. To be honest, there's nothing warm and fuzzy about technical jargon.

3. Explain your product/service with a story

Create a narrative around your product/service to showcase a problem your target audience has, and how your product can provide the solution. Emphasize the benefits, not the features. Use a secondary page/document for technical and scientific information to support your story. Ask someone else, who has no concept of the industry you are in and no technical background, read over your marketing materials and see if they can follow.

4. Use visuals: Images, infographics, videos

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Infographics can be especially effective in marketing materials and on the product page of your website. Use images, quotes and statistics in explaining your product, and its value in a positive and effective manner. Sometimes when it comes to marketing complex ideas to your customers, demonstrating how your product works can be more effective than explaining the science behind it. This is where videos can come in. Videos can go a long way in showing your audience how your product really works.

5. Measure 

The quality of your product or service isn’t the only factor that determines the level of success your company will achieve. You should measure the effectiveness of your marketing and sales efforts to find out what works, what doesn’t and where you need to make adjustments.

Is this relevant to you? If you want to learn more about the process of translating your technical expertise into an understandable, clear message, just book a call or send an email; we’re happy to help.

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