Joe Mattioli, Co-Founder, Chief Planning and Strategy Officer at Xfactor.io has a few takeaways to help sales and communication teams build better messaging around their product and service:
Welcome to this SalesTechStar chat Joe, tell us about XFactor.io
At XFactor.io, we help organizations overcome some of the biggest challenges they face with scaling and go-to-market planning. Our platform features a proprietary AI model, MIKEY, which enables companies to make revenue-based decisions at scale by providing the data and insight needed to make faster, more informed decisions.
Earlier this year, we acquired DecisionLink, a leading secure, SaaS-based customer value management solutions company. By integrating DecisionLink and XFactor.io’s capabilities, we’re helping our customers gain critical visibility into their sales process with valuable data and insights. We combine data under one platform to help customers communicate the business impact of technology solutions.
How can go to market teams/B2B teams use innovative methods to introduce and communicate more effectively about their products/core offerings with impact in a crowded market?
Today, every purchasing decision and renewal is under scrutiny. Companies want to look profitable and economic uncertainty has made buyers even more careful about how they choose to spend their technology budgets. To give your product the best chance of making the cut, ensure that it helps customers solve current problems or prevent future ones. The best way to do this is through value-based selling, where teams communicate the full value that their products offer and how they will positively impact their customers’ business now and in the future.
Compared to other selling methods, value-based selling can require more research and time spent with prospects to demonstrate value, but it will enable teams to break through a crowded market and build long lasting relationships with customers. To get started with value-based selling, teams must develop an effective framework that everyone involved in the sales process is aware of and able to activate on. When building this framework, it’s important to understand your unique selling point and how to integrate it into selling strategy. Another important element to this is having a holistic view of your prospective buyer or customer—especially, their needs and pain points, as well as, who the decision-makers are. This arms sellers with the information needed to determine the most effective methods for demonstrating value.
With value-based selling, prospects no longer feel like they are just being sold a product. Instead, they understand that you care for them and are dedicated to making them succeed.
In a market where sales can sometimes be hitting a blank wall due to digital noise, what do you feel can help to break through?
While most companies think they need to come up with unique or innovative ways to break through the market and reach customers, it can actually be fairly simple. Focus on communicating your product’s value. It sounds obvious, but many companies don’t know how to effectively communicate the value that they’re offering to customers with their products. Instead, they focus on showcasing product features and capabilities, which may work some of the time, but the executives and leaders that are determining tech investments are more concerned with the end results, rather than how the capabilities will help them get there. Tech buyers may be asked to explain or defend some of their decision-making, and sellers can help with this by arming them with the knowledge of how their product will lead to better results for the company’s bottom line, operations, etc.
When it comes to the key selling concepts and strategies that work best in B2B tech: what would you say the top 3 are given your recent observations?
The most successful modern-day selling tactics all center around conveying value. Despite the current hype around AI and other new technologies, the top concern for all companies remains the bottom line. Many technology sellers get stuck focusing on the features, but it’s much harder to articulate the financial impact of features over a longer period of time. Technology buyers are more focused on how a new product will impact their business and particularly how it will help them move the needle financially. Teams that are able to communicate that value in a concise, articulate way are going to find the most success.
A key component of this is training. I’ve observed that some companies don’t take the time to adequately train sales staff at all levels — meaning providing them with the knowledge, tools and awareness to ensure they are communicating value through all stages of the sales process. Anyone that’s involved with selling your company’s product should be able to engage with prospects or customers in a way that properly demonstrates your product’s value. I’ve also found that it helps to shorten the sales process as much as possible. By bringing value in as early as possible, teams can offer a streamlined sales process that more rapidly converts prospects to customers.
If there were four things you could change about the state of B2B sales, what would they be?
1. Increased visibility into the entire sales process.
Most companies work hard to develop a sales process but they don’t always have full visibility across each stage. Increased communication and insights that come from real-time data can be extremely helpful for teams as they determine which tactics work well and which tactics could use revisiting.
2. Add the value proposition to the beginning stages of sales tactics, rather than the end.
When value isn’t part of initial interactions, it can lead to a disjointed sales process. By demonstrating value from the beginning, teams can shorten the time from initial conversations with prospects to buying decisions.
3. Effective communication of long term value – not just short term solutions.
Although it’s sometimes necessary to focus on short-term solutions, ideally, most companies are making purchasing decisions based on what will be best for the long-term health of the business. Decision-makers and leaders benefit when sellers are able to supply them with solutions that will provide value over time. Sometimes it’s as simple as communicating that value to customers in a way that they can easily relay it to other members of their team for them to become loyal customers and partners.
4. More robust training, at all levels.
It’s not enough to just understand the features that your products offer. From executives to the most junior sales representatives, everyone that’s involved in the sales process should be able to effectively communicate product value including how it can positively impact a prospect’s bottom line.
XFactor.io is revolutionizing traditional go-to-market strategy and execution by transforming the annual operating plan into an always-operating plan. Evolving alongside changing markets and competitive conditions, XFactor.io’s real-time, data-driven go-to-market platform intelligently guides organizations with the strategies that put their teams in the best position to make critical decisions. With AI-powered modeling, and an on-demand council of industry experts, XFactor.io drives more intelligent go-to-market decisions that mitigate risks and increase bottom-line value. XFactor.io was founded by world-renowned business leaders and is funded by Lightspeed Venture Partners.
Joe is co-founder and chief planning and strategy officer at XFactor.io. He has been part of two multibillion dollar IPOs including Proofpoint (8 years) and CrowdStrike (6 years), having successfully built hyper-growth global sales and SDR teams across ten global offices. After managing acquired companies as head of emerging technology during his last year at CrowdStrike, he went on to become CRO of an Israeli startup, Axis Security, where he revamped the go-to-market strategy and prepared them for hypergrowth. Joe’s success has come largely due to perfecting go-to-market planning and execution at every stage of growth across segments.
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