For our November Webinar, Peyton Marshall shared strategies for designing packaged product and service offerings based on customer value. To conclude the webinar, he answered some questions from the audience. Here are his live answers:
Where do you start when evaluating a packaging strategy? How do you embed offer design in your current product development and product management practices?
You can miss so much if it’s just knee-jerk simplification. Start with value. Values comes from the C-Suite. Value is when the CEO is presenting to Wall Street based on a new product being offered, based on its value. Value is when product managers are routinely challenged in their product launch disciplines about what value they create and what their value based segments are. Value is when product managers are challenged in their discipline.
So really we would urge you start with value. If you start early enough, then you’re moving forward so that your understanding of your customer is moving to “how can I prove out my value at the I launch or for next year?” But it’s also moving to what the differences are between customers and their value based segments. And that begins to get you to some of the elements we saw in terms of segmenting and realizing synergies; segmenting and thinking about price measures.
What stakeholder objections come up when packaging is introduced? How do you get value into the offer design discussions?
Well, not to be too blunt, but the post-merger example is pretty clear. It’s about turf. And unfortunately that can be about throwing a couple product managers together and nobody really knows which one ends up [being implemented]. With naturally packaged solutions, meaning that where you once had two product managers or one product manager and one service manager, there’s only room for one, thriving overall strategy.
So put that aside because it’s a standard post-merger issue. I think the other objections that come up are really the ones that we highlighted earlier in the presentation. They are attitudinal, they’re about thinking of this as just adding up in a shopping cart or there about having specific attitudes that a package is a black box that you use not to collaborate with customers, but to deceive customers. So you’ve got to combat those attitudes all the time. And getting to that objective, understanding of value can be really important as a way to combat that.
There has been a fair amount of discussion today about the design of packaged offerings. What is the best way to execute on packaged offerings from a sales perspective?
Align your collateral with the focus packages. I do think this deliberate decision about what the strategic packages are is a really important one that helps you then think about what the supporting evidence and what the natural issues are. So if your collateral starts off in line with the packages, then your training moves that way. And as your training moves that way, it’s also really natural to say what’s the right way to have a specific conversation with a specific customer. That’s the value proposition. So at the end of the day, your value proposition is the basis for effective packaged sale.
What are some real-world examples of B2B companies transforming their business with an improved offer design strategy?
Yeah, it’s happening all around us. It’s disruptive solutions. It’s services companies that buy software companies. It’s software companies that are developing services to achieve customer success. It’s packaged solutions in healthcare where a surgical suite may be supported with the whole solution rather than single products, single instruments, or single implantable devices. So I think it’s everywhere and I think we’re going to see more of it.