Features versus Benefits: What’s Your Way of Identifying Right Solution?

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Technological disruption has made print software businesses to be more equipped with latest advancements, more upgrades, features, and be compatibility with the established technological stack. Amidst all these, technology has also made easy for buyers to review and understand features. Isn’t it great, printers can review features and easily find out which solution will work for them?

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Still many printers failed to extract the maximum out of their web to print investments. The answer is because they started reverse engineering to zero down to the solution of the problem, rather than evaluating the problem first. The business challenges can vary from business to business and thus, be selecting right software is not the solution but defining problem statement is the first and foremost requirement.

A web to print solution can solve a lot of challenges for business but same challenges cannot be applicable to each business. For instance, printing businesses with large volume orders need extensive reporting capabilities and in-built print automation for sorting of print orders. Another business must be struggling with low sales and need to boost their business volumes. Both the problems can be tackled by web to print. The first one needs to focus on features of web to print and their reporting capabilities whereas the second problem needs more of an adaptive approach to add one more business channel and ability to utilize it to make most of their investments.
Print software buyers step in the market with self – identified solutions of their business problems like Web to Print, Artwork Management Software, Print MIS and so on. With these self -defined solutions vendors try to present more and more number of features to the printing businesses. The number of features can never reveal whether they are going to solve the business challenges for the printers. In this whole scenario there are few things both buyers and software sellers need to consider to make winning software solve business problems –

For Printers –

Printing businesses need to start looking for the problem and then start approaching technological vendors for Request for Quote (RFQ) based on business challenges being solved rather than software features. If you got to technology provider looking for web to print or print automation solution, the only thing they left with is to present the features to you of the product/software. Whereas the success of technology also depends on your capability and team to inculcate in the right way into your business.

Printers are expert of their business and thus a bias come into picture, where they tend to assume solutions of problems on their own. The solution quadrant is to be filled by potential vendor and problem quadrant is the one that needs more focus of printers. As a next step after identifying solution for the problem quadrant and balancing them, printers need to be focused on implementation of solutions and adoption of them in different business teams.

Understanding in and out of business, operations, processes and current technology setup gives an immediate stimuli to assess technology. While assessing different technologies/solutions, most lucrative features tend to attract attention and instead of problem, focus goes on solution and its features and thus, implementation fails.

Summing up, print vendors should love their problems more than loving technologies and evaluate software based on solutions than the features.

For Software Businesses –

Every potential customer or present customer is looking for a solution to their problem not a solution brochure filled with features and technological specifications. Software companies need to understand that increase in features while creating a product doesn’t increase its chance of more sales. Rather any solution with limited features solving business challenge is more lucrative to the customers.

Technology has shifted buying powers in hands of customers and thus, they have an overview of all solutions available in the market.

The idea of solution selling is one way of creating difference than other me-too solutions available in the market. Customer wants to eliminate business challenges, operate more profitable business and retain customers and make their processes more efficient. The point of difference that is paramount is; relevance to product buyers, their business challenges and revenue generation. The question is what can help them to build this point of differentiation.

The second point of difference is helping customers understand their unrecognized needs. This is possible when technology can be amalgamated with business perspective and helping them adopt solution in their team and day-to-day printing operations. Being a part of solution selling, print software vendors can help printers realize their unrecognized needs and solutions for them.

Understanding and loving customer’s problem is one important step to able to find out unrecognized needs of customers and tackling them by providing the best solution not software with unused features. The more specific solution you provide to the business challenge, the clearer your customer segmentation be and product adoption also become easily for them.

A better experiment to start off this exercise is interviewing your customers and understand their challenges from business point of view. After that try and revise your RFQ processes and make them more targeted towards solving printing challenges, supplemented by features.

CONCLUSION
Software companies should focus on benefits of products and then devise features. Technologies are meant to solve specific challenges like getting more business, capturing data to be more data-driven businesses, improving customer satisfaction and none of them are meant to compete against fifty odd features. It’s all about solving customer problem within specific time and budget.

Whereas printing businesses need to understand their problems better rather than comparing products and analyzing features. The success of business depends on how well your business adapt to the new technology and how your customers start using it. Investing in software with hundred features and not using even half of them is waste of money, time and efforts altogether.

To summarize printers should fall in love with their problems and evaluate solution based on specific problem or major challenge they are going to solve than their features.Printers must take an account of their industry and competitors whereas software vendors should do insight selling by understanding new B2B selling landscape.

After all, the one thing that matters for your customers is better to print and for software businesses, more customer satisfaction.

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