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SELL THE DIFFERENCE: Establishing your Unique Solution Value

The Enduring Relevance of "Crossing the Chasm"

Posted by Bob Apollo on Thu 26-Oct-2017

With over a million copies sold, Geoffrey Moore’s “Crossing the Chasm” guide to marketing and selling disruptive products to mainstream customers is still one of the must-read books for B2B-focused sales and marketing leaders.

One of Inc. magazine’s Top 10 Marketing Books of All Time, its core principles are still enduringly relevant, more than 20 years after its first publication. Now in its third edition, it has of course been regularly revised to reflect the realities of modern high-tech marketing.

For me, the core of the book has always been its simple but effective framework for establishing a compelling and clearly differentiated value proposition, and I’d like to share some of the lessons I’ve learned in reinterpreting Moore’s format for a contemporary audience…

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When demographics aren’t enough: how to identify your ideal customers

Posted by Bob Apollo on Thu 22-Sep-2016

Traditional market segmentation is usually based around the core demographic attributes of company size, sector and location: for example, we might choose to target medical equipment companies turning over £100-250m located in the South East of England.

But, as many sales organisations have learned, this simple approach to segmentation really only scratches the surface, and tells us very little about whether any individual organisation is likely to be a prospect from our solution now or at any time in the future.

That’s because demographics are only really useful for defining populations - our potential target universe - but are a wholly inadequate way of identifying markets...

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What we’ve got here is failure to differentiate…

Posted by Bob Apollo on Tue 13-Sep-2016

Let’s face it, establishing a distinctive, differentiated position for our products and services is hard and getting harder in an increasingly crowded, over-communicated-to market. It’s probably accurate to say that it’s never been harder to stand out from the crowd.

Geoffrey Moore recognised the problem in “Crossing the Chasm” more than 20 years ago - a book that has been recognised as one of the few timeless classic texts on B2B marketing. Moore offered a simple framework for crafting a unique and relevant value proposition targeted at a well-defined audience.

But in today’s hyper-competitive world, I’ve found that it’s worth expanding Moore’s original framework just a bit to ensure that we’re capturing the raw insights we need to craft compelling communications and conversations…

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Today is D-Day: drawing parallels with Crossing the Chasm

Posted by Bob Apollo on Fri 6-Jun-2014

70 years ago, on the 6th June 1944, the largest seaborne invasion in history assembled off the Normandy coast in the first critical step in freeing Western Europe from the yoke of enemy occupation.

As we know, the exercise succeeded in creating a bridgehead that provided the jumping-off point for the progressive expansion into adjacent territory. Success was not guaranteed. The Allies failed to achieve all their day one objectives. But they managed to establish enough of a defensible position from which they could expand.

Now, I’m not the first person to draw a comparison between how companies can progressively develop leadership positions in their market place and Operation Overlord - Geoffrey Moore uses the analogy in “Crossing the Chasm”. But I thought that today might offer the opportunity to review the parallels.

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Crossing the Chasm - moving up through the gears

Posted by Bob Apollo on Tue 15-Apr-2014

One of a series of articles celebrating the lasting impact of “Crossing the Chasm”

It’s more than 20 years since Geoffrey Moore published the first edition of “Crossing the Chasm”. Since then, it has become a classic, and has cemented its position as the one must-have book that every B2B technology marketer needs to have read.

I’ve been applying the principles since 1991 - the year in which the book was first published - and the timelessness of the core concept is striking. But the world has moved on in a number of significant respects, and the recently published 3rd edition reflects this.

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Neil Rackham really wanted us all to be SPIV sales people

Posted by Bob Apollo on Thu 10-Apr-2014

One of a series of articles celebrating the continuing relevance of SPIN Selling

I had the chance to listen to Neil Rackham, creator of the best-selling SPIN Selling, at the Portsmouth Business School a couple of weeks ago. He proved an extremely engaging speaker - and he shared a closely-guarded secret: SPIN Selling should really have been SPIV selling.

For those of you unfamiliar with SPIN Selling, the four-letter acronym stands for Situational, Problem, Implication and Need-Payoff questions. It resulted from years of research into the winning questioning habits of top-performing sales people.

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Crossing the Chasm and the mitigation of risk

Posted by Bob Apollo on Wed 29-Jan-2014

When Geoffrey Moore’s “Crossing the Chasm” first appeared 20 years ago it became an instant hit and an inspiration to successive generations of technology marketers. In fact, I can’t think of any single book that has had a more powerful (or, in the early days, disruptive) impact on how I think about taking technology products to market.

Moore explained that the adoption curve for new technologies is marked by a profound disruption in customer behaviour between early adopters and the pragmatic buyers that represent the vast majority (and all of the profits) in most B2B markets.

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It’s hard to Cross the Chasm if you don’t know where you plan to land

Posted by Bob Apollo on Mon 28-Jan-2013

Addressing the challenge of how to “Cross the Chasm” that separates early adopters from mainstream markets has become a critical rite of passage for almost every expansion-stage technology-based business.

First popularised by Geoffrey Moore in the book of the same name, “Crossing the Chasm” is an interpretation of the technology adoption cycle that refers to the profound changes in buying behaviour that can be observed between the minority of early-adopter technology enthusiasts and those mainstream pragmatic buyers that represent the potentially far-more-profitable majority of almost every market.

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The 8 Points Your Elevator Pitch MUST Address

Posted by Bob Apollo on Thu 22-Mar-2012

How can you simply and succinctly explain what you do to a potential prospect or other interested party, and make them want to learn more? How can you ensure that your story is consistently communicated in every marketing message and in every sales conversation? The key is to make the story simple and uncomplicated - the sort of story that can be laid out in three short sentences and told in the time it takes to ride in an elevator (or a lift, to us Brits).

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Why B2B Marketers Need to Stop Claiming That Their Solution is Better

Posted by Bob Apollo on Thu 15-Mar-2012

“Our Solution is Better”. It’s a claim made by many B2B technology marketers, based on a perceived feature set advantage. Maybe their offering has a faster processor, uses the latest chipset, or has more memory, or greater functionality. Similar claims are made about software. But any advantages are inevitably going to be transient as competing vendors leapfrog each other in the feature/function war.

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