Internal leadership may think their new or legacy solutions are the best thing since the invention of the wheel — but without external validation, there is little hard evidence to back up its investment and projected success.
External validation is necessary for due diligence of a solution strategy, its roadmap and the prioritization of execution initiatives. It will answer vital questions like:
- Does your market need it?
- Do they get and align with your strategy?
- Do they want it?
- How much will they pay for it?
- Is there something else they would need to incorporate before they can make use of your solution?
- Are they in denial of the issue this solution solves?
- What will it take to get them to see the benefits and possible rewards?
It may seem like an outlandish dream for any executive team as they are convening around a conference table, wondering about their solution’s viability in the market: “What if we could just ask our customers and prospects?”
Mereo’s client advisory board (CAB) approach and Mereo’s prospect decision maker advisory boards enable B2B selling organizations to do just that.
The Insight of the Client Advisory Board
With the Mereo CAB, your leadership team gains access to about a dozen or more hand-selected senior customers — typically the decision makers involved in setting business strategy or IT strategy — for direct face-to-face conversation, feedback and input.
Mereo helps selling organizations identify companies to invite as part of a CAB based on a number of high-value customer criteria, including:
- How the customer partnered through the buying process
- If the customer is utilizing your solution in a way that aligns to the strategy (e.g., not a one-off customer build)
- If the customer is leading edge in some area (e.g., scale, market thought leaders, technology leaders)
CAB meetings are typically a day and a half long in upscale settings that relay a high-level of gratitude and appreciation. The day and a half is highly structured with social time scheduled with senior company executives to optimize the value of everyone’s time.
Though CABs are not sales events and should never be prioritized as such, they present natural sales opportunities, because ultimately:
- These companies will be references
- These companies will emerge as early adopters
- These companies will become more attuned to solution breadth and often buy more as a result
CABs in Practice
When revenue growth had plateaued for Trillium Software, Mereo helped its leadership develop and implement a client advisory board initiative, from customer identification to invitations and meeting agenda and facilitations.
Trillium leadership met with their CABs in Chicago and London. In these two events, they not only learned that their messages and marketing were not communicating all the solutions and value Trillium has to offer but paved the way for direct and immediate action by the customer.
It turned out the majority of customers did not realize Trillium had been improving its software over the last few years, and once they heard what Trillium could now offer, the customers eagerly jumped on the solution and stopped seeking out other vendors. As a result, Trillium realized a massive bump in their fourth quarter and had a solid foundation for improved solution strategy into the future.
Learn more about how Mereo can help support your solution management strategy with greater insight, strategy and customer validation, and contact us to get started.