Just because you built it does not mean they will come

Most companies want to be known for their game-changing solutions. They want to serve their target buyers with value time and again. And here at Mereo, we think that goal is noble and that distinction between selling to “everyone” versus selling to the “right ones” is spot on.

Yet, I have witnessed chief product officers, chief executive officers and chief sales officers drive solution management and development by focusing on just “the one.” You know what I mean — that single client the sales team and/or another C-suite leader is excited about. Maybe this client has a big name or a buzz-worthy logo the company wants to slap on their website. And with one client to focus on, it is all that much easier to assess and define their needs to create a specific solution. So the company builds out a particular capability just for this one client.

Unlike fictional Iowa farmer Ray in Field of Dreams, who was guided by the famous “If you build it, he will come” guidance — just because you develop a solution that can serve one client does not mean it is well suited for your broader target. Sure “he will come” may be true for your single goal client. But then what? Is this the scale you are seeking? Is the monetary value worth it for all the research and development you will be investing? Is serving that one client more important than serving your broader buyer base?

“We want that logo on our client list” is not a feasible strategy for a business that strives to experience sustainable revenue performance.

What does work time and again in solution management is seeking input and feedback from a wide variety of individuals who fit the bill of your target buying audience. And at Mereo, we can help you achieve this by helping you form your own client advisory board (CAB) — one of the pillars to a scalable solution management approach.