The Market Need
The markets that a company operates in have their own needs. A market need is where the companies who operate within that market are not served effectively by its existing suppliers and providers. This leads to opportunities for other companies to develop products and services to match those unmet needs.
If you understand the needs of the market, then you can begin to clearly identify the problems your customers have.
For example, in a business that sells payroll services. The market need is that all businesses are required to do payroll every week or month. The problem they solve is that businesses do not have the time or resources to do payroll efficiently and on time.
Identifying The Problem You Solve
A successful sales strategy is based on solving a particular problem that a business or consumer has. This problem will exist as part of the overall market need. It is a good idea to clearly identify the problem that you solve for companies operating in the market. This will help you better understand your place in the market and is a key step in differentiating yourself from the competition.
Understanding the difference between the market need, and identifying the customer problem that you solve is subtle, but important to understand.
Using the example of the payroll service, the company knows and understands the market need and the problem they solve for businesses. But why do those businesses in the market choose to work with them in particular? Is it because they have the lowest-cost? Is it because their customer support is best? Is it because they offer the highest quality in the market?
In many cases, there is a mismatch between what the company believes it is selling and what customers are actually paying for. For example, a company believing its competitive advantage is its lowest price may find after a survey that its major customers were buying because of their quick turn around and delivery. This reveals an opportunity to increase prices leading to increased profits.
This information will be vital in helping you to align your product or service with the needs of the market.
There are a number of service survey providers that offer free and paid plans to help you do this. You can simply sign up, design your questionnaire, upload the email addresses of contacts you wish to survey, and the software will track responses, analyse the results and provide you with a report.
It is often a good idea to offer an incentive to recipients, for example, a discount or free prize draw to complete the questionnaire as this leads to a much higher response rate and more valuable data
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A survey will reveal to you if your customers are buying from you for the reasons you believe, or otherwise. The feedback you receive will help you to better align your products or services with the needs and wants of the markets you serve.