The metaverse has the potential to impact everything from entertainment to learning, sales and marketing, employee engagement, customer experience, product innovation, and community building.
It may be revolutionary, and the most significant opportunity for growing your business over the next decade. Maybe, we just don't know yet. But the one thing we can say for sure is - it's real.
And if you are developing or considering a business strategy for capturing value in the metaverse, I'd like to share 5 prominent thoughts focused on selling the way your customer buys, and that can guide the initial iteration of your strategy, requiring you to be looking both inward and outward of the organization:
1. Focus on your value propositions
Continue transitioning from product-selling to a client-centric culture with value-selling in its DNA across the entire organization. Innovation has been traditionally under the scope of research and development, but it doesn't go far if you cannot arm your commercial engine with effective value propositions.
Crafting effective value propositions is a priority that often gets neglected because they are hard to nail down. It's the most introspective work a company must undertake that answers this fundamental question: Why should my ideal-client choose to be with me, hang out with me, or buy from me, rather than any of the other direct or indirect alternatives or competitors out there?
It can look like an easy answer, but most salespeople are still encouraged to be “me-centric” product-sellers. It’s paramount that you differentiate yourself on something no one else can compete with. Not price. Remember that someone else is always willing to make less money than you. Take value propositions seriously, invest in them properly, test them, involve your commercial teams, product development, and train all your people properly.
2. Aim for commercial convergence
Have you adjusted your selling process to the way your client buys and makes decisions yet? It's not enough to have diagrams of your client's lifecycle and the buying and decision-making processes in your Sales Plan. They should be shaping your sales process, not be independent or separate from it.
Most organizations are still trying to figure out a functional alignment between key commercial areas such as sales, marketing, and customer support, but the first visionaries and pioneers are already showing early successes re-structuring their organization to achieve some sort of commercial convergence and create frictionless client experiences. Buyers don’t want to see the inner workings of your organization so converging these areas, means aligning their strategies, streamlining execution and driving collaboration between them.
3. Aim for multi-threaded engagement
There isn’t a singular buying journey from your Buyer anymore, you have to identify and understand who are the multiple stakeholders involved in making decisions and buying within the client organization, know how each one interacts with you, your touchpoints, and how you can help them get to a consensus as they each travel down their own path of engagement with you.
Build the kind of multi-threaded engagement that connects, facilitates, and addresses the needs, across all stakeholders involved, concurrently, by anticipating what they want and how they want it, harmonizing, and personalizing your messages, using a flexible mix of human and digital resources, delivered with contextualized support.
4. Build a sales funnel that converts
Nobody knows for sure the power behind the metaverse, but it’s clear that it may mean you'll be interacting and competing in the most integrated, global, virtual-world stage ever known.
And I can foresee sales funnels continuing to underperform here too. There are no geographical advantages, so marketing your solutions in a place where machine learning and G4 analytics are the norm, beggars the question - how are you going to stand out from all the competitive white noise, and develop a next-generation funnel, powerful enough to maximize conversion?
Everyone wants to try and sell their product or service to as many people as possible, but you cannot create great new products by trying to boil the ocean. You need Situational Awareness - this is what elite companies focus on, what gives them agility - knowing what is going on around you, “seeing” things that others don’t, understanding your prospect’s situation, profile, wishes and wants, knowing that one-size-doesn't-fit-all, being able to read and react and then deploy the right game-plan to match new and existing scenarios appropriately.
5. Design for diversity
Are we witnessing a shift from social to societal? From tools that simply allow us to communicate to tools that emphasize relationships between people, places, and brands?
Companies must understand and embrace accessibility, diversity, and inclusivity, embrace the differences, peculiarities, expressions, likes and dislikes of all cultures potentially present, especially from your underrepresented markets.
Take a more equitable approach with your Campaigns. Research, partner, and work with those underrepresented communities to understand what resonates with them and validate what and how you design to cater for them in these virtual worlds. It will ultimately lead you to greater ROI.
Despite the enormity of the change that may be possible, certain sales fundamentals will remain unchanged: Sales success is still based on trust and how well you know the changing reality of your client. Sellers who make it are the ones who use technology well and in a virtual world, technology can be your biggest friend or foe. These companies will build on pillars of strong situational awareness, knowing their customer well, not to use this information as spam machine-gun but to convert it into sales intelligence, reaching out with tailored, personalized messages.
They will also build for diversity. They will embrace underrepresented markets, shaping experiences that reduce inequity, encourage greater social cohesion, and widen access to education.
They will be efficient at capturing METAMIND, what I’m calling the new ‘mindshare’ of your customers on the metaverse. When your client thinks about where they want to hang out, where they can find answers, they think of you.
But this place shouldn't substitute the real world or the in-person connections that make us human and bring us together. Instead it should complement the great things we do and expand our range of experiences. Until then, Sell with Value.