In B2B sales, the Jobs-to-be-done framework is one of the best tools to qualify and discover if prospects are a match to your product or service.
The relationship between buyers and products is quite simple. They rarely care about the technicalities of the gadgets they are about to buy. On the contrary, they are interested in how that product or service is going to help them solve a specific problem.
When a customer buys a product or hires a service, it’s because they need to fulfil a certain need. When you buy a couch, it’s because you want to feel comfortable at home after a long day of work. When you buy a camera, it’s because you want to create memories. And when you buy a specific brand of carbonated water, it’s because you want to spend an awesome cocktail night with friends.
Customers are motivated by needs, and this might seem like an obvious assumption, but it is not. For years, marketing has focused its efforts on defining the buyer’s profile ‒attitude towards a certain product, lifestyle, social class, demographic and demographic criteria‒ in order to design products to suit them. However, a time came when marketers realised that customer attitudes required a more complex approach and very close attention. This is when the Jobs-to-be-Done (JBTD) framework was founded.
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The Jobs-to-be-Done framework or Jobs-to-be-Done theory focuses on which is the initial motivation of a buyer to make a purchase. It consists of a way of looking at the market through consumer needs. That is, customers have needs and tasks they need to complete, so they will look for a product or service that can help them do that. The JTBD framework analyses those ‘jobs’ to find a more effective marketing approach when selling a product or a service.
These insights on customer behaviour can be very beneficial to sales. When marketing efforts support sales in a way that nudges customers to move forward in the sales funnel, conversion rates increase immediately. This is called sales enablement, and the ultimate goal is to optimise efforts by reducing the number of potential customers in order not to waste time and resources.
B2B sales is a complex world, more so than B2C markets as more stakeholders are involved and more individuals are involved in the decision-making process. The key difference here is that in most cases within B2B sales, the person or department that decides whether or not to move forward with the purchase of a particular product or service is not the person or department that will make use of it. When this is the case, the ‘jobs’ of every party involved in the purchase have to be taken into consideration.
For example, if you sell a tool that streamlines operational tasks, as a business development representative (BDR) who has prepared for the sale, will have to consider the ‘jobs’ of employees in the operations department and the individuals making the buying decision. The former will care about your solution, the latter about the price and about reaching an agreement.
In B2B sales you will more likely have to take into consideration two personas: the one that will use your product or service and the one that will decide on buying it. As a BDR, you’ll have to identify the Jobs-to-be-Done of both of them and draft your message in accordance.
Something that can facilitate this is to have in mind who are the people that will interact at any point with your solutions and that are their jobs. An example is the technical department installing new hardware or software. Addressing those 'jobs' in your B2B sales approach shows that you have a customer 360 vision of their business. Remember that you want to show authority and competence.
To nail the Jobs-to-be-Done approach in your B2B sales strategy, as BDR, you need to be willing to dig deep. Interviewing potential customers and other individuals that operate in the field you are interested in is the most effective way to identify ‘jobs’ to target. Ask yourself how your prospects are performing at the moment, why they would be interested in a better solution and when is the right moment to reach out to them. After this research, you’ll come up with the product or service they need and the best way to reach out to them.
Don't be afraid to narrow your search and limit the number of potential customers. Investing time and effort in finding the right audience, even if it is a very small segment, ensures you will have a range of prospects with whom you can make a perfect match.
Once you have found a gap in the market and have a list of prospects you can reach out to, it’s time to identify the best opportunities.
Try to gauge how often your potential customers will need to use your product or service, their level of satisfaction with the solutions they have been using so far and find out if buying a solution to that Job-to-be-Done is a matter of urgency for them.
B2B Jobs-to-be-Done evolve, proliferate as technology develops and competence grows, are very specific and vary greatly depending on the field and business.
The Jobs-to-be-Done framework enables business development representatives in B2B sales to bring the product or service to the market and show it in the best possible light. So get ready to study the market, what your prospects need and which tasks they need an urgent solution for ‒even if they are not aware yet. Finally, make sure you get your B2B sales team involved to help map out the strategy. It’s essential that all the BDRs are on the same page and acknowledge the importance of implementing the same approach.
Building your sales action plan based on a market need that your customers need to solve allows you to identify the segments where to find the best opportunities, create new solutions to address those needs, and align your products or services with a clear market opportunity.