Demand-Side Sales 101: Stop Selling and Help Your Customers Make Progress by Bob Moesta & Greg Engle

Bob Moesta is the CEO & Founder of the Re-Wired Group. He holds degrees from World-Class universities such as Harvard, Stanford & Michigan State University. He founded & sold several startups & helped shape thousands of products.

Along with Harvard Business School Professor Clayton Christensen, He helped shape the infamous Jobs To Be Done Theory, which led to a new way of thinking about your product.

With Re-Wired Co-Founder Greg Engle, they wrote Demand-Side Sales 101. A great book for product people that pushes into into the buyer’s worldview, & take a step back from the initial perspective of your product.

Let's dive into this insightful method on this #ContentReview!

Bob Moesta

What is Demand-Side Sales?

Fortunately, it’s already in the title: Put yourself at your buyers’ side. Trying to understand what they want to achieve is the core of this process. A contrario, most businesses shape a great product, but push it on a supply-side: “My product is the best out of every other because it has these features”.

“Great salespeople don't sell; they help. They listen, understand what you want to achieve, and help you achieve it.”

Therefore, your product or service shouldn’t exist because it’s the best on the market, but is here to help your customer make progress on the journey they are in (in other words, the job they want to be done).

Going further into the JTBD timeline, Demand Side Sales is the business view of the initial framework. Your customers will buy because your product will help them make progress toward their goal. 

What’s holding customers back when making the decision to buy a product is anxiety. For example, the pricing may be too high, or the competition is too fierce. It's important to keep in mind that certainty permits people to make buying decisions, whereas anxiety holds them back.

“Nobody wants to be sold to, but everybody wants to buy.”

Demand-Side sales teach you that customers buy on their terms. You don’t convince them to do anything; they convince themselves. It's about discovering what causes people to implement new things into their lives. It's about flipping the lens from pushing a product and its features to creating a pull for a solution in people’s lives.

The buyer motivation is what you should focus on when interviewing your customers. You need to make your interviews meaningful by digging deeper into their words. The book tells you not to accept answers such as “I regularly buy bread because I like it”. “liking” is simply an excuse for not knowing why, or any other product they would buy instead.

The main focus is to see the word through their eyes. It’s not about why they would prefer your product, but what progress could they achieve better with yours rather than another. What creates a good strategy for your product is selling it because it solves a problem to your customer, rather than simply being a great product.

“Finding the struggling moments and figuring out where and when people want to make progress in their lives is what Demand-Side Innovation is all about.”

At the end of the day, the Demand-Side sales process is about devoting yourself to your customer, because if there wasn’t any struggle in peoples’ lives, there would be no demand. As product people, implementing more & more features customers will love is the main focus. But asking oneself about whether or not the overall journey your product will embark your users is the one they want to follow.

This book is definitely a must-read for any product manager looking to dive deeper into their customers' mind & how to ask themselves (& their customers) the right questions. This is how outstanding products are made.

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