That’s Why I Bought It….The Art of Effective Feature Comparison

Authored bycascade

When a business buys a license for a piece on-premise software or a cloud service they may have a number of different reasons for making that purchase decision.

But only a few truly matter.

Sadly, many marketing, sales, and product engineering teams don’t take a “features that matter” approach to this type of competitive analysis.  In fact they start with what I call the phone book approach.  They start with feature A and move all the way through to feature Z.  All the while trying to determine whether one feature was more or less important than any other.

But this isn’t how customers decide.

Customers do look at features of course.  And they may list many features as “requirements” in RFP’s that they put out to technology vendors.  But in the final analysis, only a few truly matter.

  • RFP Features
    • These are the features you’ll find in the RFP that customers put out to potential vendors.
    • Somewhere around 50% of the features asked for in a given RFP will be implemented in the first 12 months that the customer has the solution in place.
    • The remaining 50% may be implemented later or never implemented at all.
  • Features That Matter
    • These are the features the customer is still using 6 months to 12 months post deployment.
    • These are the features that they have come to rely on, the features that have increased the productivity of the organization in some measurable way, etc.

The important thing to keep in mind is this.  When competing, you’re competing against the features that matter.  You aren’t competing against all the features the competitor mentions on their website, nor are you competing against all the features that customers say they desired in an RFP.

Check Out: Past episodes of our popular podcast – The B2B Market Research Podcast.
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