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There is a famous saying by Theodore Levitt, a marketing professor at Harvard Business School that goes like this:
“People who buy drills aren’t actually those who want drills. They are the ones who want holes.”
In the same way, Clayton Christensen of Harvard Business School says “People aren’t buying your products, they’re hiring your product to get a job done.”
The idea of Jobs-To-Be-Done (JTBD), which has been gaining popularity among salespeople, hinges on this essential principle.
The truth is that neither the product specifications nor the “ideal customer profile” (ICP) do not capture the attention of most consumers. What really matters to them is the Job-to-be-done, the task they seek to accomplish. They look for products that can assist them in fulfilling that need. In essence, their relationship with a product is straightforward and goal-oriented.
What is Jobs-To-Be-Done?
The Jobs To Be Done framework provides a unique perspective on various aspects of the market, such as buyers, innovation, competition, needs, products, and services. Rather than focusing on the product itself, JTBD shifts the attention to the specific purposes that it should serve.
This approach helps businesses better understand the underlying motivations and desires of their customers, allowing them to create solutions that are more tailored and effective.
Tony Ulwick, widely considered the pioneer of the Jobs-To-Be-Done theory, has outlined the fundamental tenets of this innovative approach.
· At the heart of JTBD theory is the understanding that the primary unit of analysis is not the customer or the product, but the essential functional “job” that the customer needs to accomplish.
· Markets are defined as a group of people striving to achieve a common objective, with customers being job executors rather than mere buyers.
· Needs are viewed as the measures that customers use to gauge success in getting a job done.
· Competitors are not just companies that offer similar products, but any solution that can be used to complete the same job.
· Finally, customer segments are defined based on how customers experience difficulties in getting a job done.
How Jobs Theory Can Power Better Sales Enablement
Effective sales and marketing go hand in hand, but the key to their success lies in sales enablement. Sales enablement is a process in which marketing equips sales teams with the necessary insights and resources to improve their performance. The Jobs to be Done framework offers a unique approach to boosting sales enablement efforts in two key ways.
Firstly, it refocuses marketing efforts on the core functional job that a product is designed to fulfill. This way, sales teams can better understand the specific needs of their prospects and present a product that can effectively provide a solution. Instead of targeting a broad ideal customer profile, this approach allows sales to address their leads’ unique pain points and adapt their strategy as needed.
Secondly, by identifying the real job customers want to get done, sales teams can better position their product against its true competition – not just other similar products, but any solution that could fulfill the same job. By understanding these options, sales can more effectively demonstrate the value of their product relative to its alternatives.
In short, simply understanding customer personas is not enough. The Jobs to be Done framework offers a more comprehensive approach to sales enablement by helping marketers and sales teams target the real needs of their prospects and adapt their strategies to meet their specific pain points. With this approach, sales and marketing can work in harmony to create magic.
Jobs-to-Be-Done in B2B Sales: Multiplying the Whys
Although Jobs-to-Be-Done is usually associated with B2C and D2C sales scenarios, it is equally valuable for B2B sales. However, B2B sales can be more complicated as the distinction between the customer and the end user is often unclear.
In B2B sales, there are usually multiple stakeholders involved in the sales cycle, each with their own job-to-be-done. Therefore, it’s crucial to understand and tap into the needs and pain points of each stakeholder throughout the sales cycle.
Gartner, a prominent research and advisory firm, has conducted extensive research and produced insightful content on the topic of Jobs-To-Be-Done. According to their findings, there are six essential jobs that buyers need to complete before they can make a purchasing decision.
Image Source – Gartner
By equipping your sales team with a comprehensive JTBD map of your buyer’s world, you can help them engage with different stakeholders effectively and guide them through completing their jobs, resulting in a smoother decision-making process.
On the seller’s side, JTBD can also be used to identify the tasks that need to be completed by your sales team, allowing you to assign them appropriately and ensure that everything is in place for the successful onboarding of new customers.
Adopting the JTBD framework in this way can shift your focus from simply promoting products and solutions to actually helping your customers get what they need.
This can help differentiate your brand from others in your industry, not based solely on product features, but on the way you sell and provide value to your customers.
JTBD in Practice: A Real-Life Example
Let’s take the example of a B2B SaaS company offering access to a platform that enables businesses to purchase digital gift cards for their employees or customers. In this scenario, each persona within the same B2B client has a distinct job-to-be-done and specific goals to achieve.
· The CMO/Director of Acquisition‘s job-to-be-done is to incentivize prospects at critical buying stages using gift cards, while the HR Director aims to enhance employee well-being and drive productivity.
· The Head of Customer Support‘s goal is to increase customer retention.
· The Finance Director’s objective is to balance business requests with budgetary demands to achieve overall profitability.
It’s important to note that each persona has alternative ways to fulfill their needs and complete their job-to-be-done. For example, HR may opt for an outing or free financial advice to enhance employee well-being, and the Head of Customer Support might opt for an alternative tool for customer support to increase retention. Competitors can arise from these alternative options.
By leveraging jobs theory, you can uncover hidden competitors and create compelling strategies that help your sales team get to know the “WHYs” and effectively convert potential customers.
Jobs theory can be a game-changer for your sales team. It can give them the competitive edge to demonstrate your product or service in the most effective way possible. You need to encourage your sales team to actively participate in exploring and defining the end goals for each stakeholder involved in the buying cycle.
With a clear understanding of each persona’s needs, your sales team can guide them through the process of completing their jobs to be done, resulting in higher conversion rates.
Transform your B2B sales game with JTBD framework. Unleash success and outshine your competition. Schedule a consultation now!