The Transformative Power of the 3 Whys

The ‘3 Whys’ helps you think through the whole buyer journey, ensuring you create marketing and sales touch-points that mirror the prospect’s path from being unaware of a problem through to becoming your latest client.

The Transformative Power of the 3 Whys

The ‘3 Whys’ is a wonderfully simple yet powerful model for revenue teams - because it’s buyer-centric and works across all teams and stages.

It helps you think through the whole buyer journey, ensuring you create marketing and sales touch-points that mirror the prospect’s path from being unaware of a problem through to becoming your latest client.

Here’s how it works.

You can see the ‘3 Whys’ that everything else is built around in the 3rd column.

So what are the ‘3 Whys?’

They’re critical questions a prospect needs to answer in order for them to progress from one step of the journey to the next, leading towards a purchase - or any change in behaviour.

If someone is going to buy new software from you, then you need to be able to articulate:

Why Change?

Why should they consider changing what they’re currently doing? What possible good reason would they have for going through that effort?

Then if you convince them there’s merit to making a change, you need to answer the next question:

Why Now?

Why should they do anything about it now, versus waiting until some unspecified time in the future? Sure, they can see the potential benefit, but it's hardly ‘hair on fire’ important, is it?

Why You?

And finally if you can convince them sooner is better than later, they’ll still ask why they should choose you, and not any number of other viable alternatives (some which you may not consider direct competitors).

A simple way to think about this is in a non-business context.

Imagine Tim, who’s gotten a little out of shape over the years sees a public service announcement about the dangers of obesity. The model in the advert looks quite similar to Tim and he has noticed he’s getting out of breath going up the stairs these days.

Suddenly he’s aware of a potential problem, but life goes on, he’s got a busy life and he quickly forgets about doing anything about the issue. But the niggle is there.

So he asks a good friend if he should give it more attention, and Roger tells him the tale of Bob’s untimely demise leaving behind a young family; and he was similar age and lifestyle to Tim to boot.

Now the implication of not acting is viscerally understood by Tim, he’s determines to do something about it the very next day.

The only thing left is for him to decide which option is best for him…and it could be a comparison between rival gyms; but it may also be a decision between other competing forms of exercise or simply going on a diet.

How to use the 3 Whys Across Sales & Marketing

Taking a prospect through the journey from understanding "Why Change?" to "Why Us?" involves a synchronised motion between sales and marketing, each playing distinct but complementary roles.

Here's how both functions can mirror the journey in parallel while offering unique support at each stage:

1. Why Change?

Marketing's Role: Awareness and Education

Content Creation: Develop and distribute insightful content that highlights industry trends, common pain points, and the potential for improvement or growth. This could include blog posts, whitepapers, industry reports, and webinars. The key here is to educate or inspire and incite curiosity.

Targeted Campaigns: Use targeted advertising and social media campaigns to raise awareness about these issues, ensuring the content reaches the right decision-makers within the accounts.

For example, not long after Amazon bought Ring, they were hiring for an editor to scale the publication of local crime stories in order to stoke fear amongst their potential customer base by raising the awareness of a potential problem.

Sales' Role: Personal Connection and Consultation

Outreach: Sales teams should use the insights generated by marketing to initiate personalised outreach efforts. This could involve emails, calls, or social selling, referencing specific content or insights that resonate with the prospect's likely situation.

Consultative or Challenger Selling: Adopt a consultative approach, focusing on understanding the prospect's unique challenges and goals. Sales can then frame the conversation around how change can address these specific issues, leveraging marketing's content as a conversation starter.

If this doesn’t work i.e. the prospect isn’t aware of their own challenges, consider either the Challenger Sales approach…which is to use unique market insights to educate the prospect on critical issues taking place and how they may disrupt their business.

Another version of this is Andy Raskin’s ‘Strategic Narrative’ approach, which is focussed on selling the change versus focussing on specific pain points.

2. Why Now?

Marketing's Role: Creating Urgency and Relevance

Timely Content: Produce content that speaks to the timeliness of the change. This could involve case studies (social proof is particularly powerful for helping answer this question), industry news, or regulatory updates that create a sense of urgency.

Event-Driven Marketing: Organise webinars, virtual conferences, or participate in industry events that address current trends and challenges, highlighting the need for immediate action.

Sales' Role: Tailored Solutions and Demonstrating Impact

Solution Mapping: Sales should tailor their discussions to show how your solution specifically addresses the current challenges and opportunities the prospect is facing, emphasising the risks of inaction.

ROI Demonstrations: Use data and case studies to demonstrate the potential return on investment (ROI) and the positive impact of adopting the solution now, making the case for urgency more compelling.

3. Why Us?

Marketing's Role: Differentiation and Proof

Branding and Positioning: Clearly communicate your unique value proposition through all marketing channels. This includes highlighting unique features, benefits, and the overall impact of your solution. The irony here is that many people think brand is a fluffy top of funnel activity, but actually it plays a significant role in supporting decision making of buyers.

Never forget the ‘nobody ever got fired for hiring IBM’ cliche…because its largely true. When buyers are faced with a tough decision, they’ll often lean on what feels like the safest bet, even if it’s logically not the best fit for them, and that’s where brand plays an outsized role.

Success Stories: Share customer success stories, testimonials, and case studies that showcase your solution's effectiveness in addressing similar challenges faced by other clients. These need to be reference clients that are as similar as possible to your prospects in terms of vertical, role, company size and use case.

Sales' Role: Personalised Engagement and Closing

Proof of Value: For bigger purchases, you may need to run a proof of value so that the prospect can see firsthand how your solution addresses their specific needs.

Strategic Discussions: Engage in deeper, strategic discussions about how your solution aligns with the prospect's long-term goals and objectives, leveraging all the groundwork laid by marketing to make a compelling case for "Why Us?"

In particular, you need to make use of the work you did during discovery to understand their most important metrics and decision criteria…and ensure you’ve laid landmines along the way, so that any decision other than your solution simply doesn’t make logistical sense when married up to what they said they needed.

Synchronising Sales and Marketing:

  • Regular Communication: Ensure regular communication and alignment meetings between sales and marketing to discuss insights, feedback, and strategies.
  • Shared Tools and Data: Utilise a shared CRM and an buyer engagement tool like RevvedUp to ensure both teams have access to the same data, insights, and progress tracking for each account.
  • Joint Account Planning: Collaborate on account-based experiences (ABX), where sales and marketing jointly identify key accounts, develop personalised engagement plans, and execute them in coordination (ideally via a purpose built platform like RevvedUp to help).

By mirroring the journey in this way, sales and marketing can provide a seamless, cohesive experience that guides prospects from recognising the need for change to understanding why your solution is the best fit for their needs.

Executing an ABX Strategy for the 3 Whys

ABX is a powerful strategy, and when combined with the 3 Whys, they complement one another to create a very powerful motion.

Here's how to get them working together.

1. Why Change?

ABX Approach: Personalisation and Insight

  • Personalisation: ABX thrives on crafting personalised experiences tailored to the specific needs and pain points of an account. By leveraging detailed insights about the account's industry, challenges, and goals, you can create compelling narratives that resonate with their unique situation, making the case for change more persuasive. All of this is now achieved quickly and at scale through leveraging AI.
  • Insight: Use data-driven insights to highlight inefficiencies or missed opportunities within their current operations that your solution can address. Demonstrating a deep understanding of their business and offering a clear path to improvement can effectively answer the "Why Change?" question.

2. Why Now?

ABX Approach: Urgency and Relevance

  • Urgency: Highlighting industry trends, competitive movements, or regulatory changes can create a sense of urgency. ABX allows you to tailor this message to show how these factors specifically impact the account in question, making the argument for immediate action more compelling. For this stage, you need to connect the issues to the various stakeholder roles, creating a greater sense of personal (and therefore emotive) urgency.
  • Relevance: Connect your solution to their current strategic initiatives or pain points. Show how your solution not only addresses their immediate needs but also positions them for future success. Ideally this understanding will be gleaned from your conversations at this point; but if you’re still not there, you can utilise publicly available information to hazard a reasonable guess at what these are. Don’t forget to utilise the right social proof to back up your approach here.

This relevance to their current situation and goals can make the "Why Now?" argument more persuasive.

3. Why Us?

ABX Approach: Differentiation and Success Stories

  • Differentiation: Use ABX to clearly articulate what sets your solution apart from competitors in the context of the account's specific needs and challenges. Tailor your messaging to highlight features or benefits that directly address their unique requirements. Don’t just send generic decks and follow-ups here; whilst you can differentiate in your product, it’s important to differentiate in your sales and marketing approach too. Ensure everything is deeply tailored to show your understand of their needs. This helps your brand stand out from the competition.
  • Build the Business Case: Share case studies or testimonials from similar accounts, especially those in the same industry or with similar challenges. Demonstrating your success in a relevant context can powerfully answer the "Why Us?" question, showing not just that you can meet their needs, but that you've done it before. And ensure you tie the next steps to logical, measurable outcomes that the CFO can objectively sign off on. This is where an ROI calculator or other business case builder can be essential

Other implementation Tips:

  • Data-Driven Insights: Leverage data analytics to gain deep insights into each account's specific context and challenges. This information will be crucial in tailoring your ABX strategies effectively.

For example with RevvedUp, you can see who’s been engaging with your content and exactly what they’ve spent time consuming.

  • Continuous Engagement: ABX is not a one-off effort. Engage continuously with the account through personalised content, interactions, and solutions that evolve with their changing needs and challenges.

 This is easy to do with RevvedUp, as next steps and follow-ups are automatically  created and easy to share with the prospect. And by keep it all together neatly in  one digital space, its a far more buyer friendly experience.

  • Feedback Loops: Implement mechanisms to gather feedback from your target accounts to refine and adjust your approach, ensuring your ABX strategy remains aligned with their needs and expectations.

 This is where our AI coaching and qualitative feedback really shines, as you’ll see  what areas of your sales playbook have (or haven’t) been covered off; risks and  challenges get flagged; and best next steps are laid out automatically.

In conclusion

Applying the ‘3 Whys’ to your sales and marketing go-to-market strategy is an incredibly impactful way to make the whole team more buyer-centric and encourage genuine collaboration.

It’s not always been easy to do in the past, and took considerable time and effort to get right…but thanks to AI platforms like RevvedUp you can get all of the benefits of the approach for a fraction of the cost and time it took.

Learn more and see how we can transform the way you stand out and engage buyers.