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Sales Glossary: Feature

January 26, 2024 (3mo ago)

Understanding the term "Feature" in sales is crucial for effectively communicating with clients and colleagues, as features are the building blocks for articulating a product's benefits and value proposition.

Sales Glossary: Feature

Understanding the Term "Feature" in Sales

In the realm of sales, mastering the language and concepts is crucial for effectively communicating with clients and colleagues. Among the essential terms in this lexicon is "Feature," which plays a pivotal role in product marketing and sales strategies. This article delves into the definition, significance, and application of features in the sales process, providing a comprehensive guide to leveraging them for success.

What is a Feature?

A feature is a distinctive attribute or characteristic of a product or service. It can be tangible, such as a physical aspect of a product, or intangible, like a service offering or software functionality. Features are factual statements about what a product has or does, and they are often the first layer of information communicated to potential customers.

The Importance of Features in Sales

Identification and Differentiation: Features help identify what a product is and differentiate it from competitors. By highlighting unique features, sales professionals can set their offerings apart in a crowded marketplace.

Foundation for Benefits: While features are factual and descriptive, they serve as the foundation for translating how those features benefit the customer. Understanding and effectively communicating the features of a product is a prerequisite for articulating its benefits and value proposition.

Customer Decision-making: Features play a crucial role in the customer's decision-making process. Customers often compare features across different products to determine which best meets their needs.

How to Effectively Communicate Features

  1. Know Your Product: Deeply understanding your product's features is the first step. This knowledge enables you to confidently discuss and answer questions about the product.

  2. Target Audience Understanding: Knowing your target audience allows you to highlight features that are most relevant and appealing to them. Tailoring your message to the audience's specific needs and interests can significantly impact its effectiveness.

  3. Balance with Benefits: While discussing features, it's important to also convey the benefits. This involves translating how a feature translates into a practical advantage or solution for the customer.

  4. Use Clear and Concise Language: Avoid technical jargon or overly complex explanations. The goal is to make the features and their advantages as accessible and understandable as possible.

  5. Demonstrate: Whenever possible, showing the feature in action can be more powerful than simply describing it. Demonstrations help customers visualize the feature and understand its value.

Common Mistakes to Avoid

  • Feature Dumping: Overwhelming the customer with a long list of features without connecting them to benefits or customer needs can lead to confusion and disinterest.

  • Ignoring Customer Needs: Focusing solely on features without considering the customer's specific needs or how those features solve their problems can make the sales pitch less effective.

  • Neglecting Competitor Features: Failing to acknowledge or understand competitor features can put you at a disadvantage. Being prepared to discuss how your features compare can help position your product more favorably.

Examples of Effective Feature Communication

  • Tech Product: For a new smartphone, a feature might be its water-resistant design. The corresponding benefit is the peace of mind knowing the device is protected against accidental spills or rain.

  • Service: For a subscription-based meal delivery service, a feature could be the option to customize meal plans. The benefit is the flexibility to accommodate dietary preferences and restrictions, making the service appealing to a wider range of customers.

  • Software: In a project management tool, a feature might be real-time collaboration. The benefit is the ability to streamline communication and project updates, enhancing team efficiency and productivity.

Conclusion

Features are a fundamental component of the sales lexicon, serving as the building blocks for articulating a product's benefits and value proposition. By effectively communicating features in a way that resonates with the customer's needs and preferences, sales professionals can enhance their pitch, differentiate their product, and ultimately, drive sales. Remember, the key to successful feature communication lies in the balance between detailing what a product has or does and illustrating how those features translate into meaningful benefits for the customer.