Product breadth is not a compelling differentiator

We’re all customers.

As a customer, when I buy something, I want the best solution to solve my need. I don’t really care if a product solves others needs as well. Is it best for me?

Yet, I see numerous B2B companies crowing about their product breadth. It’s “the most robust” or has “the broadest feature set” and the like. Often, this is backed up with a Harvey Balls chart showing their product alongside the competitors. “Gartner says that these are the key features in this market, and we do them while [insert giant, fast growing company] doesn’t.”

When you drill into sales, you’ll almost always find the same story: that customers are rarely (if ever) buying the whole product – they just want two or three modules.

Executives wonder why they aren’t growing faster when they think have “the best” product out there.

The problem is that the value of having the broadest product accrues to the business, not the customer. A customer doesn’t get any value for resources you’re spending on features or modules they don’t use or won’t use.