Many salespeople have difficulty confusing benefits and features for each other, and even worse – confusing them for advantages.
Understanding the difference can give your prospects a compelling reason to buy. Benefits and advantages that resonate with buyers will compel them to want to explore options for working together. Remember, prospects buy for value, not specifications or technical jargon.
Buyers get to determine what is valuable, not sellers (or marketers).
What are the Features?
Features are what the product or service does, describing which attributes set it apart from the competition. Benefits represent why those features matter and how they help the target audience. For marketing messages, it’s typically better to use a benefits-heavy approach because benefits compel consumers to purchase.
Features are easily defined as we can see or use them, but determining how they translate to an eventual benefit to a user can be more challenging.
Features create advantages, and advantages benefit a customer.
For example, a mobile phone’s technical specs (features) might not make sense to a customer unless they’re familiar with them. However, the benefit of having a fast phone that can store many photos, videos, and music is something that any mobile phone owner can relate to.
Features tell the prospect something noteworthy about the product, and benefits explain how the customer’s life improves.
However, it’s essential to understand what benefits users get because, ultimately, the benefits — not features — drive a purchase decision.
Learn about sales prospecting.
What are the Benefits?
A benefit is the result of that advantage, which is why a prospect would ultimately use a product.
This key benefit provides an emotional hook point that you can leverage in helping the user imagine the positive experiences felt by using your product.
For example: ‘If you don’t waste your time loading data, migrating databases across clouds, or creating databases on the fly, you’ll make developer’s lives easier and free them up to do more important work.’
So, in this case, an example FAB statement will look something like this:
“We are a cloud data platform that helps you ingest data, store data, and create databases more quickly and easily. By keeping data in our data cloud platform and moving to open-source, your data workloads are reduced on average by 50%. In addition, if you don’t waste your time creating databases and figure out how to make your data tools talk to one another, you’ll free up developers to focus on more important things, like looking for cyber-threats.”
Benefits describe the reasons why the features matter to the audience. Most of the time, benefits are why customers feel compelled to buy a product.
What’s in it for Me?
Taking the time to figure out features, how they create an advantage, and ultimately benefit the prospect helps you differentiate your outbound message. Take the time to plan out what you’re going to say before you say it to create messages that work together and share benefits that add to each other as you interact with prospects.
Here are some examples of using everyday services or products to help you see how features, advantages, and benefits create more valuable and meaningful messages for your outbound interactions.
What are the Advantages?
An advantage is what that feature does and how it helps. These are factual and descriptive but do not yet connect to how they improve users’ lives.
Advantages are at an intermediary level between features and benefits; they are effectively what the part does to benefit the buyer.
An advantage is something your company provides that others find difficult to provide, don’t provide well, or don’t provide at all.
- Insurance Broker
- Over 30 years of experience
- Knowledgeable and trusted.
- You can relax knowing you’ll get the best possible deal suited to you that experts create.
Example Software Features
- An artificial intelligence algorithm
- A user experience suited to your needs.
- View your data when you need it without being overloaded with numbers.
Example Customer Service Features
- 24/7 live expert agent support
- Access to expert advice anytime.
- IT problems won’t affect your work.
- You’ll solve them in minutes by chatting online or picking up the phone.