Jobs theory also called Jobs to Be Done Theory was created by Strategyn to help businesses try and understand reasons why someone would buy their product service.
“People do not want a quarter-inch drill, they want a quarter inch hole.”
“Sell the sizzle and not the steak.”
What is Jobs Theory?
Jobs to be done theory tries to explain the why. Why a customer chooses to buy a certain product or service instead of other options. It reveals the human thought process and environmental factors that are behind a purchase decision. Jobs theory can be used to improve existing products or successful new product ventures.
Instead of focusing on your product or service, you are focusing on your potential customers. In the drill example, you could have multiple types of people that would have a need for a power drill. Each individual persona would have a unique job to get done. Below are some possibilities.
- A commercial painter who needs a drill to mix paint on jobs using a drill
- An electrician who needs to drill holes for wiring
- A plumber who needs to drill holes for their pipes
- A crafter who needs a drill to secure wall hangers on the back of a picture frame
And for each “job to be done” there are potential drill features that would be more appealing for their specific application.
- A commercial painter – waterproof drill for easy cleaning because it gets covered in paint
- An electrician – lightweight and durable
- A plumber – lightweight, waterproof, and no cords so electric shock proof
- A crafter – feminine colors and lightweight
Below is an example of a job story
I want __________(motivation)
So I can __________(expected outcome)
Jobs to be done example
When I am installing kitchen cabinets I want to drill quarter-inch holes So I can quickly fasten the cabinet to the wall.
An example I experienced is when I first started doing freelance web design. A month or so after building a website for a client they would call and say they were not getting any leads. Or say they were not being found on Google search for certain keyword terms. I thought they wanted a website, but in reality, they wanted more new business.
When I am slow with the business I want a consistent flow of new business leads So I can avoid drops in cash flow.
Notice how this statement mentions nothing about websites, social media, SEO or anything like that. All of those things are solutions to the job the business owner wants to get done. In this case, get more sales.
Learn More about Jobs Theory
You can learn more about the Jobs Theory in the HubSpot Academy Training titled, Using Jobs to Be Done in Sales Enablement.
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