Archive for June, 2012

Disconnected Buyers and Vendors

June 21st, 2012

We are finally getting to the heart of the matter in terms of why vendors are seeing increasingly difficulty in targeting buyers in the market. Almost embarrassing how simple a concept, but given how long it took for us to identify is probably how indicative of how difficult it is to actually execute, let alone do it systemically and predictably.

In short, buyers are entering a marketplace trying to solve a problem. Vendors are in the market looking to sell their solution. The language differences are on par with “Men Are From Mars and Women Are From Venus.” Or so my wife tells me. (Joking - I really read the book)

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Most BtoB Marketing is Underperforming

June 20th, 2012

For BtoB companies, marketing is an underperforming cost center. Not that it is the marketing teams fault, rather  they are making the best of a tough situation. In consumer marketing, brand awareness and product reputation can go a long way in generating sales. In BtoB, the channels to reach buyers are increasingly becoming choked with noise. We built this chart to explain what we are seeing in the world of BtoB marketing:

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Buyer Marketing versus Customer-Centric Go-to-Market

June 6th, 2012

The Buyer Marketing approach is different than the “customer-centric” approach in that we foster a relationship with a buyer that starts prior to the transaction, even prior to the first contact. The buyer marketing process starts with their problem and anticipating their particular situation. The customer centric approach is centered around the transaction.  You get what you get.  It operates as designed. But more and more, potential  buyers are rejecting the customer-centric transactional approach to the market. Everything that’s wrong with your customer-centric approach to sales and marketing, the market is already telling you:

  • Buyers are rejecting the transactional world view approach because they are being overwhelmed by the sheer number of “look at me” messages. “Open” rates, “click thrus” and tradeshow attendance are all down.
  • Buyers aren’t centered on the transaction, but rather their business problem. Engaging later in the sales process.
  • The transaction is the byproduct of my investment in solving this problem. Driving solution education without vendors.
  • Buyers start with my problem and end with your transaction. Buyers expect understanding of their need, not discover it during the sales process.

Most BtoB organizations have a market translation problem right now as they cannot successfully identify and anticipate a likely buyers needs and communicate that understanding that supports the buyer’s perspective.  In most markets, vendors do not assist buyers with the context of their perspective sufficient to enable buyers to tell the difference between your products and your competitors. They don’t see the difference in solving their problems, just messaging around the transaction. With the widespread usage of social networks, online communities, blogs, and technical forums; the market now has visability and a perception of your company, your transparency and performance even before they talk with your people. You have to be in the right places to influence the sale prior to their defining their requirements or your organization will be forced to accept their perception of what they think they need, the alternatives, and the value whether this perception is correct or not.

Are you practicing Buyer Marketing? Are your company’s sales and marketing activities helping them make better buying decisions? Are you investing in the right activities to enable their buying process?

Revenue Generation is Impacted by Your Go-to-Market Strategy

June 6th, 2012

Buyer-Enabled versus Customer-Centric

  • Customer centric around the transaction.  You get what you get.  It operates as designed. But more and more, potential
    buyers are rejecting the customer-centric transactional approach to the market. Everything that’s wrong with what you’re doing today. They are tuning your marketing out. Think about what’s the market is telling you:

    • Buyers are rejecting the transactional world view approach because they are being overwhelmed by the sheer number of “look at me” messages.
    • Buyers aren’t centered on the transaction, but rather their business problem.
    • The transaction is the byproduct of my investment in solving this problem.
    • Buyers start with my problem and end with your transaction

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Signs That You Might Have A Go-to-Market Misalignment

June 6th, 2012

Your “revenue generation” problem may really be a go-to-market alignment problem in that your go-to-market is not meeting the buyer’s needs. Here are the symptoms that we are seeing that give us an indication:

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