Archive for April, 2013

CEO as Chief Buyer Officer

April 18th, 2013

We are all seeing a shift from vendor-driven to peer-influence is marginalizing vendors. Buyers demand to be empowered with education on the problem definition before they engage for education on the solution differences.

We believe that the underlying problem that is driving this shift in your markets FROM a buyer’s perspective is that your company is not helping them understand what problem(s) that you solve for them. We believe that this is accelerating because the availability of information is increasing in markets. The buyers don’t need or can’t find the vendors who don’t help them with decision support. But, why is this a CEO level problem?

Continue reading “CEO as Chief Buyer Officer” »

Am I Truly a Problem Solver? Or am I Just Creating Pain? 5 Ways to Tell for Both Sales and Marketing

April 11th, 2013

Over the last few weeks, I have had numerous conversations with sales and marketing executives about solving problems. About ½ tell me that diagnosing problems is what they have always done. “Nothing new here, move along!”

My standard response is “maybe”. Good problem consultants are able to help people diagnose what underlying problem is the cause of symptomatic pain. Good enterprise consultative sales people know how to help organizations get to consensus as to what problem is really causing the various ills across the organization. True.

BUT, are you truly diagnosing their ills or are you guiding them to your solution? What is the difference? A good doctor is supposed to truly listen to the symptoms and diagnose the patient in front of them. They are not supposed to represent a drug company and just prescribe the “wonder” drug for everything.

  • Ever seen an IT project that completed just as the vendor promised, addressing some of the pains, but not solve the customer’s problems and creating a whole host of other pains?
  • Ever see a customer demo, go away for 6 months, and then come back and ask for a demo again? Same solution, but obviously they were still trying to figure out their underlying problem and whether the solution would address their ills.
  • Ever see a sale where they had multiple problems, only one of which you could solve?
  • Ever jointly sell with a strategic partner to create a larger solution?
  • Ever see similar size companies in the same industry have completely different needs, different buying process, and even different decision maker?

Continue reading “Am I Truly a Problem Solver? Or am I Just Creating Pain? 5 Ways to Tell for Both Sales and Marketing” »

Cause and Affect

April 5th, 2013

Wait, I can hear my Chief Grammar Editor screaming “NOOOOOOO” it is supposed to be effect. Stick with me….

You wake up one morning with a sore knee. A shooting painful, throbbing awful kind of ache that flashes mortality across your brain even before you have had your first cup of coffee. A sufficient enough pain that you use your coffee to wash down the multiple Advil. And then you wait, hoping the pain will go away. The ache subsides, but the deep pain does not. Sufficiently painful that next step is to schedule the doctor’s appointment. Given the location of the pain, you go straight to the orthopedist given the proximity of the pain rather than your general doc-in-the-box down the street. Not wasting time messing around with this amount of pain.

After the nurse takes your symptoms, pokes and prods a bit, and then leaves for an hour; in pops the doctor who introduces themselves and then tells you that based upon your symptoms, that he needs to schedule you for an amputation and he can fit you in tomorrow. WHAT!!? “I am the best amputation specialist in the country, don’t worry. You will be fitted with a great prosthetic and you will only occasionally have phantom pain.”

Hmmm. Can we second opinion? What if the second one said that you need the latest drug protocol to rebuild cartilage.  He is the leading expert in the country and is one of the owners of the drug company. Only run you $25,000 per pill for a 3 month treatment course.

And so on and so on…. You probably would pop on to the internet and see what other people had done to fix their knee pain and see if you could diagnose it for yourself.

Or like most people these days, before you scheduled the first appointment, you would have gone online and searched for your symptoms to find out what might be causing your pain. Could it because you were overdoing last night dancing? Tripped and fell down? Could it be the amount of training that you have been doing lately? The good news is that you will find lots of opinions. Bad news is that you will find lots and lots of opinions, misinformation, and noise. Just useless noise.

What is the point of the above story? The doctors did not help you diagnose the underlying problem. They just went from painful symptoms straight to treatment option. The peer information online had too much information that confused the symptoms and the possible underlying problems making it impossible to diagnose which symptoms were really directly caused by which problem.

Welcome to the world of being a buyer in your market. Answer a simple question, what problem do you solve and for whom? Hints: Continue reading “Cause and Affect” »