Archive for the ‘Buyer Adoption’ category

Buyer Adoption – What is Different?

April 22nd, 2014

How do you really understand the buyer’s problem in the adoption process as they go about solving that particular problem. If you think about it, buyers don’t care about technology, products, solutions, services, etc. They start with a painful situation.

Think weight loss. I know I need to lose weight, but the pain of dieting and exercising outweighs the benefits of a healthy lifestyle. UNTIL, doctor tells me I have to do it for critical reasons or I find the pain of living with the extra weight has become more painful than losing the weight. Just because something is important, does not make it urgent. And vice versa, just because something is urgent, doesn’t make it important. The key to adoption is matching what you do to what I want AND need.

Because adoption is really not about product adoption either, it’s really about how buyers measure success and what they have to adapt/adopt to solve the root problem to their pain. Adoption to the buyer is the buyers’ recognition of pain through to resolution of the underlying problem. So the way we’ve been measuring customer experience, in the market today, is how well did I set expectations and how well did I deliver against those expectations. Buyers measure success based upon did it fix the “broken” problem. Not treat the symptoms, not deliver on something I didn’t really need.

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Part 1 – Why a Problem Elevator May Be Your Problem

February 8th, 2014

If you told me a few weeks ago that my world would hinge on the word “problem” and a lot of the challenges I was having in driving understanding of our business would be based upon the lack of clarity as to what a problem really is, I would have been shocked.

I routinely ask my friends and contacts, “what problem do you solve and for whom”. I usually get a surprised look, a pause, and then something that resembles a value statement. But, it wasn’t till this week that I realized that the word “problem” had a different context. Talk about a loaded word.

When I have been using the word “problem”, I have been asking the question from an uneducated buyer’s perspective. “If I had never heard of your industry, let alone your company, what problem would I come to you for?” But, that has been interpreted as “How we do what we do that helps you.”

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Part 2 – What is the difference between “In-market buyers” and for “buyers with a problem that is yet to become a market”

February 8th, 2014

In-market – if your industry is half-way through its lifecycle, there may be a lot of buyers who don’t realize there is a category out there for their problem. Or, they don’t see the painful issues they are dealing with in their business as related to the industry. Or, they think they need to build their own homegrown solution to the problem. In short, they may have the problem, but the short-hand is not helping them connect to the industry/category, let alone to your approach to solving the problem. You need to be able to build a problem elevator that connects what they are experiencing to the solution you provide. Take to the basics, build bottom-up from the problem and their experience rather than category down through your feature differences.

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Disrupt, Displace, Bleh. Semantics, right? WRONG

February 4th, 2014

I got interesting feedback from my post yesterday. I used very deliberate language to segment a disruptive technology versus a better displacement technology. It was interesting because the people who were in the midst of go-to-market planning immediately gravitated to the difference and the impact on their planning, but those who were involved, but not actively working on a market strategy didn’t see the theorectical difference. I thought I would explain why this was so critical and how it can change your adoption curve dramatically on both sides.

First, let’s clarify what disruption means versus displacement from a buyer’s point of view. Almost all technology companies seem to see this as the same from their perpective hence the go-to-market is the same. “We are going to disrupt the market and displace the leading competitor with our better technology.”

Yes, BUT…. that is from a vendor’s perspective. From a buyer’s perspective as it relates to their adoption, disrupt and displace has tremendous impact on whether they buy or not. Disrupt is perceived as disrupting our current operational processes. The more disruptive, the harder the adoption.

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Disruption and Adoption Are Confusing the Real Issue

February 3rd, 2014

It starts with the dreaded question in the pitch meeting. Usually slide #2 of your supposed 5 slide deck. “I think I get what you do, how are you going to build a market?”

You, at that point, will discuss the extrapolated X number of companies that fit the target, talk about your percentage that of the available that you would like to have within Y years, and then talk about all of the mechanics that you plan on driving to get  that percentage at Z cost per customer in acquisition costs. Numbers are actually irrelevant since the person who asked the question won’t really believe your answer; they just want to see if you understand the variables to the formula.

What is really hidden in the question is the assumption about how expensive it is to build and develop a market. They are looking for your Go-to-market strategy, but really they are looking for your built-in short-cuts. They are looking for ways that you can short-circuit the standard investment model for building a market.

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