Posts Tagged ‘btob’

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?

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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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Complexities of Social Target Marketing and Network Selling

May 3rd, 2011

Technical sales and business development seems to be getting harder for sales and marketing organizations. BtoB, industrial, engineering, technology, complexity, R&D, etc . At the end of the day, an organizational sale is a technical buyer, influencer committee, and an economic buyer.

Traditional models of lead generation are struggling to reach and engage with complex organizational sales. More senior executives are screening their access from sales people, tuning out email marketing, and ignoring most other forms of advertising. Trade shows and conferences have been in steady decline well before the recession took hold.

On the other hand, we see a huge upside for social media as a means of targeting and building relationships with complex organizational purchase decision makers and influencer teams. The more complex, technical, price tag all the better.
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Solution to the Pains of BtoB Complex Sales Process is a Good Social Marketing Lead Generation Program

January 31st, 2011

Most people don’t think BtoB Complex Sales when they think of social media, but social’s ability to target with laser-like precision, enable buyers to self-educate, and allow for a variety of different buying paths; BtoB complex sales may become easier, in the long run, to demonstrate social media’s ROI in terms of marketing and lead generation.  

We pulled together the common challenges and opportunities that we have seen for BtoB customers specifically. Many of these overlap for BtoC, but given these tend to be more transactional; BtoB or complex channel sales processes have more specific pains associated with the need to build multiple relationships with much greater strategic impact within a sale. The number of moving pieces can be much more visible and more easily managed via a social lead generation programs.  We thought this list might help a sales & marketing executive realize they are not alone in their challenges and begin to help them build the foundation for a business case for social marketing.

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