Defining the Root Problem in Sales and Marketing Today

May 15th, 2012 by Matthew Rosenhaft No comments »

Buyers now have access to better information in the market thanks to by social networks, online communities, technical forums, blogs, video, and other web 2.0 interactive technologies;  enabling them to collaborate, share information, and empower themselves to the disadvantage of the vendors. This is causing a shift in market behavior to a more collaborative buying processes represented.

And it’s making things harder for vendors. Buyers are ignoring, filtering, shortening cycles, tuning out, banding together and doing everything they can to make things more efficient for themselves. Buyers are seeking peer-to-peer feedback, contextual application, and direct comparison prior to the purchase versus relying on the vendor to provide traditional linear sales experience; first broad based messaging from marketing, then sales qualification, and then apply context to their specific needs. They now want comparison, fit, value, risks, and recommendations from their peers in the market before vendor selection.

Across all BtoB markets, we are seeing a transformational buying process impact marketing, sales, business development, and customer care from the buyer’s perspective. This is also impacting when buyers want to engage with vendors. They’re tuning out your “solution” messaging. The traditional sales and marketing approaches to reaching buyers are becoming more expensive and less effective as a result. Companies that align themselves to the buyers perspective get better results. We are finding that if you always focus on the buyers’ perspective (it’s about them, not about us), the revenue and market leadership with which they reward you will justify this new means to that end.

Every industry we have researched and almost every senior Sales and Marketing Executives we have spoken with lately all agree that they are seeing anecdotal evidence, the symptoms, and quantifiable impact on their pipelines and of the fact traditional demand generation is getting diminishing returns, but what isn’t readily apparent is the underlying problem.

Trends are not traditional demand generations friendly:

  • Lead generation is down
  • Sales teams getting less qualified appointments
  • People are opting out of traditional “awareness” activities; like conferences, tradeshows, PPC, and email marketing
  • Half of leads are coming in later in their process with more defined requirements
  • The other half of leads cycle longer without getting to decision
  • Less opportunity to influence the sale
  • Buyer more demanding with more competitive margin pressure
  • Buyers less tolerant of customer service mistakes
  • Buyers are doing more research on vendors references and reputations prior to contacting them

Think about your own buyer behavior in your last major purchase:

  • Are you selling the way you would want to buy? Would you buy from you?
  • How do you develop customer relationships, influence requirements, and drive sales if buyers are doing research and making buying decisions before your organization becomes aware and engaged?
  • Are your company’s sales and marketing activities helping them make better buying decisions? Are you Buyer-Enabled?

Welcome to the Buyer-Enabled Movement

February 7th, 2012 by Judy No comments »

In response to my last two posts, an “Open Letter to Buyers” and an “Open Letter to Buyer-Enabled Organizations”, I have tried to articulate the evolution in the conversations I’ve had about why social is disruptive to business as we know it, why a buyer-enabled approach is so critical to the long-term viability of your business, and why your team needs to pay attention now. Continue reading “Welcome to the Buyer-Enabled Movement” »

Buyer-Enabled Bill of Rights

February 6th, 2012 by Matthew Rosenhaft No comments »

We created a Buyer’s Bill of Rights a couple of months ago, but didn’t have the right context to explain the “why” of Buyer-Enabled, but now in context it is becoming clear that this is the “how” to become buyer-enabled in your engagement within your markets. Imagine if all vendors treated buyers this way how amazing our buying experiences would become. All movements start with a “moment” and a core of early evangelists. Here is to hoping this one catches on…. please, soon…. and start with the worst offenders who provide lights-out customer service… I mean literally “no one is home in our call-center bad service”… or the “SPAM to your inbox chokes” marketing offenders. Continue reading “Buyer-Enabled Bill of Rights” »

The Evolution to Buyer-Enabled

February 6th, 2012 by Matthew Rosenhaft No comments »

As we have progressed to defining a “new” category of engagement in sales and marketing that we coined “Buyer-Enabled” versus your traditional sales and marketing models, we have continued to develop better visual tools to help companies figure out where they are in their development. We decided that “social” was not helping people figure out why what we are seeing in the market is different that thinking about social media as a channel. Behavioral is too tactical and too esoteric. Continue reading “The Evolution to Buyer-Enabled” »

Defining Buyer-Enabled Marketing

February 6th, 2012 by Matthew Rosenhaft No comments »
We are Seeing a Disconnect Between The Way Buyer’s Approach the Market And The Solution-Centric Marketing That Vendors Provide
  • Buyers are active and participating within on social websites, forums etc., but the social market is noisy, saturated, mature,  and cluttered with vendors so buyers are faced with many options to choose from which makes the decision making process more difficult
  • Vendors are using technical jargon (educated buyer) and needs to shift towards more “pain” and “generic” social search orientation for a less educated, but more strategic buyer.

How do you develop customer relationships, influence requirements, and drive sales if buyers are doing research and making buying decisions before your organization becomes aware and engaged? 

  • Understanding how buyers solve business problems, research and weigh solution options, reconciling  various organizational  motivations, along with assisting the organization to solidify business, functional, & technical requirements
  • Identify buyer motivations, triggers for purchase, and research/selection/ buying process, and behavioral market segmentation
  • Focus marketing engagement around buyer’s needs, not with solution awareness messaging
  • Leverage social networks &  online communities to reach buyers in their communities of interest
  • Provide decision support, not solution advocacy
  • Assist them in building targeted strategic business cases based upon their particular needs before then addressing
    tactical functionality and feature requirements.