SYS-CON MEDIA Authors: Pat Romanski, Gary Arora, Zakia Bouachraoui, Yeshim Deniz, Liz McMillan

Blog Feed Post

The Power of the B2B Buyer's Perspective

455690757

I keep seeing that statistic - you know - the one that talks about how far through the buying process prospects are before they talk to salespeople. It's flawed.

Here are a few reasons why:

  • Prospects don't care if they're interacting with marketing or sales, they care about the quality of the conversation or interaction and that it's giving them what they need.
  • Salespeople are perfectly capable of using the tools available today to engage with prospects across all stages of the buying process. And they should be competent at all of those conversations.
  • Marketers can facilitate interactions by sharing the strategic problem-to-solution story across the continuum of the buying process to support both buyers and salespeople in having more relevant conversations.

For some reason, we haven't embraced these realities collaboratively.

Here's the question that we need to answer:

What would happen if both marketers and salespeople were so damn relevant that there was no distinction between the disciplines?

In other words - if every interaction with a buyer is based on context and relevance, does it really matter if it's initiated or extended by marketing or by sales?

Both functions are essentially focused on the same end goal - to drive revenues.

But, most of the time, we act like we're on two different planets.

I know that marketers may be thinking, hey, wait a minute...marketing doesn't close sales for complex products. That's not our job!

Or, if you're on the sales side, you could be thinking - there's no way I'm creating marketing content and running campaigns. SO not my job!

Got it. But you're in the weeds. You're not looking at the coordination and collaboration that can end this artificial line in the sand that we've made up to divide the two sides of the B2B buying process.

It's not about the work flows, it's about the interactions.

Consider the Value of Creating a Continuum Experience

Marketing and Sales need to jointly take responsibilty for the buying process. There's no wall in the middle - or even two thirds of the way through. We need to start looking at the buying process as a continuous experience that sometimes plays to the strengths of marketing and other times to those of the sales team.

Consistency of messaging and story across all channels and cross-functionally must become our foundation. When we're all on the same page, it truly makes the label of marketing or sales irrelevant. Even better, it enables growth by building credibility. And that results in trust that earns more conversations.

When a buyer is working to solve a problem or meet an objective, he or she needs to gather enough information that they are confident about making a decision that will not adversely impact their careers. They need a level of certainty that the solution will do what it promises and that it's necessary to go outside the company to get it. They need the ammunition to build the case, gain consensus from the others involved with consideration to each unique perspective and the ability to secure budget.

We, as marketers and salespeople, must help them do all of this. And it won't happen when marketers push out content "How-to" articles that are too tactical for buyers to learn what they need to know or when sales calls after a white paper download to try to pitch a demo.

Find Your Story

Every company has a story that distills the distinct value they provide that sets them apart from competitors. Why aren't more of us finding it and making it the foundational pivot point for increasing our relevance to and engagement with buyers and influencers?

Rather than marketing programs or sales processes, we should be focused on buyer initiatives first and make them the drivers for what we do.

When we can take this approach, then we're prepared to interact competently with buyers regardless of where they are in the buying process. But, we'll also be able to identify that place and help to address the unmet needs that help them decide to embrace change and trust you to help them. That's because whether we're marketers or salespeople, we'll be able to see the big picture from the buyer's perspective.

 

 

Read the original blog entry...

More Stories By Ardath Albee

Ardath Albee, CEO & B2B Marketing Strategist of her firm Marketing Interactions, helps companies with complex sales increase and quantify marketing effectiveness by developing and executing interactive eMarketing strategies driven by compelling content.

Her book, eMarketing Strategies for the Complex Sale, was published by McGraw-Hill.

Her articles and blog posts have been used for university ezines, published in CRM Today, Selling Power, Rain Today and Enterprise CRM News. Marketing Profs has incorporated her blog posts into a number of their "Get to The Point" newsletters.

Latest Stories
While a hybrid cloud can ease that transition, designing and deploy that hybrid cloud still offers challenges for organizations concerned about lack of available cloud skillsets within their organization. Managed service providers offer a unique opportunity to fill those gaps and get organizations of all sizes on a hybrid cloud that meets their comfort level, while delivering enhanced benefits for cost, efficiency, agility, mobility, and elasticity.
Isomorphic Software is the global leader in high-end, web-based business applications. We develop, market, and support the SmartClient & Smart GWT HTML5/Ajax platform, combining the productivity and performance of traditional desktop software with the simplicity and reach of the open web. With staff in 10 timezones, Isomorphic provides a global network of services related to our technology, with offerings ranging from turnkey application development to SLA-backed enterprise support. Leadin...
DevOps has long focused on reinventing the SDLC (e.g. with CI/CD, ARA, pipeline automation etc.), while reinvention of IT Ops has lagged. However, new approaches like Site Reliability Engineering, Observability, Containerization, Operations Analytics, and ML/AI are driving a resurgence of IT Ops. In this session our expert panel will focus on how these new ideas are [putting the Ops back in DevOps orbringing modern IT Ops to DevOps].
Darktrace is the world's leading AI company for cyber security. Created by mathematicians from the University of Cambridge, Darktrace's Enterprise Immune System is the first non-consumer application of machine learning to work at scale, across all network types, from physical, virtualized, and cloud, through to IoT and industrial control systems. Installed as a self-configuring cyber defense platform, Darktrace continuously learns what is ‘normal' for all devices and users, updating its understa...
Enterprises are striving to become digital businesses for differentiated innovation and customer-centricity. Traditionally, they focused on digitizing processes and paper workflow. To be a disruptor and compete against new players, they need to gain insight into business data and innovate at scale. Cloud and cognitive technologies can help them leverage hidden data in SAP/ERP systems to fuel their businesses to accelerate digital transformation success.
Most organizations are awash today in data and IT systems, yet they're still struggling mightily to use these invaluable assets to meet the rising demand for new digital solutions and customer experiences that drive innovation and growth. What's lacking are potent and effective ways to rapidly combine together on-premises IT and the numerous commercial clouds that the average organization has in place today into effective new business solutions.
Concerns about security, downtime and latency, budgets, and general unfamiliarity with cloud technologies continue to create hesitation for many organizations that truly need to be developing a cloud strategy. Hybrid cloud solutions are helping to elevate those concerns by enabling the combination or orchestration of two or more platforms, including on-premise infrastructure, private clouds and/or third-party, public cloud services. This gives organizations more comfort to begin their digital tr...
Keeping an application running at scale can be a daunting task. When do you need to add more capacity? Larger databases? Additional servers? These questions get harder as the complexity of your application grows. Microservice based architectures and cloud-based dynamic infrastructures are technologies that help you keep your application running with high availability, even during times of extreme scaling. But real cloud success, at scale, requires much more than a basic lift-and-shift migrati...
David Friend is the co-founder and CEO of Wasabi, the hot cloud storage company that delivers fast, low-cost, and reliable cloud storage. Prior to Wasabi, David co-founded Carbonite, one of the world's leading cloud backup companies. A successful tech entrepreneur for more than 30 years, David got his start at ARP Instruments, a manufacturer of synthesizers for rock bands, where he worked with leading musicians of the day like Stevie Wonder, Pete Townsend of The Who, and Led Zeppelin. David has ...
Darktrace is the world's leading AI company for cyber security. Created by mathematicians from the University of Cambridge, Darktrace's Enterprise Immune System is the first non-consumer application of machine learning to work at scale, across all network types, from physical, virtualized, and cloud, through to IoT and industrial control systems. Installed as a self-configuring cyber defense platform, Darktrace continuously learns what is ‘normal' for all devices and users, updating its understa...
Dion Hinchcliffe is an internationally recognized digital expert, bestselling book author, frequent keynote speaker, analyst, futurist, and transformation expert based in Washington, DC. He is currently Chief Strategy Officer at the industry-leading digital strategy and online community solutions firm, 7Summits.
Addteq is a leader in providing business solutions to Enterprise clients. Addteq has been in the business for more than 10 years. Through the use of DevOps automation, Addteq strives on creating innovative solutions to solve business processes. Clients depend on Addteq to modernize the software delivery process by providing Atlassian solutions, create custom add-ons, conduct training, offer hosting, perform DevOps services, and provide overall support services.
Contino is a global technical consultancy that helps highly-regulated enterprises transform faster, modernizing their way of working through DevOps and cloud computing. They focus on building capability and assisting our clients to in-source strategic technology capability so they get to market quickly and build their own innovation engine.
When applications are hosted on servers, they produce immense quantities of logging data. Quality engineers should verify that apps are producing log data that is existent, correct, consumable, and complete. Otherwise, apps in production are not easily monitored, have issues that are difficult to detect, and cannot be corrected quickly. Tom Chavez presents the four steps that quality engineers should include in every test plan for apps that produce log output or other machine data. Learn the ste...
Digital Transformation is much more than a buzzword. The radical shift to digital mechanisms for almost every process is evident across all industries and verticals. This is often especially true in financial services, where the legacy environment is many times unable to keep up with the rapidly shifting demands of the consumer. The constant pressure to provide complete, omnichannel delivery of customer-facing solutions to meet both regulatory and customer demands is putting enormous pressure on...