Recently, I was talking with one of my business partners here at Convergo. He’d talked with a business owner about moving from a tactical to a strategic approach with their marketing. In principal it sounded good. However, when presented with a relatively modest budget compared to current annual sales revenue, all of a sudden strategic marketing didn’t seem so important.
I get it. I’m a recovering sales rep. In 1993, I took a job with Lanier Worldwide, a hard-charging sales organization that at the time only believed a cold call happened when you walked in the door of a business. At the time, we didn’t even use the phone. We carried demo machines in the back of our vans. It was all about cold call, demo, close. Don’t come back to the office until you have demoed at least two machines.
Having come from a rich heritage of intense sales activity combined with drilled in sales skills, I understand the importance of prospecting. (more…)
Your prospects have a long list of business problems. They also have many questions related to how technology could be used to solve these business problems.
Most business leaders are open to getting help in solving their business problems. However, most people have been burned at one point because they have made a bad buying decision. This is especially true in the area of technology where many promises are made but the actual results end up not delivering. As a result, today’s buyer is very skeptical.
How do you earn trust in this skeptical environment?
Why do sales people win? Until recently, the primary points of differentiation for companies have been based on two factors:
- We provide great products
- We back them up with great service
While that may be true, the challenge is that these provide little differentiation in a marketplace where the great product you sell can be sourced from dozens of vendors online. And while great service is rare, the reality is that there are many companies that provide great service.
In order to win sales, we need to differentiate ourselves. How do we do that? We have to bring value beyond the product and service.
Hang around with me for any amount of time and you’ll hear about Buyer 2.0 and how buyers are on average 71% of the way through their buying process before contacting a vendor or sales rep. Why? Because when we have questions the fastest and most unbiased way to get answers is online. So, we’ve become a culture dependent on search and social proof.