Welcome!

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
DX World EXPO, LLC, a Lighthouse Point, Florida-based startup trade show producer and the creator of "DXWorldEXPO® - Digital Transformation Conference & Expo" has announced its executive management team. The team is headed by Levent Selamoglu, who has been named CEO. "Now is the time for a truly global DX event, to bring together the leading minds from the technology world in a conversation about Digital Transformation," he said in making the announcement.
"Space Monkey by Vivent Smart Home is a product that is a distributed cloud-based edge storage network. Vivent Smart Home, our parent company, is a smart home provider that places a lot of hard drives across homes in North America," explained JT Olds, Director of Engineering, and Brandon Crowfeather, Product Manager, at Vivint Smart Home, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at @ThingsExpo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
SYS-CON Events announced today that Conference Guru has been named “Media Sponsor” of the 22nd International Cloud Expo, which will take place on June 5-7, 2018, at the Javits Center in New York, NY. A valuable conference experience generates new contacts, sales leads, potential strategic partners and potential investors; helps gather competitive intelligence and even provides inspiration for new products and services. Conference Guru works with conference organizers to pass great deals to gre...
DevOps is under attack because developers don’t want to mess with infrastructure. They will happily own their code into production, but want to use platforms instead of raw automation. That’s changing the landscape that we understand as DevOps with both architecture concepts (CloudNative) and process redefinition (SRE). Rob Hirschfeld’s recent work in Kubernetes operations has led to the conclusion that containers and related platforms have changed the way we should be thinking about DevOps and...
The Internet of Things will challenge the status quo of how IT and development organizations operate. Or will it? Certainly the fog layer of IoT requires special insights about data ontology, security and transactional integrity. But the developmental challenges are the same: People, Process and Platform. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Craig Sproule, CEO of Metavine, demonstrated how to move beyond today's coding paradigm and shared the must-have mindsets for removing complexity from the develop...
In his Opening Keynote at 21st Cloud Expo, John Considine, General Manager of IBM Cloud Infrastructure, led attendees through the exciting evolution of the cloud. He looked at this major disruption from the perspective of technology, business models, and what this means for enterprises of all sizes. John Considine is General Manager of Cloud Infrastructure Services at IBM. In that role he is responsible for leading IBM’s public cloud infrastructure including strategy, development, and offering m...
The next XaaS is CICDaaS. Why? Because CICD saves developers a huge amount of time. CD is an especially great option for projects that require multiple and frequent contributions to be integrated. But… securing CICD best practices is an emerging, essential, yet little understood practice for DevOps teams and their Cloud Service Providers. The only way to get CICD to work in a highly secure environment takes collaboration, patience and persistence. Building CICD in the cloud requires rigorous ar...
Companies are harnessing data in ways we once associated with science fiction. Analysts have access to a plethora of visualization and reporting tools, but considering the vast amount of data businesses collect and limitations of CPUs, end users are forced to design their structures and systems with limitations. Until now. As the cloud toolkit to analyze data has evolved, GPUs have stepped in to massively parallel SQL, visualization and machine learning.
"Evatronix provides design services to companies that need to integrate the IoT technology in their products but they don't necessarily have the expertise, knowledge and design team to do so," explained Adam Morawiec, VP of Business Development at Evatronix, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at @ThingsExpo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
To get the most out of their data, successful companies are not focusing on queries and data lakes, they are actively integrating analytics into their operations with a data-first application development approach. Real-time adjustments to improve revenues, reduce costs, or mitigate risk rely on applications that minimize latency on a variety of data sources. In his session at @BigDataExpo, Jack Norris, Senior Vice President, Data and Applications at MapR Technologies, reviewed best practices to ...
Widespread fragmentation is stalling the growth of the IIoT and making it difficult for partners to work together. The number of software platforms, apps, hardware and connectivity standards is creating paralysis among businesses that are afraid of being locked into a solution. EdgeX Foundry is unifying the community around a common IoT edge framework and an ecosystem of interoperable components.
"ZeroStack is a startup in Silicon Valley. We're solving a very interesting problem around bringing public cloud convenience with private cloud control for enterprises and mid-size companies," explained Kamesh Pemmaraju, VP of Product Management at ZeroStack, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 21st Cloud Expo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
Large industrial manufacturing organizations are adopting the agile principles of cloud software companies. The industrial manufacturing development process has not scaled over time. Now that design CAD teams are geographically distributed, centralizing their work is key. With large multi-gigabyte projects, outdated tools have stifled industrial team agility, time-to-market milestones, and impacted P&L stakeholders.
"Akvelon is a software development company and we also provide consultancy services to folks who are looking to scale or accelerate their engineering roadmaps," explained Jeremiah Mothersell, Marketing Manager at Akvelon, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 21st Cloud Expo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
Enterprises are adopting Kubernetes to accelerate the development and the delivery of cloud-native applications. However, sharing a Kubernetes cluster between members of the same team can be challenging. And, sharing clusters across multiple teams is even harder. Kubernetes offers several constructs to help implement segmentation and isolation. However, these primitives can be complex to understand and apply. As a result, it’s becoming common for enterprises to end up with several clusters. Thi...