Blog Archives

Benefits of Buying Process Research

How do your customers buy from you? Do you know? And what about these questions: What steps do they need to go through to close a deal? Who has to be involved? What are their fears and concerns at each step of the process? What do you need to address that other vendors aren’t to make customers want to buy from you instead of your competitors? These questions are the essence of buying process research, especially for complex, B2B purchases. While the questions and their answers are intriguing, many people remain uncertain about what these answers really mean. Here’s some of what people gain by doing this kind of research. Align your marketing strategy to the customer’s buying process Today, most content marketing still falls into the “spray and pray”

Posted in Customer Engagement, Sales Process

Product Managers: Recognize Yourself Here?

A discussion group leader asked this question: If you with 3 bullets/points had to describe the most important tasks/activities for a product manager – what would they be? My response: Brian has this right, but one thing needs to be added: Marketing and sales channel optimization. Product managers I have worked with have marketing responsibility, and often pull their hair out trying to get attention in the sales channel. As Brian suggests, you  need to have products that meet customer needs, but you also have to understand how customers buy, and alter the engagement process to meet those needs. This is especially important when the new product is actually a different category of product, say when a sales force is used to selling disposable items, and suddenly has a capital

Posted in Customer Engagement Tagged with: , , ,

Segmentation or Specialization? Jack of All Trades or Master of One?

The question above was presented to a group of sales management professionals on a group at Linked In. Many people said it depnds on the products and how similar they are. That’s an important consideration, but the product is only one small part of  the overall  consideration. Here are three more critical factors to consider: A) Do the products require interactions with different roles on the customer side? B) How frequently will any new skills be used with a new product? and C) Do the realtionships that matter overlap and are they truly leveragable or not? The answers to these questions will tend to suggest either segmentation, additional sales team roles, or consolidation. For example, these questions often come up when a new product is added to the rep’s bag.

Posted in Acquisition Integration, Customer Engagement, Sales Process