Tag Archives: sales

b2b You do Social but we do personal. Big difference.

10 Jul

A large amount of IT vendors are now really adopting social as part of their approach. The only trouble is the IT buyer has been in this “phase” for the last several years. Vendors just did not believe it. While the social revolution took place the buyer has moved into the personal not social world. Most companies will catch up around 2017 – 2020 ish. 🙂Image 

Traditional lead generation model

19 Apr

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Anti – Social

13 Apr

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B2B Marketing with Marco

11 Apr

Great marketing stories watching old documentaries on Marco Pierre White

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The linear buying model

11 Apr

Social IT Marketing and the Channel

10 Apr

As more and more tech buyers turn to social networks to share and research information on IT products and services it’s having a significant impact on the technology distribution models born out of the 1980’s and 90’s. The typical way tech brands reached IT buyers was to recruit distributors and VARS and then hope they could sell products to as many customers as possible. In fact, manufacturers had no direct marketing initiatives of their own in place, relying solely on partners for marketing and sales.

The channel is obviously still an important part of the go to market strategy for IT vendors. However, with the rising influence of social networks on the technology research and buying process the linear, command and control mentality is gone forever.

Without the ability to participate in social discussions about their products and services vendors are taking a big gamble thinking the ”channel” will simply do the selling for them.

A great example of this shift can be seen among 1.7 Million IT professionals in the Spiceworks social network. They constantly tell me, “We want to engage with the technology vendors on our terms and turf. We will happily purchase products, services and solutions from resellers but it’s nice to ask the vendor a direct question every now and then.

If you are a vendor or reseller looking for ways to ensure your properly engaging IT buyers in social networks to complement and support your existing channel sales , here are some simple steps you can take:

  • Have a real, ongoing presence in the social networks where your customers and potential customers hang out and do their job.
  • When engaging customers in social networks be authentic and helpful.
  • Engage customers and potential buyers on their terms whether that’s providing a whitepaper or answer a question in a forum.

For the channel relationship to prosper in today’s shifting social media landscape, both technology vendors and their resellers have important roles to play. Both can participate in the customer – driven conversation, which will help ensure their meeting customer’s needs in the new social buying process.

SMARKETING 3.0

10 Apr

One of the major problems at technology start up’s today is the lack of understanding of how much sales and marketing principles have changed.“If I need to double revenue growth, I need to double my sales force to drive it” or “I need to generate 1,000 leads to generate one sale. Therefore 2,000 leads will generate two sales.”

This does not make sense and management teams are confusing correlation and causality. A vendor who believes in this may as well claim, “Christmas trees cause Christmas.”  The majority of technology start up management teams are still under the influence of the 1980’s and 1990’s mind set. Sales and marketing has changed so much that it is amazing. The problem today: Not generating enough qualified pipeline and sales to hit and exceed estimated revenue targets.

Here are the two major root assumptions among executives, founders and VC firms that cause the majority of the problem:

1.  I need to double my revenue, therefore I need to double my sales team, and
2.  Salespeople can find new business on their own

No they won’t. They may find some but not enough to feed themselves. Here’s why:

1. Salespeople are terrible at prospecting. Sometimes it has takes 30 – 40 attempts to break into a company and qualify a brand new opportunity.  Salespeople usually stop after 4 – 5 times.

2. Salespeople hate to prospect and do the upfront work to drive demand. Salespeople want to sell – not drive demand.

3. Even if a salesperson does some prospecting, as soon as they generate some pipeline, they become too busy to prospect. It is not sustainable. This is why ramp up times are so much longer than anticipated.

Salespeople do not cause customer acquisition growth, they fulfill it.

It’s a huge shift in thinking. Of course a company needs more salespeople if they are getting bigger, but this is not the main cause of new customer growth. Marketing, awareness, demand generation and engagement causes new customer acquisition and sales fulfills that demand generated by marketing. There aren’t any quick fixes to this problem. However, there are ways to solve this. I have outlined, in brief, a few ideas below for you to consider.  These are especially important for companies with a high volume sales model.

1.  Trial-and-error in awareness, demand generation (requires patience, experimentation, money) MUST be a true combination of sales and marketing team working together. I jokingly call this SMARKETING but it works.

2.   Use CRM religiously and track, track, track.

3.  Have patience in building great word-of-mouth.  This is the highest value lead generation source, but the hardest to influence.

4.  Create a well supported sales development team with resources.  This is by far the most predictable source of pipeline, but it takes time and focus (ties in to point # 1.) This is the BEST indicator of pipeline generation in the short term. We did this at a previous company and took the business from $1.25 million to $6 Million.

5.  Use PR & Social media outreach on a consistent basis.

6.  Find the right network.

7.  Target social networks that are relevant.

8.  Listen.

9.  Engage.

10.  Track results.

11.  Calculate the amount of qualified pipeline your company needs to generate on a monthly basis? Most start up’s do not know this.

The Reality of the IT buying Process

10 Apr

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