Maybe I missed it, but I haven’t seen David Letterman do this one, so I want to tell you what B2B buyers tell us about marketing’s influence on their decisions. Note that every one of these statements comes from real interviews with actual buyers. After all, we don’t believe in making stuff up about buyer personas.
#10. I’m under a lot of pressure to address high-priority initiatives and don’t want to hear about other problems that you think I should take on. I just don’t have the bandwidth.
#9. Your website has all the same useless information as your competitor’s does. So no, I didn’t spend much time there.
#8. I’ve done my research and know about many of the things that I must have to succeed. I want to know whether you can deliver on those before I go any further.
#7. Yes, I have a budget and the authority to buy, but I’m not going to tell you that. I’ll decide when I’m ready to talk to a sales person.
#6. I’m seeing a lot of obvious stuff about value, but nothing that speaks to the way we plan to measure the success of this initiative.
#5. I can’t make this decision without persuading other stakeholders. I need to see something that helps me handle their concerns and priorities too.
#4. I will lose my job if I choose the wrong solution. I need to be convinced that you can address my specific concerns about this decision.
#3. I’m testing your company to see if you fully understand my needs in this area and will be responsive if I do buy from you.
#2. We won’t choose the least expensive solution; we’ll select the one that is the best match for our needs.
And the #1 thing I want you to know: This decision is actually not about price or features. We’ll go with the company that we believe we can trust.
Have you heard these before? It’s easy to see why companies that best address these buyer concerns have a major competitive advantage in this buyer-driven market.
Marketers are learning that they can listen to their buyers, and we mean REALLY listen, to gain the insights that drive the content those buyers want and need. They’re discovering that this level of listening can’t be done through a survey or social media, that marketers need to have a unique kind of conversation with recent buyers, probing beyond the obvious answers until they know precisely how, when and why buyers choose the solutions they market.
These marketers are building buyer personas that focus on the Five Rings of Insight about the buying decision, avoiding the simple demographic profiles that can result in too many personas or not enough useful information about them.
Do your buyer personas reveal the insights you need to address these top 10 concerns? I love to hear from marketers who have truly insightful buyer personas.
If your buyer personas are missing some of this critical information, take a minute to check out the Buyer Persona Masterclass, the prerecorded training that shows you how you can become your company’s buyer expert. Or contact us to learn how you can schedule a private workshop for your team of four or more marketers.
Solutions that report on marketing results have been around for decades. Demand for useful data has produced mature marketing automation solutions at prices that make them affordable for companies of every size.
So why do marketers still struggle to gain credibility for their results? Why can’t anyone tell me how much revenue they are generating?
As I see it, the problem with attributing revenue to marketing results can only be partially addressed by technology, especially in B2B companies with complex sales cycles that extend for months or even years.
We can easily measure the number of marketing touches: how many times prospects downloaded a white paper and who attended a webinar, for example. With the right technology, we can even say how many times a particular person visited our website, where they went, and how long they stayed.
In short, we have access to plenty of data about “what” buyers are doing. Big data promises even more answers to this question. The problem occurs when we try to attach meaning to those statistics. As Mark Twain famously reported in his autobiography, “There are three kinds of lies: lies, damned lies and statistics.”
The holy grail of marketing metrics requires us to prove that a given marketing interaction had an impact on whether we won or lost that buyer’s business. If we understood that cause and effect relationship, we could assure our stakeholders that doing more of X will generate N qualified sales leads and Y revenue.
I’ve spent decades presenting results based on these marketing metrics. I’ve run A-B tests and crunched numbers in an attempt to relate our investment with the desired (or undesired) results. But correlations are not proof of cause and effect, a fact that I’ve personally had to admit far too many times. Who’s to say that the deal wouldn’t have happened anyway?
As it turns out, the missing piece of the puzzle is a byproduct of the interviews that are required for the Five Rings of Insight about buyer personas. Because marketers are interviewing recent evaluators of the company’s solutions (including wins and losses), they can ask probing questions about what influenced the buyer to make a particular choice.
By merging these persona findings with data from their marketing automation systems, these marketers gain unbelievable clarity about their marketing ROI.
Here’s a completely made up example about a company that is marketing laptop computers to small business owners (note that we can never publish real insights for buyer personas because our clients wouldn’t want their competitors to have this information).
In this example, we see that our PR and LinkedIn activities are working well. The Small Business Owner was impressed by the coverage we got in the The Wall Street Journal and told the Office Manager to include us in the evaluation.
But then our marketing automation solution tells us that only 20% of office managers who did that evaluation continued to include us in their “top 5″ options. Through the buyer interviews, we learn why: that the Office Manager, not the Small Business Owner (economic buyer), is our target buyer persona at this critical phase, and that she’s relying on case studies and blogs to determine that the battery life and size of our laptops doesn’t meet her needs. Our marketing activities need to improve in this area.
We also learn that our displays at Best Buy and sales training are working with the subset of buyers who do continue to evaluate us. The Office Manager is impressed with the feel of our keyboards and screen resolution – features that our website is effectively communicating.
By combining this information with the Five Rings of Insight for each of these buyer personas, this team knows what type of content they need to deliver (top priority: address erroneous data about size and battery life) and that they must get case studies and blogs working to their advantage.
Best of all, the team has transcripts of interviews with actual buyers to prove that these insights are impacting revenue so they can rally the company around a strategy to fix the most critical issues.
What is your experience? Have you asked your buyers to tell you their story about their buying experience, probing beyond their obvious first answer to get to the truth about why they chose you? Are you using these insights to fill in the gaps in your knowledge about your marketing ROI?
I hope you’ll share your comments, questions and experiences.
I’m concerned that so many people think that buyer personas begin and end with a description of a person. This demographic approach to buyer personas typically results in far too many personas, and information that is obvious or irrelevant for most marketers.
When marketers start with the objective to understand how buyers make the decision they want to influence, they’re building about half as many personas and uncovering insights that tell them exactly what they can (and cannot) do to impact those buyers’ decisions.
I think I understand the origin of the confusion. Companies have always segmented their markets by demographics (company size, industry, geography), so it’s natural to expect that personas simply extend that model to focus on the buyers in those segments.
Consider which of these data points would help you understand what you can do to persuade buyers to choose the solutions you market:
Demographics are a Dangerous Distraction
Countless blog posts and ebooks perpetuate the demographic approach to buyer personas. One marketer told me about a buyer persona training where they were advised to begin by choosing a name and a photo to represent their buyer. Other marketers are telling me about six-figure investments in buyer personas that contained endless demographic details but nothing they could really use.
I’m determined to correct these misperceptions.
Until recently, Buyer Persona Institute has primarily trained marketers whose companies scheduled one of our customized workshops for their teams. Today, we’re announcing that the Buyer Persona Masterclass is available on demand to any marketer, in two parts:
We will also recognize marketers who engage in best practices for buyer personas through our Certified Practitioner program. This program provides a path for graduates of the Buyer Persona Masterclass to demonstrate proficiency with this unique approach to interviewing buyers and building buyer personas. Certified Practitioners will be featured on our website, display the Certified Practitioner badge on their own websites, and contribute content to the Buyer Persona Blog.
I look forward to hearing from those of you who want to become the buyer expert marketers that stakeholders trust for persuasive marketing strategies.
It was 8:30 a.m. Pacific Time on January 28, 1986. This would be my second day as an Account Executive at Regis McKenna, the PR firm that Apple, Intel and most of the successful technology companies at that time trusted for their positioning and marketing strategies. I had a bit of marketing experience from my prior tech company job, but frankly, I was filled with anticipation and nervous about working for a famous PR firm.
I was in a conference room with a few of my new colleagues, preparing to learn more about my first assignment: conducting buyer interviews as a foundation for positioning an upcoming Intel launch.
Before we started our meeting, we decided to watch the televised launch of the Challenger space shuttle. Christa McAuliffe, a school teacher and the first “regular person” to become an astronaut, was among the 7-person crew. Christa’s inclusion was a part of a 1984 presidential initiative to promote the importance of teachers, science, and the space program, which meant that millions of school children were watching as the doomed shuttle exploded just 73 seconds after take-off, killing everyone on board.
Social media and the Internet had not yet been invented, but 85 percent of Americans knew about the tragedy within the first hour. The president’s plan to promote science was shattered, and the shuttle program itself was on hold for 32 long months.
It would be years before I fully appreciated how much I had learned that first week on the job. The research into the cause of the Challenger disaster demonstrated that internal pressure can override reason, resulting in stupid, even fatal, mistakes. Over the decades I spent in executive marketing and consulting, I learned just how critical it is for internal experts to be recognized and appreciated for their knowledge, and how difficult it is to convince an organization that a popular idea is flawed.
I also learned that marketers are rarely the trusted resource for knowledge that can prevent otherwise successful products from crashing and burning. This has got to change.
The training I got at Regis McKenna during that week in 1986 never mentioned buyer personas. They trained me to conduct “internal and external audits,” a terrible name for a great idea that involved interviewing internal stakeholders to understand their strategy, followed by buyer interviews to understand their point of view. I learned that I could market even seriously obscure technology if I simply listened to both perspectives to find the spot where they intersected. I learned that no one in most companies is a buyer expert, and that only marketers can prevent companies from pursuing a plan that has a good chance of exploding seconds, weeks, even years, after takeoff.
The Regis McKenna experience gave me the confidence and courage, in 1987, to start my own PR and market research company. A few years later, I sold it and accepted a position as VP of Marketing for a company that wanted me to build a market for a seriously obscure new solution.
The story of how buyers led me to a successful strategy in my first role as a VP is where I started my new interview with Matt Grant, managing editor and host of MarketingProfs’s popular Marketing Smarts podcast series.
In my 31 minute interview with Matt Grant, we chat about:
I hope you’ll have a listen and enjoy!
Knowing your buyer isn’t exactly a new idea. I first learned to interview buyers in the 80′s when I was with Regis McKenna, the PR firm that represented Apple, Intel and many other technology leaders at the time.
Over the next decade, my focus on the buyer accounted for my success as VP of Marketing for three companies that sold seriously obscure technology and services. The buyers taught me how to think about the value of the solutions we offered. It was just logical, therefore, to put buyer personas at the center of the workshop I authored and led for thousands of Pragmatic Marketing attendees for nearly a decade.
Much has changed about B2B marketing since I began my career. The companies I worked with in the 80′s and 90′s were inventing technology. Buyers didn’t have many choices or easy ways to learn about their options. Many were locked into a particular operating environment. As they say in real estate when housing is in short supply, it was a “sellers’ market.”
That was long ago. Just about everyone I know today is competing in a buyers’ market. Buyers have exponentially more choices and virtually instant access to information about them. Long before they talk to a sales rep, buyers are conducting research and making up their own minds about what’s important to them, eliminating companies on the basis of whatever information they can easily discover.
During the interview, I built the case for marketers to invest a few hours learning how to become a buyer expert, someone who knows how to get a B2B buyer to tell the story of how they make decisions about high consideration solutions.
Together, we walked through the key insights that marketers need to know about their buyers. These are what I call the Five Rings of Insight.
We also had a chance to talk about For Compelling Content, Let Your Buyers Be Your Guide, the new eBook I co-authored with Maribeth Ross. I shared some highlights, such as our 3 Rules of Buyer-Driven Content Marketing:
Rule #1. Your Buyer is the Center of Your Universe. Too often, we are drinking so much of the corporate Kool-Aid that we lose sight of how our target buyers think about the problems we’re solving. It’s important to make the buyer’s perceptions about their options so real, so compelling, so persuasive, that the company is willing to take direction from what they’re saying.
Rule #2. Get Everyone Aligned Around What the Buyer Cares About. That’s the purpose of building the buyer persona. But it’s not focused on gathering the B2B buyer’s demographics, their marital status, their gender, their industry, or their company size or other extraneous data. All of that is mostly meaningless noise. What’s important is how the buyer makes the decision we want to influence. And to do this, we have to talk to real buyers. It’s absolutely essential.
Rule #3. Lose the Jargonese. Once we know precisely what matters to buyers, it’s important that we leave the jargon behind. We need to hit the delete button on all of the flexible, scalable, compatible, enterprise wide and other BS in our content. In its place, we need to focus only on the points, the criteria and the topics that buyers want to learn about, using the words and tone that will resonate with our audience.
By following these 3 simple rules, marketers can focus on what I call the content of the content. Too often, we are too preoccupied with where to put the content, how to design the content, and all of the tactical details involved in delivering the content. I’m not saying that effectively managing our projects isn’t important. I’m just saying that it’s easy to lose sight of what our buyer wants to hear – the content – unless we spend time hearing them out on this subject. When we get in synch with our buyers, the content virtually writes itself.
So what are your rules of content marketing? How do you make sure you build content that buyers will find useful and will want to consume?
If you’d like to hear my entire conversation with Pamela, you can:
For more tips and insights, you can also download our new free eBook, For Compelling Content, Let Buyers Be Your Guide.
Once or twice a year, you may attend a client dinner or an industry conference. But even if your company hosts a customer advisory meeting several times a year, it will probably spend at least 80 percent of this time presenting to customers, and whenever a customer is speaking, the topic will focus on solution support or usability, not the customer’s buying experience.
If you’re like most marketers, you rely on the sales people for your information about how and why buyers make their decisions. Since sales reps typically talk to customers all day, you could assume that they know their buyers.
But, to paraphrase the the Gershwin song from “Porgy and Bess,” it ain’t necessarily so. If sales is telling you that price and features dominate the buyer’s concerns, you can be darn certain it ain’t so.
Many of you will identify with my client Dave (not his real name) who related that his organization was so focused on making the sale and pitching to clients that “we were just shooting ourselves in the foot.”
Dave is a product marketer. His organization had a common problem. Years ago, management saw a specific business problem and brought to market a solution to address it. Each new customer had a brand new set of enhancement requests, and the company had been completely focused on solving the current customers’ needs. Suddenly a competitive threat emerged that would require senior management to redeploy limited resources.
This dilemma provided the perfect opportunity to slow down, take a deep breath and listen to buyers. And that’s exactly what Dave did. He started interviewing recent evaluators. Each interview became another opportunity to get comfortable with the probing questions that revealed surprising insights. After a relatively small number of interviews, he began to see the themes that spanned all of them.
From these conversations, Dave knows how his product addresses a pervasive problem in the industry. He knows what the buyers are saying about the competitor’s approach, including their strengths and weaknesses. Analyzing his product’s successes and failures, he can apply this insight to potential market segments.
This is a starting point for building the buyer personas that Dave needs to develop an effective marketing and sales enablement strategy. Dave has even found a novel approach to developing highly qualified leads that he hadn’t thought of before.
All of this information came from simply stopping the endless selling (and marketing) and starting to listen and learn from the only people that really matter – the target buyers.
Why do many marketers never get around to talking to customers and buyers?
I’ll let Dave answer: “Sales people keep saying they just need more leads, ROI calculators and that sort of thing. We’re so busy working on our marketing checklists that there is never enough time to get out,” he told me. “I always knew my opinion was irrelevant but I never guessed that the opinions of the sales people were also irrelevant.”
While I’ve changed Dave’s name and a few minor details, everything else I’ve shared here is true. I’ll keep Dave’s secrets about what he actually learned from talking to customers though. That information is an advantage that would be lost if his competitors got their hands on it.
I’m excited to see more marketing agencies among our workshop attendees because by training just one agency to develop actionable buyer personas, we can help many more companies.
To get a sense of how agencies are leveraging buyer insights in the messaging, content marketing, advertising and campaigns they deliver for their clients, I interviewed recent Buyer Persona Institute graduate Julie Squires, CEO of Softscribe Inc. Her Atlanta branding, marketing and public relations agency serves clients in hospitality, travel, multifamily housing, and federal government and enterprise markets.
Q: How did you decide to build buyer personas for your agency clients?
Julie Squires: “I like to tell the story of Henri Matisse, who didn’t start painting until his late 20s when he was recovering from appendicitis. His first teacher looked at his work and told him, ‘You were born to simplify painting.’ We feel we were born to simplify marketing – that’s what we do for our clients. Our focus is to increase sales 20 percent to 25 percent through marketing. And buyer personas give us an effective process to do that.”
Q: How are personas helping you better serve your clients?
Julie: “Messaging is going micro and it’s going visual. If you only have six to eight words [to get a message across], how do you know you’re picking the right words? Buyer personas give us a way to break through the noise level. For us, they’re a discipline for grabbing hold of the voice of the customer. We hand-build this into persuasive messaging that captures the buyer’s attention.”
Q: Do you think marketers are getting too caught up with data, forgetting that marketing is both art and science?
Julie: “I do think we’re getting too algorithmically hypnotized. But we’re starting to see a swing back toward incorporating more of the human element and storytelling back into marketing in service of the business goals.”
Q: What did you do first after attending the buyer persona workshop?
Julie: Our team quickly completed 6-8 solid interviews for a client with buyers who made win or loss purchase decisions within the last 30-90 days. We found that we were able to tap into the voice of the customer at a visceral level and understand the essence of who the buyers are and what they want. Buyer personas are now embedded in our agency culture as part of our BEAM methodology – with the ‘b’ standing for buyer personas.”
Q: Do you think that buyer personas will help you win new business?
Julie: “Yes, it’s one way we’re getting new business…Our clients trust us to lead them into the next new, effective way to communicate to increase sales. So we’re seeing a lot of interest. And it’s already paying big dividends for our existing clients.”
Q: How have buyer personas helped your clients?
Julie: Here’s what’s cool. Our first buyer persona initiative resonated so well that our client rolled out the messaging in all their ads, trade show booth verbiage, and videos. At the sales meeting, everyone was enthusiastic and had confidence in the work [because it was based on real interviews with real buyers].”
Q: What advice would you give for others who are considering using buyer personas?
Julie: “Templates, e-Books, webinars and a wealth of other resources can help you get started. It’s a big procedural shift. You need to invest in training. Teach your team how to incorporate buyer personas into their marketing and PR processes. Also, it’s not enough to talk to in-house experts; interviews with real buyers are essential to gathering competitive and other insights you need to build effective sales-oriented messaging that gets results.”
I want to thank Julie Squires for participating in this interview and sharing her experience. If you have a success story about buyer personas, I’d like to hear from you.
I’ve seen this question posed to several of the industry’s most renowned marketing experts, but I have never heard a really good answer. The differences between B2B and B2C remain mysterious – so much so that marketers rarely cross from one side to the other during their careers.
Some believe that buyer personas, which are helping to shift the B2B industry’s attention to the people who make corporate buying decisions, will have the additional benefit of blurring the distinctions that have locked so many marketers into their original career path.
If this attitude helps marketers expand their job options, this is probably a good thing. However, I believe the logic is faulty.
That’s because a marketer’s role and contribution is not distinguished by the company’s focus on B2B or B2C solutions, but by the degree of “consideration” a buyer gives to the decision the marketer wants to influence. For the most part, B2C products are “low-consideration” decisions, where branding plays a major role in the buyer’s choice, while B2B products tend to be “high-consideration” decisions where buyers need specific information before they commit.
The fact that levels of buyer consideration so frequently align with industries might explain the longstanding divide between B2B and B2C marketing. But there are exceptions, and the interest in buyer personas is amplifying the need for a more nuanced view.
A simple example of a low-consideration decision is the B2C buyer’s impulsive purchase of a new type of magazine or candy at the checkout counter. On the opposite end of the consideration scale, however, B2C buyers make relatively high-consideration decisions when they invest in a home, major appliance, retirement plan, or private school for their children. A mid-range B2C buying decision might involve planning for an upcoming vacation.
Note that this same person may have a job where she invests weeks, months, or even years on a team that is evaluating a new technology solution for her company. She also makes relatively low-consideration B2B decisions about sending members of her team to an industry conference.
I’m not saying that brand is irrelevant to buyers of high-consideration solutions, or that information is unimportant to buyers of low-consideration products. Instead, I am suggesting that there is an enormous difference in the weight that buyers give to these factors, and that this has a huge impact on expectations and investments in marketing.
By thinking about the following two factors, it is fairly easy to understand where your product, service or solution fits on your buyer’s continuum of “consideration.” Think about:
This distinction is important for buyer personas because marketers of low-consideration products can improve their marketing and branding decisions by identifying “personal” buyer attributes such as gender, age, hobbies, marital status, income levels, commuting patterns, and so forth.
However, marketers of high-consideration products, services, and solutions are justifiably perplexed about how to use buyer personas that focus only on the buyer’s personal or demographic details. These marketers, whether B2B or B2C, need insight into the information needs of a targeted group of buyers as they make the decision to purchase their product, a competitor’s, or to do nothing at all. That’s where the Five Rings of Insight are essential to the marketer’s success.
Levels of buyer consideration also impact the marketer’s options for building buyer personas. Because we know that buyers of low-consideration products cannot reliably explain their own choices, these marketers will need to invest in sophisticated research by third-party professionals.
On the other hand, buyers of high-consideration products can and will tell you exactly how and why they made a recent decision. Marketers who learn how to conduct a uniquely structured but unscripted conversation with these buyers can uncover critical details that the buyer has not yet shared with anyone. These invaluable insights are the foundation of competitive and effective messaging, content marketing, segmentation and sales enablement for high consideration solutions.
I’ll give a brief overview of the buyer insights that are essential for marketing high-consideration solutions at an upcoming free webinar, Get More Leads by Identifying and Targeting Your Buyer Personas, with Janet Driscoll Miller, President and CEO of Search Mojo, on November 15, 2012 at 2:00 p.m. ET. I hope you’ll join us.
I used to think that creative genius and rare intelligence separated great marketers from those who toil away in relative anonymity. It was easy to imagine that something as unmanageable as luck and native talent determined one’s place at the top of the marketing profession.
Then, I had the opportunity to work side by side with some of these “experts.” Yes, they have a keen intelligence. But over the decades I’ve spent as a marketing executive, consultant and trainer, I’ve met hundreds, perhaps thousands, of equally talented people who never got much recognition for their hard work, their products or their companies.
In whatever role they take on, the experts I know have selectively chosen an area of knowledge and turned it into a golden career advantage. They started by learning as much as they could from what’s already known about a given topic or discipline. Then, everything they engaged in became another opportunity to gain new perspectives. Every meeting was a chance to listen, ask questions and build on their expertise.
These experts had the same internal pressures and to-do checklists as everyone else, but the experts consciously chose to focus their minds on a different path. They chose to become a central repository of important insights that cannot be found anywhere else.
Every time I meet people who feel stuck in a tactical role – as many marketers are, despite adding “strategic” to their titles – I encourage them to take stock of their situation. How much focus have you given to developing knowledge or skills that are truly unique and respected?
I recently wrote an article for CMO.com, suggesting that marketers need to build a distinctive competency that would position them as buyer experts. This is an area where no one in the company is focused. And there is a vacuum of insight into how buyers make decisions to buy a company’s products, a competitor’s or to do nothing at all. That’s because no one in any company, in the normal course of business, has the exposure to the buyers’ thinking that this role requires.
Some companies think that sales people are buyer experts. But talk to any sales rep about why he lost a deal and you’ll hear about price and features. When marketers engage in direct conversations with those same buyers, the story is rarely about these concerns, revealing facts that the buyer has not yet shared with anyone.
In fact the only way for marketers to become buyer experts is to engage directly with buyers through unscripted conversations. The buyers’ first answer to any question is never surprising, so the marketer must learn how to skillfully probe for as-yet-unarticulated facts about how and why buyers make the choices the company wants to impact.
Marketers who are buyer experts gain real insight into which buyers make a buying decision and who to target. They know which marketing tools and programs they need to build to influence buyers. They can address the barriers the sales people face in moving deals through the selling cycle, identifying ways to align buying and selling processes to gain competitive advantage.
If you take this approach, you will soon become a buyer persona expert. And you will likely watch your credibility and stature grow in the organization. As you do, start preparing for your next promotion – because it’s definitely coming.
If you’d like to become a buyer expert, join Adele this Thursday, Oct. 18 for her in-depth workshop, the online Buyer Persona Masterclass. (Enrollment is limited, so register today.)
I was in a marketing role at a software company/hardware reseller when I noticed that our existing customers were bypassing us for their computer upgrades. This translated to a lot of lost revenue, because those were the days when software was nearly free and companies like ours made most of our profits by reselling another company’s computers.
So what did I do? I brought the issue to management, and they assigned me to a new position that sold only to the installed base.
Less than a year later, I had grown current customer revenue by 300 percent. But the sales people were furious that I was earning commission checks that could have been theirs. The company eliminated my position and I went back to the Marketing department.
Several years later, I also spent four years as SVP of Sales and Marketing.
So while I am a marketer at heart, I’ve carried a quota and have at least a passing understanding of what it’s like to do hand-to-hand combat to win a deal. And while most marketers have other reasons for building buyer personas, I’ve always noted that the sales people have the most to gain from a marketing team that has deep buyer insights.
That’s why I jumped at the chance to deliver a webinar for Sales and Marketing Management on Tuesday, September 18, 2012. I chose the title, “Deep Buyer Insights: Closing the Gap Between Sales and Marketing” because I know that a common understanding about how to influence the buyer can align the two teams’ goals, activities and cultures.
Here’s one scenario. Can you recall your sales people’s reaction to the marketing presentation at a recent launch event? Were they really engaged by either the product details or the upcoming marketing plans – or where they more focused on their smartphones?
Now consider a different approach. What if the marketing presentation focused on the results of recent buyer interviews, with details about how each type of buyer chooses this type of solutions? What if the opening slides could clearly articulate, for the solution you’re about to launch:
It’s my experience that the best way to align Sales and Marketing is around factual, shared insights about how and why buyers choose among their options, and what each team can do to impact that decision. Do you agree? I welcome your comments, and hope that you can join me at my Sales & Marketing Management webinar, “Deep Buyer Insights: Closing the Gap Between Sales and Marketing” on Tuesday, Sept. 18, 2012.