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jonerp : go-to-market   82

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Content Versus Conversation
"Breakthrough strategies require this conversational content to be captured and delivered in written form. Be bold, tell stories, differentiate. While all of this is hard, it’s far from impossible—it’s done all the time in conversations. The one thing that can’t be duplicated is the dialog that enables clarifications and deeper understanding. But building to that is possible."
go-to-market  b2b  marketing  content  conversation  dialog  messaging 
7 days ago by jonerp
Things I’d Like to See Go Away – Fake Personalization
My suggestion would be to be different. Don’t try to fake personalization, but show preparation. Provide a good reason why you are reaching out. Acknowledge if it is truly a first contact. Maybe even open with “I’m not gonna pretend we know each other like everyone else does.” Authenticity can go a long way."
go-to-market  e-mail  marketing  automation  personalization  prospecting  sales  effectiveness 
28 days ago by jonerp
Metrics Provide Clues, Not Answers
"There are a few phrases that bug me. One of those is “if you can’t measure it, it doesn’t matter.” Being an intuitive thinker, I firmly believe there are lots of things that you can’t measure (or at least can’t measure easily) that matter greatly. And, I imagine that many of you, like me can just feel if something is right–you don’t have to measure it."
go-to-market  metrics  performance  management  reviews 
4 weeks ago by jonerp
Customer Understanding is Essential for Every Role
"When you say Lean Startup, many immediately think about MVPs-Minimum Viable Products. For developers, that is often the focus. But, as I’ve blogged about before, the essential element of Lean Startup is how those MVPs get created–by getting out and talking to customers and putting them at the center. Design thinking is very similar—using things like empathy maps, customer observation, and more to provide a path to better products."
go-to-market  customer  experience  understanding  design  thinking  lean  startup 
7 weeks ago by jonerp
Things I’d Like to See Go Away – Unrealistic ROI and TCO Calculators
"Be more transparent. If you are providing a calculator for potential returns, call it that. Don’t call it ROI. Maybe provide that on your Web site, but offer a more complete ROI modeling tool for sales interactions. Work with existing customers to understand the business cases they developed and then use that to flesh out the range of inputs for your ROI and TCO tools. You might also discover some other areas of differentiation."
go-to-market  roi  calculator  tco 
8 weeks ago by jonerp
The Conceptual How
"As buyers get more and more interested, they’ll grant you more and more attention. And most of that attention will be focused on really understanding if, and how, they can be successful with your products and services. That is the time with complete, direct, and clear information is critical.

But that is not enough, to get to that point, you have to give buyers a reason to believe. Some of that comes from case studies–a critical component of any content strategy. But they also need to understand the basics of how."
go-to-market  b2bsales  buying  process  how  proof  trust 
10 weeks ago by jonerp
Things I’d Like to See Go Away – The Differentiators List
"What makes us special?

Our people
Our experience
The fact that we care about our customers
and other general meaningless comments

There are a few problems with this approach. First, they are pretty much what anyone would say. Like others have said about strategy, if the opposite of your statement is not true, then it’s not relevant. Would any of your competitors say “Our people are lousy”, “We are inexperienced”, “We just want your money, we don’t care about you”."
go-to-market  b2bsales  competition  differentiation  sales  strategy  trust 
11 weeks ago by jonerp
Things I’d Like to See Go Away – The Logo Slide
"Should logo slides disappear entirely? Maybe not. As appendix material (leave-behinds) that prove you have more customers (and stories) than the ones you shared, they can be useful. For investors and partners, again as a supplement to real customer stories they can be helpful. But that context is key. Logo slides reinforce credibility. They don’t establish it anymore."
go-to-market  customer  validation  logo  slide  sales  presentation 
april 2018 by jonerp
The Disappearing Opportunity
"With relates to the third point, vendors must constantly assess the customer situation and connect with or create urgency. It’s not just about establishing preference for you vs. competitors on the situation you are focused on; its establishing preference for that project vs. others."
go-to-market  bant  buying  process  enterprise  agility  opportunity  sales  strategy  urgency 
april 2018 by jonerp
The Risk of the “Risk Bias”
"While not completely surprising, the application of what I’m calling the risk bias to emerging technologies is somewhat concerning. Every technology vendor innovates, but breakthrough innovations usually come from new vendors. Larger vendors often employ fast follower strategies. Enterprises that wait for the capabilities from proven vendors may find themselves acquiring new technologies just to keep up with competitors."
go-to-market  attitudes  disruption  innovation  risk 
march 2018 by jonerp
What I Look For When Reviewing Web Sites - by @barnes_hank
"What makes you special: This is about differentiation. Being clear about what sets you apart from competition (and, hint, it’s not your people) is critical. You have create contrasts that lay the groundwork for preference.What do I normally see? No comparisons, no terminology that starts to connect to differentiation. Or, vague statements of differentiation (like the people claim) that are made with no context of what the comparison is."
go-to-market  buying  cycle  process  differentiation  messaging  questions  to  answer  review  web  site 
march 2018 by jonerp
The Quest for Agility Changes Buying Approaches - by @barnes_hank
"As organizations look to become more agile, we are seeing changing in buying approaches–but all is not well. In a recent Gartner survey, we discovered that our 506 respondents (in mid-sized enterprises or larger) had considered over 8000 significant software purchases (25K+ or 50K+ depending on organization size) in the past two years. Most importantly, 43% of them were ad hoc buying efforts—efforts that were not tied to strategic plans or existing budget commitments."
go-to-market  buying  urgency 
february 2018 by jonerp
The Strongest Differentiator – A Different Point of View - by @barnes_hank
"That is the perspective the firm I spoke with brings to the market. It carries with it some other interesting elements. The vast majority of their interactions are digital, rather than voice–inverting the traditional metrics of the industry. They welcome clients who can’t predict the scale they will need due to their hypergrowth mode. They analyze their efforts to suggest other innovations that can help their clients accelerate growth. And oh yeah, as a byproduct (particularly of the inverted interaction metrics) they can drive efficiency and cost savings.

Its a strong story, but the differentiator is all in a different point of view about outsourcing—targeting a customer base with different objectives, approaching it with a different philosophy, and totally throwing traditional metrics out the window"
go-to-market  differentiation  messaging  point  of  view  positioning  viewpoint 
february 2018 by jonerp
End with How - by @barnes_hank
"The best combination. Start with why (and consider highlighting some product capabilities that help achieve that why). Then once you have initial interest, connect the why to the how by putting your features and capabilities in the context of how they help you achieve results. Offer proof points–not just of results, but of how they were achieved."
go-to-market  messaging  storytelling  strategy  why 
february 2018 by jonerp
Positioning Is Not Messaging - by @barnes_hank
"Positioning should be simple and clear. If you want to throw in adjectives, load them into the discussion of the customer’s needs and wants–not the description of your value and differentiation. You may not be able to eliminate all adjectives (after all they are descriptive), but try to minimize them."
go-to-market  messaging  positioning  strategy 
january 2018 by jonerp
The One Thing to Always Do When Mentioned in Analyst Research - by @barnes_hank
"When you don’t do this, everything is reactive. I still remember a situation where there was a competitive POC bake-off. Both my firm and the competitor were featured in “the best place” in an analyst report. The competitor was slightly better positioned. Despite winning the bake-off, the sales team had to defend the placement. But they had not context."
go-to-market  analyst  relations  magic  quadrant  research  sales  enablement 
january 2018 by jonerp
Digging Deeper Into Technology Buying in 2018 - by @barnes_hank
"Our team has just received the preliminary results from our latest research effort and the data is fascinating. It will make its way into a wide variety of research notes and presentation throughout the year. Among the things we’ll be exploring include:

The number of planned and ad hoc buying efforts enterprises contemplate, cancel, and complete over a two year period.
The drivers for ad hoc projects
Buyer communications strategies with vendors
Whether individual interest is consistently a buying signal
A deeper look at buying paths, including span of authority for typical buying team members"
go-to-market  buying  cycle  communications  customer  life  cycel  demand  generation  sales  strategy  situational  awareness 
january 2018 by jonerp
Questions to Answer - by @barnes_hank
"When we work with tech providers, they are constantly looking for help and advice on messaging and storytelling. There are so many things to consider that it can be overwhelming. What content formats are needed? How should we message to personas (a dangerous approach in B2B). What type of stories do we need? How does content serve the buyer journey? And the list goes on and on."
go-to-market  activity  streams  buying  cycle  content  personas 
december 2017 by jonerp
Urgency and the Buying Process - by @barnes_hank
"There are 4 categories of urgency that come to mind for me–in order of opportunity value for a provider being legitimately considered.

Buyer Acknowledged Urgency – This is a situation where they buyer understands and is committed to change. I spoke to one company in the recent past who made a decision to purchase an employee performance management system in 4 days! How/Why? Because their board mandated that a system be in place by the start of the new year. If not, the repercussions would be significant. These are often the source of “bluebirds” and your best approach, once you know the customer has this urgency, is to make it as easy as possible for them to buy. And quickly."
go-to-market  buying  cycle  customer  experience  marketing  effectiveness  messaging  sales  urgency 
december 2017 by jonerp
Most Common Positioning Mistake – Attacking the Competitive Alternative - by @barnes_hank
"And here is where things go wrong. The vast majority of positioning efforts that I review go far beyond declaring the alternative. They attack it. They say things like “UNLIKE the costly, constrained, siloed <<whatever>>” and go on further to talk about why that approach is really really stupid."
go-to-market  communication  competition  positioning 
december 2017 by jonerp
The B2B Technology Buying Conundrum - by @barnes_hank
"These dichotomies create a conundrum. An environment that seems optimized for the buyer isn’t. And decisions take longer and longer. Indecision is more common, to the point of organizations sticking with the status quo much longer than they would like."
go-to-market  b2b  marketing  sales  buyer  power  buying  process  evaluation  information  access  trust  user  reviews 
november 2017 by jonerp
Contrasts are Critical - by @barnes_hank
"
Contrast the business results that are possible with your product/service vs. without.
Contrast yourself vs. alternative products or approaches.
Contrast your implementation and customer success model vs. others.
Contrast a day in the life of the users of your solution vs. a day without it."
go-to-market  b2b  marketing  sales  context  contrast  differentiation  messaging  storytelling 
november 2017 by jonerp
The Power of (Product) Moments - by @barnes_hank
"Wow experiences are scalable when they are ingrained in the product and service design. Rather than being random acts of “wow”, they become fundamental to the delivery. Since they are designed in the product they may not be totally unexpected, but they’ll still be appreciated."
go-to-market  customer  experience  cx  design  thinking  effortless  moments  of  truth  product  service 
november 2017 by jonerp
Personalities Trump Personas in B2B - by @barnes_hank
"But in B2B, that is much harder. First, you aren’t dealing with individuals making a buying decision, you are dealing with teams. CEB (now Gartner) finds that 6.8 people are involved in B2B buying decisions. For technology related purchases, it’s even higher. Gartner research shows between 6 and 8 people actively involved and another 5-6 occasionally involved. That is a lot of people and personalities. And it is nearly impossible to find a segment where you will find the same aspirations for specific CIOs, business unit leaders, and other roles. Further, appealing to individual personas could create conflict when these teams get together to build consensus."
go-to-market  b2b  buying  enterprise  personality  mobilizers  persona 
november 2017 by jonerp
The High Cost of Buying Complexity - by @barnes_hank
"I spoke to one attendee about this. She was in a sales enablement leadership role for a large financial institution and spoke about when the shoe was on her foot–trying to purchase technology for her organization. The frustration in her voice was palpable when she described a purchase that took two years."
go-to-market  buying  cycles  decision  making  delays  sales  strategy 
october 2017 by jonerp
Setting Strategies – Where to Focus - by @barnes_hank
"That, to me, is the most important thing to focus on in setting strategies. And not just the nebulous idea of the enterprise buyer, but your ideal customer (Gartner clients: See my research on this). This is one of the reasons to stress less about the competition. In most cases, it is unlikely that your ideal customer profile will be the same as your competitors. You may target companies with different infrastructures, different resource levels, different personalities, or other factors. If your ideal customers are different, then your sales model and marketing approaches may be different."
go-to-market  competition  ideal  customer  profile  positioning  strategy 
october 2017 by jonerp
The Elements of Disruption - by @barnes_hank
"
Technology – While not the sole element, technology innovations often play a significant role
Business – Shifts in business models and practices that change the rules of buying and selling
Industry – Identifying changing industry dynamics, or regulations (or sometimes ignoring them)
Society – Leveraging societal trends that provide new ways to build awareness, interest, and “tribes”"
go-to-market  business  disruption  elements  industry  society  technology 
october 2017 by jonerp
Scenarios – The Missing Link in Simplifying B2B Buying and Selling? - by @barnes_hank
"Put much more emphasis on developing stories that highlight the business scenarios that you address well.
Re-orient your demonstrations and videos to be largely, if not entirely, scenario-driven. Let your features shine through the scenarios."
go-to-market  b2b  buying  sales  selling  process  rfp  scenarios 
october 2017 by jonerp
Letting Your Customers Tell Your Story - by @barnes_hank
"But, when validation of service comes from your customers, it is immediately more credible. The volume of stories in the Mimecast piece is impressive. They had many many customers who were willing to invest their time to create stories about their experience. And the only thing Mimecast had to do was basic editing and layout."
go-to-market  advocacy  marketing  case  studies  customer  experience  service  validation  hpe  mimecast 
september 2017 by jonerp
Art of Possible vs. Proven Paths to Success - by @barnes_hank
"That works great early in the buying process, to help stimulate interest. But a continued push toward this as you get deeper into buying efforts is not helping the customer.

They don’t want to know what is possible. They want to know exactly how they achieve that possibility–or their own version of it. They want proven paths to success."
go-to-market  customer  buying  process  innovation  strategy  success 
september 2017 by jonerp
The Many Uses of Product Reviews - by @barnes_hank
"This is a missed opportunity. Reviews can be a great resource for vendors. Savvy vendors are aggressively leveraging reviews to:

Grab quotes and anecdotes for Web sites and marketing collateral
Provide a supplement to more traditional forms of references
Provide visibility into strengths and weaknesses to refine product plans
Understand the motivations, and frustrations, of customers around the entire experience (and thereby used to enhance implementation and service capabilities)
Deepen competitive understanding
Explore acquisition targets"
go-to-market  planning  reviews  strategy  user 
september 2017 by jonerp
Develop the Full Story–Then Shorten It - by @barnes_hank
"irst, develop your “full length” story, using our recommended format:

Situation (without you)
Impact (The case for change)
Resolution (How you help them change) format

Once you have that full story, you’ll often discover key points that really stand out. Make a list of all of these. Then start your brainstorming for the catchy elements from there. The list probably will include elements throughout the story. You may discover that you win by focusing on the customer need, not your product or service. In other cases, the way you do something may be the most prominent."
go-to-market  messaging  one  liner  progressive  engagement  storytelling  tagline  usp 
september 2017 by jonerp
The Potential Impact of GlassDoor on Sales and Marketing Efforts - by @barnes_hank
"In her preparation, she googled this company. Of the top 5 search results, 4 were from Glassdoor. There is a lot of talk about the impact of Glassdoor reviews on hiring. But consider its impact on sales and marketing. Two of these search results were specific reviews with these headlines:

[CompanyName] should not even be the last resort
[CompanyName] – Don’t even consider working for this company"
go-to-market  brand  glassdoor  reputation  reviews 
august 2017 by jonerp
Digital Disruption Demands Demystification (Hype Cycle Season) - by @barnes_hank
"And finally, one last point that many people seem to forget. If a technology falls off the hype cycle, it is not a bad thing. It means that that technology has made it to the mainstream market. Customers can be comfortable that there are a variety of choices, proven paths to success, and the possibility of cost savings. For providers, it means they are at the stage where most of the spending happens. The investments in getting to that point can now pay off. (Note: The only exception to this is for technologies that become “obsolete before the plateau.” That, indeed, is not a great thing.) The mainstream is where the real money is made."
go-to-market  disruption  hype  cycle  strategy 
august 2017 by jonerp
Asking Your Customers For Help - by @barnes_hank
"Here’s a sample list of things you can ask your customers (btw, if you have a customer community–for service or advocacy–this can be really easy, but it’s not that hard without one):

Where do you go looking for information?
What influencers do you trust? Which ones don’t you trust as highly?
How hard is it to find information you need on our Web site?
What do you think of our new collateral?
What steps do you follow to make a purchase?
When do you start preparing the business case to justify extending a subscription service?
What slows down your buying efforts the most?"
go-to-market  buying  cycle  customer  experience  influencers  insight  research 
august 2017 by jonerp
Your Most Important Digital Asset Needs The Most Work - by @barnes_hank
"Buyers consistently rank Web sites as the marketing asset that is most likely to get their attention and they rely on it heavily. At the same time, we consistently hear from buyers that they find Web sites extremely frustrating. Their frustrations typically stem from several factors."
go-to-market  activity  streams  b2b  sales  digital  engagement  evaluation  exploration  marketing  web  site 
august 2017 by jonerp
Retention, Growth and CX Expectations - by @barnes_hank
"But is there an answer–something that you can do with accounts to drive growth without sacrificing retention. There is. It is helping customers improve. How do you do that? You provide unique perspectives that can help their business be ore efficient or effective. You provide depth to those perspectives by outlining how those actions can be taken. And you focus on the impact, the ROI, of those efforts."
future  of  sales  go-to-market  customer  experience  improvement  cx  growth  retention 
july 2017 by jonerp
Women In Sales – A Missed Opportunity? - by @barnes_hank
"Two weeks ago, I spent time at CEB (now Gartner) with a group of sales and marketing thought leaders that participated in the #CEBInfluencers program. One of the most interesting discussions centered around the issue of diversity in sales, specifically regarding women. The discussion was lead by Victoria Koval (CEB-Now Gartner) and Lori Richardson. Lori is also the president of WOMEN Sales Pros."
future  of  sales  go-to-market  #cebinfluencers  #womeninsales  diversity  growth  strategy  women  in 
july 2017 by jonerp
The Soul of Lean Startup is Not MVP - by @barnes_hank
"But, if you listened closely and really work to understand, the reality is that lean startup really isn’t about MVP. MVP is a key tool for lean startup, but that is all it is.

The soul of Lean Startup is Customer Validation and Development. Without it, there is no Lean Startup."
go-to-market  customer  development  validation  lean  startup  mvp  strategy 
june 2017 by jonerp
Going Beyond the “What” in Case Studies - by @barnes_hank
"But “what stories” dont work for people that are not that far along. They need to know the why. Why did they need an e-commerce system? What was wrong with their old one? What problems were they experiencing? With “why stories,” you can help people sense and recognize issues they are facing that they had not identified a solution path for. You can tie that in to the value of solving them.

“Why stories” help people build the case for change."
go-to-market  buying  case  studies  content  proof  points 
april 2017 by jonerp
Quality and Comprehensiveness Matter Most for Account Based Marketing - by @barnes_hank
"With an effective ABM program, you are reaching deeper and broader into accounts, through a wide variety of channels and forms of interaction. Quality counts more than ever. Sending the lousy e-mails that dominate e-mail marketing and social selling (see #FridayFails on LinkedIn) is a recipe for disaster."
go-to-market  abm  account  based  marketing  b2b  gartnertgi  strategy  sales 
april 2017 by jonerp
Differentiation is What Others Think Sets You Apart - by @barnes_hank
"If you have something you believe is differentiating, then your primary mission needs to be getting others to embrace that and say that. If you succeed with that, then you have won the differentiation battle. If that doesn’t happen, you’re one of many. You’ll win some, you’ll lose some. But you won’t stand out. Your customers might appreciate you, but the reasons won’t be unique enough to make difference with the majority of prospects."
go-to-market  competition  differentiation 
march 2017 by jonerp
Presentation Problems – Ending with A Whimper - by @barnes_hank
"
Open Strong – Within the first 2 or 3 slides, make sure the audience knows the big idea of the presentation, treating it like “if you only remember one thing from this session, it is this”
Develop a story that explores that idea in parts
Close Strong – Close as strong as you open. Return to that strong opening and repeat it, albeit with some color or refinement now that you have told your story."
go-to-market  presentations  storytelling 
february 2017 by jonerp
Comparison Tables from Vendors-Fostering Doubt and Distrust - by @barnes_hank
"By highlighting what you do (and don’t do), you are creating a more believable differentiation story. Make sure you choose features or capabilities that would logically be of similar level of importance and coverage as the other things that you list. Highlight ones you don’t do that you know would be a bad fit for you."
go-to-market  comparison  tables  differentiation  messaging  trust 
february 2017 by jonerp
Words and Pictures - by @barnes_hank (JR: on effective use of images)
"As you look at and discuss and debate content and images, think about the role of purpose of the image. If its not reinforcing the story, if it is not drawing people into the story, or providing a metaphor–then it still needs work."
go-to-market  analysis  decision  making  graphics  images  storytelling 
january 2017 by jonerp
Recognizing B2B Buying Triggers - by @barnes_hank
"So, my recommendation for opening the new year more effectively is to focus on triggers. Build a list of the events or situations that trigger customers to buy your products or services. Then expand that list with ideas for how you can determine if the trigger is going to occur (or is likely to occur). Explore if there are ways you can use stories to create the trigger. Prioritize the list based on which ones are most important to you for success."
go-to-market  account  based  marketing  selling  buying  triggers  sales  situational  awareness 
january 2017 by jonerp
Appealing to Everyone Appeals to No One - by @barnes_hank
"Don’t appeal to everyone. Appeal to a segment of customers that will embrace your point of view and carry it to others. You’ll soon fine that your appeal will extend beyond that segment to others—much faster than starting broadly."
go-to-market  messaging  positioning  segmentation 
december 2016 by jonerp
Trust Breakdowns: Provider Claims Solutions Drive Strategy - by @barnes_hank
"When a vendor claims otherwise, most buyers will recognize that the vendor is putting their needs (selling their product) ahead of the customer needs. A marketing campaign to that effect could significantly damage the relationship and diminish trust–particularly when buyers tell us that they spend 65% of their time talking to people other than the providers they are considering."
go-to-market  messaging  strategy  trust 
december 2016 by jonerp
Buyer/Vendor Disconnects – Reasons for Immediate Rejection - by @barnes_hank
"But the first two are notable and an area where tech providers must focus. Word of Mouth has always mattered, but clearly it is growing in importance and impact with the rise of social networks and review sites, like Gartner Peer insights. Tech Providers can’t just take this for granted. They must create programs to encourage, cultivate, and “industrialize” word of mouth marketing."
go-to-market  buying  process  messaging  peer  reviews 
december 2016 by jonerp
The Enterprise Persona Matters Most in B2B Tech Markets - by @barnes_hank
"As you think about the enterprise persona, you can take it even further, as Bob suggested in his piece. For every area that you cover, also look at it from two other perspectives. Beyond the attribute that makes a customer ideal, is there a different “value” that would make them a terrible fit, e.g. qualify them out."
go-to-market  personas  qualification  segmentation 
november 2016 by jonerp
Differentiation and Neutralization – The Constant Struggle - by @barnes_hank
" Talented engineers often aren’t excited about creating “neutralizing products.” Being the most innovative is cool, so there is a tendency to try to out innovate others–both in features and words. For neutralizers, the better choice is “we are just as good, or almost as good, but–and more importantly for you, Mr. and Ms. Customer, we are lower risk and easier for you to manage.”
go-to-market  differentiation  disruptive  innovation  neutralization  sustaining 
november 2016 by jonerp
The Impact of Customer Communities Can Not Be Ignored - by @barnes_hank
"he bottom line is simple. Customers who engage in community, user group, or advocacy programs feel that their providers value them more because of those programs. To the tune of 91% of the respondents who participate in these programs. 91%."
go-to-market  advocacy  marketing  customer  communities  user  groups 
november 2016 by jonerp
Do People Really Care About Measurable ROI? - by @barnes_hank
"Branding matters, but is not always easy to measure. Marketing to the unaware buyer (from my targeting note) may be very difficult, or impossible, to measure (particularly affordably), but it is often important. Engaging with influencers can have a big impact on buying, but can be hard to measure."
go-to-market  measurement  roi 
november 2016 by jonerp
Can You Target Too Much? - by @barnes_hank
"But, in many markets, it is critical for growth. In fact, for emerging markets, the majority of your ideal target segment is likely to fall into these categories. If that is the case, and your investments are targeted at “shoppers” or “buyers”, your missing the mark and potentially wasting money."
go-to-market  marketing  strategy  sales  segmentation  targeting 
october 2016 by jonerp
Master the Discovery Demo to Balance Prospect Demands with Your Needs - by @barnes_hank
"The next time a prospect asks for a demo before you think you know enough, don’t say “no.” Instead, use the demo to facilitate discovery. There is a good chance you’ll both be pleased with the result."
go-to-market  buying  cycle  demonstration  discovery 
october 2016 by jonerp
The Differentiation Two-Step - by @barnes_hank
"Don’t get me wrong, functionality matters, but it rarely is the final decision factor. And in most cases, price is not either. It comes down to differentiation that matters to the prospect. A new way of doing things that addresses old challenges. A lower risk approach. An alternative that is easier to build consensus approval around."
go-to-market  differentiation  messaging  strategy 
october 2016 by jonerp
In Enterprise Tech, Sell Broadly Is The Only Answer - by @barnes_hank
"And a big thing not to do: Don’t lock out IT. Yes, the IT group may not have control of as much of the technology budget as they used to, but they still have a big budget AND they still are involved in most purchase decisions (of any scale—think beyond the pilot). In fact, people in IT roles tend to be involved in many different buying projects concurrently."
go-to-market  buying  cycle  enterprise  sales  team  tech 
september 2016 by jonerp
94% = Enterprise Buying Teams That Have Abandoned a Buying Effort With No Decision (in the past 2 years) - by @barnes_hank
"If you are skeptical of the information (even with my early clarification), you are not alone. When we have shared the data internally, the immediate reaction is “Wow, that is a lot.” The next question was often: “but does it include situations where the respondent casually investigated a product/service and decided not to pursue it further. That happens all the time.” Our analysis of the survey results leads me to believe that this assumption is not the case."
go-to-market  buying  process  competition  marketing  no  decision  sales 
september 2016 by jonerp
Best Kept Secrets (including some of Gartner’s) – Good or Bad? - by @barnes_hank
"If you are in a big market and are not just targeting a niche, being a best kept secret means everything is harder for you. You probably have client that love you, but you lack the broad awareness in your market to attract new prospects easily. You don’t want to be a secret to your target customers."
go-to-market  marketing  secrets 
september 2016 by jonerp
Dealing with the “happy customers won’t do case studies” problem - @barnes_hank
"Still don’t believe you can make progress. Maybe this will help. In a recent survey of 508 technology buyers (mix of business and IT roles, at varying org levels and in orgs from over 100 people to over 10,000), only 4% said they would not participate in any advocacy related activities. That means 96% are willing to help their providers, as long as they are receiving value."
go-to-market  advocacy  marketing  case  studies  customer  communities  references 
september 2016 by jonerp
Hype Cycle Reminders For Tech Providers - by @barnes_hank
"The Trough of Disillusionment represents opportunity. When I talk to some providers they feel like the trough is a bad time for the market. The reality is this is a sign of needed maturity. Opportunity in the trough comes from switching from talking about what is possible to talking about what is reality."
go-to-market  hype  cycle  innovation  market  clock  marketing  sales 
august 2016 by jonerp
How Hard Do You Make The Enterprise Buying Decision? - by @barnes_hank
"As you think of your solution, are you forcing lots of groups to say “yes”? In those cases, is your solution compelling enough, across the board, to get all those “yes” votes? If you do have a broad solution, and are new to the market, you may want tominimize the number of “yes” votes you need to obtain. Focus on one key area that appeals to one group for entry–using the other capabilities as differentiation and sources of future value. Don’t push too hard for that broad commitment out of the gate."
go-to-market  customer  life  cycle  situational  awareness  strategy 
august 2016 by jonerp
Forget Scripts, Adopt Situational Messaging - by @barnes_hank
"Think about it, this is how most conversations occur. This should not be unique or difficult for anyone. But it requires preparation. You have to spend some time learning about who you are interacting with–what is their role? Are they business or technology focused? If business focused, are they technically-savvy (it is getting more and more likely that this is the case)? If technical, are they in central IT (and worried about org-wide issues) or aligned to a business unit? Broader, what is going on with the business?"
go-to-market  improvisation  listening  messaging  situational  awareness  storytelling 
july 2016 by jonerp
Simple Tests to Assess and Improve Your Messaging - by @barnes_hank
"The Skeptic Test – I’ve blogged about this one before. Here you have to get in the mindset of a “doubter.” Look at everything through the eye of someone who does not trust or believe you. Does your messaging break that down or create more reasons for doubt? I call this “trust me” messaging and it is important to know that, with evidence to the contrary, most buyers don’t."
go-to-market  customer  centric  messaging  positioning  storytelling 
july 2016 by jonerp
A Critical Shift is Happening in Technology Markets - by @barnes_hank
"While investment in new technology for products and services continues to be a priority (55% of the CEOs ranked it in their top 2), a focus on innovating in the way their companies engage with customers was a top priority for more CEOs (58%). They are recognizing that changing market conditions, particularly more tech-savvy business buyers, requires them to become more industry and business focused, to adapt their sales practices, and to think about new delivery models."
go-to-market  customer  experience  innovation  leadership 
july 2016 by jonerp
Selling Up in #SaaS. Not what it’s cracked up to be - by @sameerpatel
"Now, genius is marketing to and gaining share of voice in the C-Suite. Every single successful SaaS company has perfected this. You want the best influencers in your corner before you show up to the pitch. And you want to create that strategic headroom in your product messaging that allows your buyer to make an easy case for budget approval from her C-suite manager."
product  management  saas  and  cloud  selling  go-to-market 
june 2016 by jonerp
Positioning Platform Businesses - by @barnes_hank
"My recommendation would be to start with positioning for the consumers–the ultimate customers. Create the model around what they need and want, your value to them and your competitive differentiation for them. A big aspect of that value and differentiation is likely (it almost has to be) intrinsic to the business model. For example, the value for Android phones are Android Apps—and an easy way to acquire them via Appstores."
go-to-market  consumers  ecosystem  platform  business  positioning  producers 
may 2016 by jonerp
Beyond the Buying Cycle - by @barnes_hank
"The activity stream concept continues. The core idea is that buyers don’t compartmentalize their decision process. Because of free access to information, the explore (consider buying), evaluate (consider alternative options), and engage (decide who work with) at the same time–with one stream being most prominent at particular points in time."
future  of  sales  go-to-market  buying  cycle  customer  experience  lifecycle  marketing  owning 
march 2016 by jonerp
Need More Authentic Content- Ask Your Advocates - by @barnes_hank
"I’m not sure why advocacy marketing is not at the top of every marketing priority list. I thought this would happen by now. Don’t get me wrong, I’m seeing more and more examples of success, but I still sense people questioning if they can do it, questioning the value, and creating excuses why it won’t work for them. Let me be clear, the only reason that I believe that advocacy marketing won’t work is if your customers don’t like (not even love) the products or services you provide them."
future  of  sales  go-to-market  advocacy  content  marketing  customer  gartnertgi 
march 2016 by jonerp
Trust, Differentiation, and Messaging - by @barnes_hank
"A few weeks ago, I shared some of the results from Gartner’s latest survey about differentiation. In that post, the focus was on the impact of a failure to differentiate. Today I want to look at some of the other questions that we asked and the responses as it relates to messaging and trust."
future  of  sales  go-to-market  case  studies  differentiation  influencer  relations  situational  awareness  trust 
february 2016 by jonerp
The Impact of a Failure to Differentiate - by @barnes_hank
"At a high level, the results have not changed substantially, Buyers still are frustrated by providers’ inability to differentiate themselves and turn to others for help. That is not surprising. But there is an area we explored this year that is important. We asked the respondents what the impact of a provider failing to differentiate is on their buying effort. And the impact is significant."
go-to-market  differentiation  positioning 
february 2016 by jonerp
When Do We Win (in Technology Sales) - by @barnes_hank
"Provider, take a look at your sales processes and what you consider a win. Maybe it is time to rethink it. How would that impact how your approach sales, marketing, and service? How would that deliver more value for your customers and your business?"
future  of  sales  go-to-market  customer  experience  marketing  cycle 
january 2016 by jonerp
The Skeptic Test – A Key Step to Messaging Improvement - by @barnes_hank
"Move away from unproven superlatives. Focus on clarity. If you get external validation, then use that to describe what makes you great. For example, compare “We are the best banking solution” to “15 of the top 20 banks use our software for daily cash management.” Which is more trustable? Of course, it is the second one. As long as you can prove it."
go-to-market  messaging  skepticism 
january 2016 by jonerp
Situational Sales Management - by @barnes_hank
"When working with their teams, I’d suggest that most of the discussion when reviewing pipelines, forecasts, and individual deals should focus not on the outcome (i.e. “When are you going to close and for how much” – There is a great blog post from John Smibert on this topic), but on the customer situation."
future  of  sales  go-to-market  customer  centric  leadership  management  sitautional  selling 
december 2015 by jonerp
Influence Scales. Control Does Not. - by @barnes_hank
"One of my favorite soundbites from the Gartner Symposium Keynote was “Influence Scales. Control Does Not.” Peter Sondergaard made the statement as a rallying cry to CIOs to not feel threatened by IT spending shifting out of IT into the business. Rather than worrying about controlling IT spend, use influence to make sure that spending, wherever it occurs, delivers value to the business and does not expose it to unacceptable security, risk, privacy, or quality issues. A desire to control creates a bottleneck and frustration."
go-to-market  advocacy  community  ecosystem  influence 
december 2015 by jonerp
Situational Awareness is Key to Tech Sales Success - by @barnes_hank
"As Gartner continues to explore The Future of IT Sales, one thing became has become increasingly clear. Continued focus on methodology du jours (Challenger Selling, Social Selling, Value Selling, Power Selling, etc.) is missing the point. Continued focus on sales processes that seek to give management a better view of activity, progress and pipeline is also missing the point."
future  of  sales  go-to-market  customer  buying  cycle  journey  situational  selling 
october 2015 by jonerp
Buyers are More Prepared – Are You? - by @barnes_hank
"But the main point is this. Rather than agonize over where buyers are in their process, do something about it.

Get focused.
Use segmentation to prioritize markets and specific company targets.
Do the research on those targets
Connect with Context."
future  of  sales  go-to-market  buying  process  customer  experience  social 
october 2015 by jonerp
Avoiding the Consensus Buy (A Market Traction Approach) - by @barnes_hank
"A major theme of the book is the “consensus buy” and how to better deal with it. The reality is that in most cases there is not a single decision maker–there are multiple stakeholders that all have to agree on the buy. This has been going on for a while. In 2013, our research into buying cycles focused on the important role of buying teams–and the shifting responsibilities that occur throughout the process."
future  of  sales  go-to-market  buying  cycle  challenger  customer  consensus  messaging 
september 2015 by jonerp
Getting Lost on the Customer Journey - by @barnes_hank
"I’m a big believer, as most of you know, in Customer Experience. But I have to admit that I struggle to fully understand Customer Journey Mapping. This jumped to the front of my mind after reading a great post from Esteban Kolsky on the topic. Esteban captured many of my concerns with journey mapping in his post. I’ll likely reiterate some of them here (apologies in advance if I repeat you in any way, Esteban)—but from what I hope will be a different perspective."
future  of  sales  go-to-market  customer  journey  marketing 
august 2015 by jonerp
For Prospecting, Put in the Effort, or Don’t Bother - by @barnes_hank
"The focus on activity counts can make many otherwise smart people look really really stupid. The most obvious way this shows itself is in e-mails that fake personalization (which I’ve blogged about before). You would think with tools like LinkedIn, the volume of these bad emails–and I don’t care if they originate from sales or marketing—would be decreasing, but I’m finding the opposite is happening."
future  of  sales  go-to-market  email  marketing  prospecting  social  selling 
july 2015 by jonerp
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