If one seeks research on solutions sales and marketing he or she may be surprised how little substantive guidance is available on either the process or human resource needs. This lack is probably resulting from a couple of reasons, one being that no company wants to share its secret “sauce” formula if it is working.
It appears that most companies who offer complex or transformational enterprise solutions, except perhaps leading consultancies, after the initial market void is satisfied, eventually struggle to gain net new prospects. Undeniably, by the time a solution, even with enhancements, reaches the plateau of its lifecycle there are plenty of competitors and alternatives. Therefore it’s doubly important to have the right interaction with the market and the right workforce to execute the required prospect identification, cultivation and nurturing.
As indicated the issue is complex so in this blog I will only address its main modules and expand upon on them in subsequent blogs.
We have plenty of advice in sales enablement about both motivating the execution staff and developing content, such as purified success stories. As today’s buyer is much more savvy, such success stories are somewhat helpful as they provide “pizazz” if not “the beef”, as one presidential candidate suggested several decades ago. If you don’t believe me, please research how many decision makers will visit your website, answer your email marketing, or telemarketing call unless your company has high brand and they already know the company or you?
So how do you break through and sustain a replicable generation of fertile leads? Organize a webinar or an event? Go to a conference? Try to set up an appointment? Etc., etc……Each one has its own marketing merit to a lesser or greater degree, but only a tiny percentage results in a tangible sales enablement action, whether it is win or lose.
What are the main components which are lacking? The first missing component is adequate insight of the enterprise’s (account) needs. The second is that the message is mainly delivered by inadequately equipped people and/or truncated process.
One may answer with “I have plenty of sources at my disposition”; internet, my sales force, referrals, etc. True, but they have to be systematic, proactive and informed enough to produce a sustained pipeline. Even the largest and best companies typically use either internal staffs, such as inside sales (business development) or external “low cost” telemarketing agencies. Simplistically, neither of them is adequately equipped to understand account dynamics, your competitive positioning, transformational or complex sales enablement components, and they are mostly reactive, not proactive. (That’s why the large consultancies may have an advantage as they have cadres of capable people – but also are very expensive.)
I will elaborate further on developing the right staff and process in the subsequent blogs. Visit us soon or ask us a question and we will be candid in answering.