Business-to-business companies are making one big mistake on a daily basis — they only think inside their bubble. The bubble can be a metaphor for a variety of things: a fixation on the people already determined to buy from them, falsely believing marketing is different than sales, or a fundamentally self-serving message platform.
Whatever it represents, this bubble is preventing companies from controlling their own destiny. Breaking through it will be the difference between continuing on a good-enough path and discovering your company’s true potential for growth. You can start making changes today by accepting these two critical sales and marketing truths: If you wake someone up to a problem that needs to be solved, then it’s likely your company will be chosen to solve it for them. Sales and marketing are one in the same for the first several steps of the buying/sales process. Marketing just does one-to-many, what a sales person does one-to-one.
You can start making changes today by accepting these two critical sales and marketing truths:
1. If you wake someone up to a problem that needs to be solved, then it’s likely your company will be chosen to solve it for them.
2. Sales and marketing are one in the same for the first several steps of the buying/sales process. Marketing just does one-to-many, what a sales person does one-to-one.
A problem that needs to be solved
A sale is a natural outcome of walking someone through the process of identifying a need or a problem, determining how to solve it, and selecting a product or service as part of the solution. The buying process.
In order for a buyer to choose your company at the end of that process, you have to put yourself in their shoes. What are their day-to-day challenges? Responsibilities? Sources of success? What keeps them up at night? Now, instead of thinking about your product line, consider the overarching benefit your company provides your target audience. Is it time? Revenue? Cost savings? Peace of mind?
Prospects don’t feel like they are being sold when they can have a genuine conversation about their business needs. Instead of focusing on your story, focus on theirs, and how working with an expert like you is the most effective way to get their desired results.
Companies comfortable with their good-enough business model don’t necessarily need marketing. Talented sales professionals, both business-to-business and business-to-consumer, are more than capable of identifying potential prospects, contacting them, qualifying them into leads, making proposals and closing deals. That’s what they are trained to do. The limitation is time — there are only so many contacts a salesperson can call or email in a day.
With marketing, you can reach thousands of contacts through email, direct mail, advertising, media coverage, and content in the same amount of time it takes a sales person to reach one. When working in sync, a marketing team can deliver the same messages as sales, and effectively shorten the sales cycle by walking a larger number of prospects through the first stages of the buying process at a faster rate.
Once leads are qualified, they are turned over to sales to vet, make proposals, close the deal, and retain customers for the long-term.
Controlling your destiny
More leads mean more demand and more people working through the buying process at once. Supply and demand. Companies looking to scale can use this opportunity for business expansion. Companies focused on profit can consider a price increase. And, companies aiming for a certain level of clientele can become more discerning. This cannot be accomplished without a robust and integrated sales and marketing team.