In an era of digital transformation, enterprise software companies are breaking down internal barriers between sales, marketing, product, and value engineering services. Data and analytics are key ingredients, but not enough in 2018 to separate you from competition. In this article, I introduce 5 transformational tactics that product, go-to-market, and marketing leaders can use as a gut check.
1. Storefront Push vs. Pull
A lot of enterprise software companies design their website as a storefront that is jam packed with with buzzwords and industry lingo (for SEM / SEO). Whitepapers, customer stories, and webinars provide some context to your customer’s challenges where you can demonstrate thought leadership. Pumping customers with content is cheap, easy, and efficient, but your competitors are also doing this. Leaders are leveraging their website to provide meaningful and personalized experiences, capable of profiling customers needs in a way that previously required human intervention.
Do you use your website to profile, personalize, and prioritize your solution collaterals based on a customer’s needs (not to be mistaken with persona)?
2. Engagement vs. Fit
As the complexity of your sales process increases so does the importance of building a relationship with your customer early in the process. Regardless of your engagement strategy, your success hinges on demonstrating understanding of your customer’s business pains and articulating the impact of your solution to ease those pains better than your competitors. Leaders can effectively distribute subject matter and domain expertise through direct and digital channels. Additionally, leaders can effectively profile and calculate a prospect’s fit as a potential customer to prioritize the right level level of engagement.
Do you have consistent processes and tools to demonstrate your domain expertise while collecting information from prospects to determine fit?
3. Features vs. Impact
Your enterprise software or value engineering service will help your some part of your customer’s business run better, faster, and/or more efficiently. Until you explain “WHY” this matters to a customer, what you are calling a “solution” is just a tool or service in the customer’s mind. Prescribing features and benefits without hypothesizing the impact is a bad habit and a tough one to break without pairing your domain expertise with an open and honest customer stakeholder. Leaders understand how their customer’s maturity, strategy (or lack thereof), and previous investments will impact the success of a new technology / value added service.
What is your process to align your solution to your customer’s industry/line of business challenges? How do you quantify and communicate impact to prospective customers consistently?
4. Transaction vs. Journey
A customer lifecycle can last years or even decades. A single sales opportunity can be a single cog in a complex customer relationship, and represents a period of time within a customer’s journey. Leaders quantify and record customer challenges and track success milestones over time.
To retain customers, how do you track adoption of your solution over time? Do you cultivate benchmarks so customers understand strategic value when it comes to new purchases and renewals?
5. Marketing Qualified vs. Sales Qualified
Many marketing organizations employ sophisticated tools to collect, interpret, and score leads based on their activity and engagement. However, this process typically resets through the relationship building process once a lead is “marketing qualified” and handed off to sales. Leaders who engage customers through digital channels can seamlessly handoff intelligence to sales professionals to accelerate the sales process.
How much intelligence about your customer’s specific business challenges does marketing provide to your sales organization?
Transition to a leadership position with Smart Discovery Assessments
Addressing these challenges is a daunting task, even for experienced sales and marketing leaders. Our “Playbook” to operationalize your solution strategy requires you to align and measuring your customer’s needs with your product / service strategic value. Book a 30 min consultation and we will show you how leading enterprises are winning with similar smart discovery assessments.
Do you want to learn more about specific playbook use cases that leaders are using today? Feel free to reach out to me directly at firstname.lastname@example.org or (800) 481-8352