B2B Buying Processes in technology -II

B2B, differentiation, Marketing, Product Management, segmentation

While I keep talking consistently about segmenting the market and identifying niches, I also talk about identifying niches by use case rather by demographics and psychographics.

Typically in B2B buying especially when you are selling (I am using this term in a very broad way) to mid to large size companies there’s an hierarchy of positions within departments. In typical sales situations you want to identify a decision maker and then message to them. Unlike an individual or family buying a low value item where decisions are taken on the spot, in case of decisions which require substantial investment in technology buying, there are always multiple layers

In B2B buying there’s a someone who can say yes and a lot of people who can say no. However in most cases the decision maker herself does not evaluate the options. She typically would ask someone or some people in her team or make a cross functional team to evaluate the options and bring them to her and then she takes a decision.

Now this is where it gets tricky for the Product Management person. The decision maker does not evaluate options. The people who evaluate the options in today’s day and age are hidden because they do more than 60-70% of the sorting using the internet and reach out to specific companies whom they have shortlisted. So even if you have the most elaborate technical product, if you didn’t come in front of this team and this team does not evaluate you then you don’t stand a chance.

So how does the Product Management person identify the persona to whom the messaging has to be targeted. That’s what makes the B2B buying process complex for the marketing folks.

When you choose a very small segment of the market to target , the advantage is that you can do iterations in your messaging, you can actually interview prospects who didn’t buy from you and other things to identify what is resonating with your market and incorporate the learnings very fast.

This is not an easy task at all. Once you are able to “crack the code” as Dean Jackson puts it, you can scale in that market very fast.

Even now I have to learn so much in each new product we launch. Its never easy to say that because I launched a security product last year successfully I will be successful for a new AI product I am launching this year. While the frameworks can be in place and evolving, the learning is always new. But that’s what makes it interesting.

Till next time then.

Carpe Diem!!!

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