Asking the right questions in the market – 2

Human Brain, Marketing, Questions, Sales, Thinking

I have already written a few posts on the ability to ask better questions.

When you are in a leadership position its very easy to get caught in the “why” spin. I am also at fault on this because I have been a big follower of the 5 Why’s process. The challenge which I always had was that I was dealing with people – whether my own sales team or the customer.

It’s not always easy to get the emotional side with a Why question.

The second part was that in a lot of cases you get multiple points which seem to be the root causes. The key is how do you prioritize among them.

When you’re dealing with machines and factories it is relatively easier to prioritize using things like the Theory of Constraints.

Today while I was going over the book The Road Less Stupid by Keith Cunningham I came across another type of question which he gives. I think you should read this book if you are someone who makes a living by managing teams.

He says one question structure which he has found very useful is “How might I …. so that I can…..”

I tried this same structure on one of the pertinent problems we face. Till now my general system for understanding the problem, as I mentioned was the 5 Why’s.

Today however I tried this and the answers which came out were much more constructive. Now I need to see how easily they get implemented. However it did change my thinking and made me less adversarial.

I would suggest you also try this method and off course read the book and let me know your views.

Till next time then.

Carpe Diem!!!

Leverage

Leverage, Marketing, Marketing Ecosystem, relationships, Sales, Uncategorized

When you think of the word leverage it generally ends up with a negative image intended mind.  It sounds like being in debt.

In financial terms, leverage can have some negative connotation but today I am going to talk about the positive effects of leverage.

Archimedes is supposed to have said “give me a lever long enough and a fulcrum on which to place it and I shall move the world.” The biggest advantage of leverage that with very small effort you can achieve massive results. Little hinges swing large doors.

Moving in your car versus walking is leverage, automating a factory is leverage and all these help tremendously

In marketing (and sales also as part of marketing ) there are tremendous processes where we can leverage on things like automation etc.

But my favorite kind of leverage is relationships. These could be relationships with customers, relationships with vendors or your network. If you have enough good relationships in place, as Archimedes mentioned in a different context, you can grow your business dramatically.

However in any relationship is always better to give, before you get. That way the principle of reciprocity comes into play. Otherwise the person will feel exploited or used.

Other than relationships good sales people are tremendous leverage. A successful advertisement / message in one market can be leverage to get into other markets faster.

A CRM can help the new salesperson on speed faster to the accounts that she needs to target because all the historical information about the prospect is available.

A family of aspirational products and brands are also leverage for the company.

I would love to hear what is your favorite leverage in marketing or sales.

Till next time then.

Carpe Diem!!!

“Where” to meet your B2B buyer -2

B2B, Marketing, persistence, Positioning, Sales, segmentation, single target market

In my last post I wrote about how “intent” data could help you find the buyer or you could set up Marketing Joint Ventures with people who either sell before or after your product or service is needed.

Inspite of this however you need to figure out “when” they will buy, what will be the trigger to buy so that you can meet the buyer at that moment in case you have not been able to identify them in advance.

One of the key triggers in a B2B buying process is when there’s a change at the Executive level. Depending on what you’re selling, the Executive level could vary, sometimes a V.P level, sometimes a CXO level.

Whenever someone new comes in they always have an agenda to achieve in the next 1 year. If what you have to offer is part of the 1 year priorities then you can essentially get a reason to be in touch.

Keeping a track of new joiners at the executive level can help you identify the “where” to meet your targets.

Till next time then.

Carpe Diem!!!

Personal Differentiation- Part II

B2B, differentiation, Marketing, Product Management, Sales

I look at marketing and sales being part of the same activity group. While sales is done face to face or via phone, in person,  marketing is done without being in person.

That being the case, while there has to be differentiation with respect to your products and services, when marketing,  when selling the customer should be able to clearly see a value in interacting with you as a person.

In my last post on this topic I  listed some points to make yourself more endearing to customers.

If you can be remarkable in your ability to deliver value to the customer, the customer will remember and refer you also.

But the key is that you need to be very good.

Till next time then.

Carpe Diem!!!