Clearly identifying the customer is critical in focusing our sales and marketing where we have the greatest insights, where we have the greatest impact, and where we get the greatest return on our investment in time and resources. Doing this focuses us on the customer where we create the greatest value.
It’s clear we’re in a frenzy of networking and connecting. There seems to be a rush to establish connections, friends, whatever. People are reaching out, connecting, racking up the numbers. They’re using every channel possible—LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, Google +, and more. But then there’s this odd phenomena.
Revenue is important! The top sales executive needs to be accountable for producing the expected revenue. But the top sales executive is also accountable for executing the corporate strategy. Sometimes to do both, we have to change the way we measure (and compensate) sales people. Sometimes revenue quotas are the wrong thing.
Lean has huge traction in about every part of organizations except for sales and marketing. But if you really understand Lean, it becomes compelling for sales and marketing, purely because of the clarity, focus, and simplicity it drives.
Our worlds are too complex; we seem to keep piling things onto everything we’ve done in the past. Too often, however, in response to this complexity and all the “tools” that have been put in place to manage it, instead of seeking simplification we dumb things down.
Over the past few weeks, I’ve written a number of posts about Value Propositions and Pricing. They’ve generated a lot of conversation in various venues. One of the things that’s struck me is the lack of discussion on differentiation.
Focusing on deal value colors our strategies and focus. However subtly, everything becomes “what we get from the deal.” But we get nothing unless the buyer gets superior value from our solution and chooses it. So deal value is meaningless unless we understand buyer value.
I hear it all the time: “I need an excuse to get back into the customer.” Creating excuses to get back into the customer is nothing but old sales mythology. It does nothing to serve us or the customer.
Buyers and sellers are different sides of the same coin. Without each other, it is difficult to achieve our goals. Effective buying and selling has to be aligned to a common goal—driven by the customer. But we can’t confuse our roles.
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