Sometimes you just have to scratch your head. I was at a hotel recently, stepped into the shower, and there in front of me were instructions on how to use said shower. Are you serious? A shower so complicated the hotel needed to post instructions? Awesome.
There must have been a lot of calls to the front desk for hotel management to spring to action.
Do you have features in your product that are so complicated they need detailed, step-by-step instructions and diagrams?
Run and Gun is a method of selling that requires salespeople to get in, make a sale, and move on to the next opportunity quickly. In this method of selling the best sales guys qualify prospects out fast. Run and Gun is not a favorable sales approach for a complex sale or one that requires a high touch approach.
Great products are grounded in an understanding of market problems. Exploring the role of market and customer feedback in driving innovative products, Scott Blacker of Vovici and Steve Johnson of Pragmatic Marketing look at how research can support your product decisions. Which research tools are best for which steps of the innovation process? When do you use qualitative and when to use quantitative? And which customers do you listen to?
Your reseller is a method of distribution; a way to reach your customers. But I can see how easy it is to confuse the issue.
If you look at the value chain, the reseller buys product from you and then sells it to a customer. That’s how the the money flows, but the one who ultimately gets value and sings your praises in the market is the customer.
It’s the same problem that occurs when the marketing team says that the sales team is their ‘customer’. No they’re not. They are a method of distribution. Of course it’s necessary to ensure the sales team is adequately equipped to be successful in the market, and you have to influence them. But they are not the customer. That notion can lead to ‘the customer is always right’.
Has anyone beside me experienced a sales team that was regularly complaining that marketing wasn’t doing enough to support sales, yet the sales team were blowing out their numbers? You get my point.
Focus on the people who buy your products, how they buy, and their buying criteria, and the rest will fall in place.
The game of buying and selling B2B products has changed dramatically in the last decade. Buyers have access to large amounts of information that puts them in complete control of the buying process. Your selling process needs to align with this and adapt accordingly (or fail miserably).
One wrong move and it’s on Twitter, a blog, or GetSatisfaction.com. Then you’re in damage control. The ability for buyers to vent their anger to a large community of other potential buyers should never be underestimated.
The method where a salesperson (or a sales engineer as a proxy for said salesperson) demonstrates every conceivable feature in his product in the desperate hope that the buyer will miraculously find something, anything, in the product valuable enough that would result in a sale.
‘Show up and throw up’ can often be found in organizations that also subscribe to the ‘build it and they will come’ approach to running a technology business.