The Capabilities B2B Organizations Need to Succeed
I don’t think it’s a surprise to anyone that if we talk about solutions that enable you to better engage and reach customers that there is a plethora of things that are out there. In fact, I think that’s probably a part of the problem. Organizations are pretty quick to jump to solutioning and technology that enables them to support it, and I think that is the wrong place to start. So for any organization to jump into the deep end of the pool and drown in all of the technology alternatives that are out there, is probably the wrong first step in the process; it is certainly an important one.
Start with Process/Experience, not Technology
For our clients, we like to take them along the journey of thinking about the pieces of a capability and that’s what the classical definition would be – “process, people, and technology”. I use that order very purposefully because we believe that is the right way in which organizations should tackle the problem. First focus on the process, then focus on those individuals and how you organize to be able to execute the process, and lastly think about the things that help you better reach their technology and help accelerate and make those interactions more efficient.
Architecting Process by Focusing on the Buyer Journey
Any buyer that is trying to make a decision is really going through three steps. The first being education. That is answering the question, “Who do I want to spend my time talking to?”. So it is surveying the landscape of providers offerings that are out there and figuring out which seem to be along the lines of helping me get where I want to go. They either help me solve a business problem or help me accomplish a business goal.
Once you’ve identified who those people are that you want to speak with, the second process is how do I align their specific offerings to your circumstance. So, not in the broadest sense, but for your particular goals and objectives and figuring out which one shows the most credence or proof that they’re able to solve your business problems.
So your kind of reducing the playing field and getting to the point where you now want to move to the third step in the process which is “selection”. That is who wins, who you’re going to pick, that you’re going to buy from. That has more to with, once you’ve identified those that can help you, which ones do it in a time effective or budget effective manner. And maybe most importantly, because often times those first two portions of it are pretty equal amongst those competitive offerings, who does it in a way in which I want to be treated or creates the relationship that I would like. Which is one of the things that we think is most impactful and tends to be a rationale for why buyers buy in today’s world – the experience that is created through the process.
Buyer Expectations Through the Journey
So through that three step process, buyers are looking to get to the information they need to be able to progress through those steps in the way in which they want to get it. Which means in today’s world, I’ve got to be able to access digital content whenever I would like to, to be able to help move through those steps. I think that is one of the challenges that organizations have – figuring out the new role in the relationship between a marketing organization and sales, to be able to align that to that buying process and get those buyers the information they need at the right time.