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3 Highly Destructive Sales & Marketing Problems & How to Fix Them

Overview

Sales and marketing are two of the most important aspects of any business. No matter what type of company you have, it’s crucial to find ways to generate revenue and attract new customers. But all too often, businesses focus on the wrong things or develop bad habits when it comes to their sales and marketing efforts. There are three problems within sales and marketing that are so fundamental and basic in nature that many businesses completely overlook them, and if left unaddressed these problems can cause some serious harm. Here are three sales and marketing problems that will cost your business dearly if you don’t address them ASAP:

1) Missing the Fundamental Question

2) Less Selling | More Connecting

3) Not Seeing Beyond the Transaction

Problem 1: Missing the Fundamental Question

One of the most significant challenges facing new and established companies is the inability to answer what is arguably the most fundamental question: what is wrong with the world that you are business needs to exist? While this question seems painfully obvious, it is equally if not more painful hearing the various answers from people throughout the company. Responses that very are indicative of a company who does not uniformly know who they are or what they are about. One of the most valuable benefits of being able to have a solid answer to this question is that the answer provides direct insights into your customers world. The answer to this question speaks directly to the problems that they face and the challenges they experience that hold them back from where there could be. This is your company’s sweet spot because ideally you should be able to solve their challenges and accelerate then forward.

While it is critical that everyone throughout a company have complete clarity as to why the business that they support should exist, it is arguably most important that anyone occupying a role in sales or marketing should be most familiar with this answer. Sales and marketing are the primary contact point between your company and its customers and prospects, and if this group is out of sync On messaging as important as this then you have a serious problem on your hands. if you are out of sync here then how can you even begin to be successful in connecting with your customers and prospect base in any meaningful way?

The good news is that if your sales and marketing team that is currently effective in some way, that is an indicator they do have insight into this most fundamental question of why your company deserves to exist. However, taking the time to clarify this point will only serve as a means to connect with your customers and target audience In a far more effective manner that will invariably generate more revenue.

Read More: Forbes – Why Fundamental Clarity of Purpose Matters, And Market’s Role in Forming It

Problem 2: Less Selling | More Connecting

There is a common phrase that goes something like “nobody wants to be sold but everybody loves to buy”, and I would argue that we all have an innate understanding of what this means. However, how do you begin to explain the difference between somebody being sold versus somebody buying something? When you think of “being sold to” what does that conjure up in your mind? if you’re like me, you think of somebody who is a little too slick for their own good telling you exactly what you need, and why you need it, but they don’t ask you a single question. How can they tell you what you need when they don’t even know the first thing about you? Situations like this often tell us we are dealing with somebody who is worried about their interest more than ours. People like this are the ones who fuel all the popular stereotypes that we think of when it comes to the proverbial “used car salesperson”.

Is this what you think of when you think of a “use car salesperson”?

The most significant problem with these kinds of salespeople is that they are highly presumptive in their approach, and they almost exclusively spend their time talking about how great their product or service is. This is the kind of selling that is often found in rookie salespeople or poorly trained salespeople, and they do not get bound to full results overtime, and they do not set the stage at all for a long-term positive relationship between customer and vendor. If your salespeople are selling in this way, then you have an immediate and critical retraining initiative on your hands.

The best salespeople do not spend their time telling prospects how great they are. Rather, they show genuine interest in their prospects. They spend a great deal of time asking detailed questions and they listen intently to the response have the person opposite them. In listening to their prospects they gain deeply insightful knowledge as to the specific problems and the various dynamics of those issues faced by this particular prospect. With this knowledge a skilled salesperson can empathetically connect with their prospect, thus forming a true human to human connection period from there this skillful salesperson can directly match the problems their prospect faces with the solutions that they have to offer. Furthermore, they can craft an intricate and meaningful story of what an aspirational and achievable future looks like. Best of all the skillful salesperson can present numerous case studies that portray how others in similar circumstances were able to overcome their challenges and achieve a better state through your company’s products or services.

Problem 3: Not Seeing Beyond The Transaction

Salespeople push to close deals. That’s what they do. They sell products and or services. However, all too many salespeople, and companies for that matter, view the transaction as the culmination of all events serving as the end of the road. This is wrong. The transaction is not the end, but the beginning. If you have a sales team the views the sale as the end of the line, then you have a problem that you have to fix.

Salespeople have many tools at their disposal to help influence a deal to move forward ranging from video demos, ROI documents, case studies, etc. However, nothing is more potent for the salesperson then a thrilled customer willing to evangelize how great your company is to other prospects that are on the fence. Conversely, nothing is more damaging to a salesperson then a stable of unhappy customers.

Long term success for businesses largely stems from the quality of relationship they have with their customer base. Businesses that understand this invest the time effort and energy required to make these customers feel loved and heard on a regular basis. It is amazing how the bar yes set so low in many cases for customer expectation. poor customer service is more the rule then the exception these days. This sets the stage for your company to rise to the occasion and be something special in the mind, but more importantly the heart, of your customer. Simple things really matter in terms of preserving and expanding the relationship you have with your customer, but if you don’t think beyond the transaction then you will never grow these relationships, or the associated revenue that comes from a healthy and happy customer base in a meaningful way.

Bonus Point: companies that have been around awhile have had to weather a storm or two. Often it was revenue generated from there pool of current customers that sustained them through the potential crisis. if you do not have this type of customer base to lean on then your business will find itself in a very bad way the next time something of any significance shows up unexpectedly at your door. Will your business be able to weather the storm? Now is the time to take the action to ensure that answer is as close to a “yes” as you could possibly get as a guarantee.

Conclusion

It is a very noisy world that we live in and there are numerous books and programs that would teach you all the secrets to success. Unfortunately, most of these programs focus on the wrong things. Unfortunately, too many people are left wanting in terms of improving their craft. Unfortunately, too many prospects go underserved when it comes to the class of sales and marketing that they deserve.

Don’t let your company get caught up in the hollow hype. Look at your Sales and marketing fundamentals, which is aided by shining a light on the three problems listed above. if you can get your sales and marketing department’s right in the areas of fundamentally understanding why your company deserves to exist, selling less and connecting more, and seeing beyond the transactions, then you will find yourself better positioned than most to achieve significant, meaningful, and long lasting success. This is your opportunity to get better and vault well above and beyond your competition to achieve the growth that you know is out there. Go grab it.

Here at the upward spiral group, we know what we are about. We exist to help other companies and leaders maximize and realize their potential in order to better serve their customers, team members, and themselves. If you need a hand in achieving this next level of success let us know. We are here for you.

Stop Wasting Money and Adopt the Marketing is Sales at Scale Mindset

The Common Problem | Sales vs. Marketing

Why is it that since the dawn of time Sales and Marketing departments have been bitter foes? In the first company that ever existed was Cain the VP of Sales and Able the VP of Marketing, or maybe it was the other way around. At companies around the world these departments seem to view the other as the personification of their respective cliches. Marketers see salespeople as flashy, jet-setting attention seekers, that drive fast cars, and wear fancy clothes. Respectively, salespeople all too often see their marketing colleagues as vegan moustachioed hipsters, jonesing for their next IPA or pour-over coffee, depending upon the time of day of course. 

The bottom line is that there is a palpable line of delineation between these respective departments. Not surprisingly this division serves only to draw a negative impact on team harmony, company culture, customer experience, and revenue. To be clear this is a manufactured division that consistently exists across a myriad of companies for no other reason than the detestable and inexcusable reason of “because it’s always been that way”.

No company should suffer the cost from this self-inflicted division between Marketing and Sales departments. What companies truly need is a transformational alignment between these respective departments. A transformational alignment that’s brought about by Marketing and Sales understand their respective roles in the sales cycle, and most importantly for Marketing to assume the ethos of “Sales at Scale”.

The Marketing Ethos “Sales at Scale”

Let’s be clear about something; Marketing and Sales are on the same team when it comes to the sales cycle. In the context of how Marketing and Sales should work together in an ideal sales cycle we should look no further than how major league baseball teams handle their pitching rotation in a nine inning game. Simply put, in baseball you have the starting pitcher that starts the game, throws four to six innings, and sets up the rest of the game for a successful outcome. The middle relief pitcher comes in for a couple of innings to move the game along, and finally, you have the fabled “closer” that comes in the 8th or 9th inning to bring the heat, and secure the win. This is precisely how the roles of Marketing and Sales should play out in the sales cycle. Marketing serves as the first encounter with a prospect, and they carry the prospect forward in the sales cycle. Naturally, as things progress Sales comes in to carry the engagement forward and closes the deal.

Once this fundamental principle of how Marketing and Sales should work together in harmony as part of the sales cycle is understood the “Sales ast Scale” mentality can take hold. The “Sales at Scale” mentality is simply the understanding of Marketing’s role in the sales process and that they are responsible for setting up the Sales team for bountiful success. In this manner Marketing is an extension of Sales, with the main difference being they tell the story at the front-end of the sales cycle with a megaphone. Marketing’s role is to reach out far and wide telling the story of your company to would be prospects. Prospects that answer the call are to be greeted with phenomenally helpful content that directly resonates with their pains and desires. Additional relevant content is made effortlessly available to the prospect until such time they pass the threshold where they become a “sales qualified lead”, at which time the sales reps come in to do what they do best.

This is “Sales at Scale” at work, and it’s far removed from the unfortunate oppositional state of Marketing and Sales departments at most companies.

Marketing’s “Sales at Scale” Ethos Comes Down to Revenue

According to NAICS 88% of the 17,310,600 businesses in the US produce under $10 million dollars a year in revenue. These businesses do not need their Marketing and Sales departments bickering the way they’ve always done. Leaders need to lead out of the status quo and towards a more harmonious way of doing business that provides a better buying experience for the customer, happier employees, and more revenue. Businesses must shape the narrative so that Marketing and Sales understand they each have tremendous responsibility relative to the sales cycle. Once Marketing fully embraces and implements the “Sales at Scale” ethos they can enable the Sales team to experience more success than ever before. Reject status quo, embrace the “Sales at Scale” ethos, and set your company up for the success it deserves. 

Marketing vs. Branding: Which One is More Important to Your Business

Overview

Marketing and branding are two important aspects of business as they both help drive a company’s growth, but which one is more important? Before we can begin to address this question we must address the fact that most executives don’t fully appreciate the differences between marketing and branding. More often than not, they are viewed as one in the same. This misunderstanding is a fundamental problem that keeps businesses from maximizing their dollars spent towards marketing efforts. This article will help clearly lay out the differences between the two and help businesses understand what they should be focusing on.

Sales & Marketing | The Fundamental Differences

So, what are the fundamental differences between marketing and branding? Marketing is used to get your products in front of potential customers so that they can make purchases or cross a threshold where they become qualified leads for the sales team to engage with. Branding, on the other hand focuses more on what your company looks like to the world along with “planting a flag” in the headspace of your customer by ensuring your brand is recognizable to the customer and is associated with a set of emotions that people feel when they see or engage with your company. Branding is ultimately a matter of establishing a permanent identity within the mental landscape of your prospects. Essentially, marketing builds awareness and opportunities whereas branding builds recognition and emotional value in the mind of the customer.

Both marketing and branding are extremely important, but they achieve different objectives. Now that their purpose is clear the question is what should your business focus on?

Should Your Business Focus on Branding or Marketing?

In order to appropriately answer this question, you simply need to look at what stage your business is in. A few questions you can ask of yourself to help orient whether you should focus on marketing or branding are as follows…

1.            Is your business one of the undisputed behemoths of your domain?

2.            Is your business making $100M in annual reoccurring revenue?

3.            Does your company have it’s own user group?

If you answered “yes” to any of those questions, then your business is likely at point where branding can begin to take precedence. In other words, branding is a primary business objective that should best be reserved for companies that are already solidly established within their domain. However, this space is occupied by only a small fraction of businesses operating today, and unless you’re clearly in this category then it’s imperative to set marketing as your highest business priority.

If at this point, you’re somewhat unclear as to exactly why marketing should be prioritized over branding for most companies then let me make it clear by asking you a simple question. Which is most important to your business right now; being recognized or making money? Revenue and profitability are king, and if you don’t feel that’s the case then revisit the questions listed above. Most businesses of the small to medium variety must prioritize the expenditure of their resources towards investments that will generate returns in the form of revenue as it is this revenue that will fuel the growth your needs.

You may think you’re making an important purchase for your business by investing in a logo redesign or new promotional materials, but these kinds of investments are at best loosely correlated with revenue generation. If you’re not adding customers to your fold that are happy provide revenue branding efforts will prove entirely fruitless. Branding can help provide some degree of differentiation from competitors, which is critical at certain stages within the competitive landscape; however, there’s no point in being recognized as desirable when your audience does not know you exist. This is what marketing does for you. Marketing efforts put you in front of prospective customers and provides you a shot an winning their business, generating revenue, and creating a happy customer that will serve as a force multiplier in terms of convincing other prospects to cross the threshold of making a purchase to become another happy customer. This is especially true in the business-to-business space as prospects are going to need much more from you than a crisp look to trust you well enough to become a customer.

Marketing Gives You a Shot

Marketing is a matter of putting your products, services, and ultimately your value in front of prospective buyers. The logic as to why marketing for most businesses is quite simple and it flows as follows…

•             The better you are at marketing your solutions the better you’ll be at creating more opportunities

•             A deep war chest of revenue paired with several happy customers gives you what you need to grow and dominate your space.

•             The more opportunities create increases your chances winning new customers and generating revenue

Once you are firmly entrenched in your space as a major player and revenue is not a problem, then you can start to focus more of your efforts on branding and appropriately reap the benefits based upon the associated benefits.

Conclusion

Marketing is the lifeblood of any company. It generates revenue and growth, but most companies focus too much on branding instead of marketing. Brands that are not marketed well cannot generate revenue or grow their business because they have no one to sell to! If you are worrying about your brand more than generating sales then it’s time for a change in strategy so start focusing on how you can drive legit sales opportunities via a range of digital marketing strategies like webinars, content that offers value to your prospects, search engine optimization (SEO), pay per click advertising, email campaigns, social media ads etc. We’ll be here every step of the way helping you learn how to use these techniques to increase your online visibility and attract new customers who will buy from you again and again!

5 Problems & 5 Solutions Series | Marketing

Introduction

Welcome to the inaugural “5 Problems & 5 Solutions” series from The Upward Spiral Group. In this series, we aim to identify five common problems we see entrepreneurs and businesses struggling with and offer five simple solutions to help quickly resolve the problems. The focus topic for this installment is appropriately focused on Marketing, as we constantly see businesses making the same mistakes over and over again. These mistakes are extremely costly as they limit the revenue generation potential of the business, create a divide between the Sales & Marketing departments,  hurt the brand’s image, and holds the company hostage from what it can be.

The 5 Problems with Marketing

  1. Marketing & Sales Exist in Silos
  2. Too Much Blatant Self-Promotion
  3. Why Your Company Exists
  4. You’re Creating False Value
  5. Your Company Is Not the Hero

Problem 1 – Marketing & Sales Exist in Silos

One of the most common problems businesses create for themselves is that they treat Marketing and Sales as if they’re two completely disconnected departments. Marketing goes about their own business, as does Sales, and their respective strategies rarely seem to come together in any meaningful way. Make no mistake, they are both putting forth significant effort, but their efforts are not aligned towards the same goals. This kind of perspective often leads to frustrated professionals and leaders who shift blame, polarizing teams. This kind of mindset is not what you want from the two departments who are responsible for generating revenue for your organization.

Solution 1 – Align Marketing & Sales Towards the Same Goal | Revenue Generation

This Sales & Marketing problem can be fixed with alignment of goals and perspective.

Sales & Marketing | Alignment of Goals

As the leader of the organization, you need to make it abundantly clear that Marketing and Sales share the same goals. The primary objective for each department is to generate revenue. Yes, this is commonly known to be true for Sales, but this is equally true for Marketing. The best way ensure mutual alignment towards revenue generation as the primary objective is to recalibrate the perspective of each team, and for that, we turn to baseball.

Sales & Marketing | Recalibrating Perspective

The best way to recalibrate the perspective of Sales and Marketing is not to simply tell them they’re on the same team. If you’re going to do that, then why don’t you just buy them some generic motivational office poster with a cat hanging from a tree or some shit like that, clock out early, grab your oxygen tank, and head to the casino to hit up the slots? I digress…

An analogy that I’ve used many times to help get the point across can be found in the pitching rotation of a baseball team. The customer buying experience for business-to-business organizations can often be long, and this is not too dissimilar to a 9-inning baseball game. Marketing and Sales should each think of themselves as pitchers on the same team working the customer towards a close. Marketing is the starting pitcher who pitches innings one through five of the customer buying process. Sales gets the ball in inning six, and they proceed to work the late innings of the game. Then in Mariano Rivera-like fashion, Sales brings the heat for the proverbial “close,” where they promptly get carried off on everyone’s shoulders. No matter who pitches, no matter how many innings they play, everyone on the team wins.

Problem 2 – Overload of Blatant Self-Promotion

Most Marketing departments pump out content that looks great,  has solid copy, and suits its purpose. The only problem is that these pieces of content are angled towards gratuitous self-promotion of the company’s products and services. The exact same thing could be said of events like webinars, as well. While you need to promote your company’s products and services, you should be a bit more judicious with content or events that are overtly geared towards self-promotion. You need to space these pieces of content out and add content and initiatives that are purely built to provide value to the customers in your market.

Solution 2 – 70/30 Value to Self-Promotion

Producing valuable content is a surefire way to win the trust and respect of your prospects and start them down the path of becoming happy paying customers. While your self-promoting pieces are valuable, pieces that are purposely built to provide value in the form of knowledge, insights, polls, and experience are what your prospects want. If they see value in your content, then they’ll see value in your product. A ratio of 70/30 is a solid guide to shoot for in content creation, with 70% of the content you create being geared towards adding pure value, and the remaining 30% of content you create being of the self-promoting variety.

Nobody likes the “hard sell,” so don’t do this with your marketing content.

Problem 3 – Why Does Your Company Exist

If you ask most people in your company why the company exists, you’re likely to get a myriad of answers. I’m not talking “mission statements” here; I’m talking about fundamentals. If your team can’t consistently answer the question with the uniformity of an Olympic synchronized swimming team, then you’ve got a problem, and it’s Marketing’s job to solve it.

Solution 3 – Answer This Question –

You need clarity of purpose and here is the one simple question that will give it to you.

“What’s wrong with the world that your company needs to exist?”

That’s the question all employees in your company need to answer. Hell, that’s the question you need to answer. If you can’t properly articulate that then go on a walkabout, take some ayahuasca , go to Burning Man, or all of the above, and figure that question out.

Problem 4 – Creating False Value

Too many Marketing departments look to shallow vanity metrics to prove their worth,  things like impressions, clicks, web-traffic, etc. All of these are important, but if they’re not paired with a meaningful business objective (see “problem 1” above about revenue generation) then who cares? Additionally, things like email signatures, PowerPoint templates, and color schemes that Marketing lords over do in fact matter, but Marketing must be more than this if you want to generate some serious revenue. It is absolutely critical that Marketing offers up more value than this, especially if you want your business to survive a crisis like the COVID-19 pandemic. You must add real value.

Solution 4 – Create Real Value – Leads, Leads, Leads

The absolute BEST thing Marketing can do is generate a high quantity of high-quality educated leads that they can hand to their Sales brethren. There is no greater value Marketing can bring than this singular action. If you happen to have any degree of contentiousness between your Marketing and Sales teams, you’ll find that will quickly dissolve when Marketing brings Sales loads of quality leads. They’ll get real friendly, real quick.

Problem 5 – Your Company Is Not the Hero

This problem is adjacent to the “overload of blatant self-promotion” problem mentioned earlier. Too many Marketing teams spend too much time talking about how great their company is. This can carry over into sales presentations  in the form of a 30 slide PowerPoint deck where 26 slides are dedicated to hammering the prospect with how great the company is, how many awards they have, and how long they’ve been in business. Here’s a damn fact you need to drill into your head: your prospects don’t care about your company. So what do they care about?

Solution 5 – The Customer Is the Hero

Your customers care about their problems. If you spent far less time talking about the grandeur of your company and more time talking about your prospects’ problems, then you’d find yourself with many more customers and much more revenue. Put the customer at the center of your story. Make it all about them and their journey. Your prospects are the ones who should fill the role of “hero,” and you should wear the role of the trusty and venerable “guide.” It is your duty to help the hero find their way out of their problems, overcome their adversity, and arrive at a better place.

Placing the customer as the role of “hero” and your company and team in the role of “guide” is a mindset and framework of thinking that should be taught to every single person in your organization.

Conclusion

Your Marketing department is one of the most valuable departments in your entire organization. They are the face of your industry. They are “sales-at-scale.” They are the group that if calibrated appropriately will bring in large volumes of high-caliber leads for your Sales team to go to town on. Unfortunately, too many businesses don’t view or leverage their Marketing departments in a manner that can produce the kind of value and revenue that they should. That’s a shame, because it most certainly does not have to be that way. If you can understand the five common Marketing problems laid out here and apply  these tactics, you’ll find yourself and your company in a far better position.

Additional Resource: 75+ Content Marketing Statistics Every Marketer Needs to Know

How-To Use Diffusion of Innovation to Market Better & Sell More

Why Do People Camp Out For New iPhones?

Why is it that every time a new iPhone comes out, people camp outside storefronts for days so they can be the first to get their hands on it? Alternately, why is it that some people refuse to adopt the latest and greatest cell phone, preferring to stick to the basics?

One of the best explanations for this behavior comes in the form of the theory of “Diffusion of Innovation,” developed by Everett Rogers.

What is “Diffusion of Innovation”?

Diffusion of Innovation is the idea that a people adopt new ideas, new technology, and new products at different rates. Specifically, people that constitute any given market can be divided into five different groups:

The Five Groups of the Diffusion of Innovation Model & Their Percent Composition of a Market

  1. Innovators (2.5%)
  2. Early Adopters (13.5%)
  3. Early Majority (34%)
  4. Late Majority (34%)
  5. Laggards (16%)

What Role Does “Diffusion of Innovation” Play in Marketing & Sales?

What Not to Do | My Story of Ignorant Optimism

All too often, sales and marketing leaders look at the entirety of their target market as potential customers. Frankly, I’ve been there myself several times as I have surveyed my market from an overly optimistic viewpoint when releasing a new technology solution. If my market contained 1,000 potential customers, I saw them all as viable opportunities from a marketing and sales standpoint. However, as I implemented our strategic directives to market and sell our latest technological innovation, I found that the vast majority of customers were not ready to take the plunge. The responses from the target market varied in the following ways:

Market Responses to New Technology Innovation, in Order from Most to Least Common
  1. No response at all
  2. Yes, we have the problem, but we’re not ready to pursue a solution.
  3. Yes, we have the problem, and we’d like to see your solution. Then the sales process would go cold as the prospect asked for other customers that have successfully used the new technology solution, and we could not produce appropriate “social proof” because the solution was just released.
  4. Yes, we have the problem, and we’d like to see the solution. The result of the engagement was that the prospect was excited but too hesitant to pull the trigger.
  5. Yes, we have a big problem, and we’d like to see the solution. The result of this engagement was working with a prospect who was driven by multiple factors to purchase the new technology despite the general newness of the technology and lack of social proof.

I have gone through dozens of new technology market roll outs and, looking back on things, have seen the Diffusion of Innovation theory play out in real life over and over again. Once I finally got hip to the idea of Diffusion of Innovation, courtesy of Geoffrey Moore’s brilliant book that any innovation leader should read, Crossing the Chasm, I started to realize that everybody in my target market is not a viable prospect.

How to Apply Diffusion of Innovation to Marketing and Sales

Marketing and sales leaders need to understand that at no time is the entirety of the market your target. Rather, you need to consider the lifecycle stage of your idea, technology, and/or service and match that with the appropriate group in the Diffusion of Innovation theory. For example:

Completely New Solution

If you are bringing a completely new solution to a market, you need to understand that only the “Innovator” group will ultimately purchase your solution. Therefore, you need to create marketing campaigns and associated content directed at people with this “innovator” mindset. Everything about what you do from a marketing and sales perspective needs to be directed at people who would stand out in the rain for days to be the first to get their hands on a new piece of technology. These people see themselves as cutting edge and want to be seen by their peers as technology leaders. They will embrace a new and unproven solution, often at high costs, despite the risk of bumps and hurdles. Keep in mind that this “Innovator” group statistically makes up a mere 2.5% of any given market. To put this into perspective: if your market contains 1,000 potential customers, only 25 of them are poised to buy your latest product.

Changing Your Marketing and Sales Message as Market Adoption Grows

As the market adopts your solution over time, your messaging should specifically target the mentalities of those that occupy the remaining groups in the Diffusion of Innovation model. Social proof in the way of press releases, case studies, references, and customer testimonials will become increasingly important. Furthermore, as you progress to the Late Majority and Laggard groups, you may consider changing your message to “everyone else is doing it” as a trigger to call them to action.

Summary | Market and Sell to Those Who Will Buy Your Solution

Understanding the entirety of the market at any given point in time helps tremendously when it comes to developing marketing and sales strategies that work. Consider two things:

  1. The different mentalities of the people who occupy the various stages of the Diffusion of Innovation model; and
  2. Where the product and/or service is in relation to market adoption

These two considerations will help you target the right prospects with the appropriate marketing and sales strategies. While it’s very tempting to look at a market of 1,000 companies all as prospects when you’re in charge of rolling out a new solution, you are setting yourself up for frustration and failure. If you’re selling a completely new solution, it is imperative that you appreciate the reality of your situation in that the Innovator group makes up only 2.5% of the market, meaning you only have 25 companies out of 1,000 that are poised to buy your new solution. This view may be discouraging to some, but it is the reality. The good news is that once you embrace this reality, you can get laser-focused on finding those 25 companies with the “Innovator” mindset and not waste your time with 975 companies that probably won’t buy your solution.

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