The modern B2B technology buyer is sick of disruptive marketing, and sales people they perceive they can’t trust (either due to competence or character).
Research says that buyers get between 60-90% of the way through their buying journey before they reach out to sales organisations. They diagnose their own problems, download everything of relevance from the web – and then approach numerous providers at one time to fulfil their requirements.
No-one wins here.
Buyers, sellers and vendors lose
For sellers it represents high competition, low win rate and low margins.
For buyers it represents an inexperienced party (ie the buyer) diagnosing their own problems, and choosing a solution. They don’t do that very often – sales organisations do it all the time. Often due to their inexperience, buyers will ask sellers for solutions that don’t actually solve the problem!
From the perspective of a vendor/organisation that uses a channel to distribute its products – the more channel partners that bid on the same piece of work, the more channel capacity that is lost.
Disruptive selling to start new buyer journeys
The key to effective selling with absolutely NO initial competition – is to TEACH customers that they have a problem before they actually realise it. In terms of the buyer’s journey (see below), this moves the buyer from being CALM to having their STATUS QUO SHATTERED.
For example – many organisations are paying a high monthly fee to have IT infrastructure in place as part of a disaster recovery plan. This infrasture essentially does nothing – apart from “be ready” in case there is a disaster.
With technologies such as Microsoft Azure – which uses a “pay as you use” (ie consumption) model – having the ongoing infrastructure in place is not necessary. By using Azure, you only pay for the virtual infrastructure when you need it.
Pointing this out to a CIO – or indeed a CFO – that is spending $10,000’s per month for no reason will certainly shatter their status quo!
By doing this, we are now with the buyer at the very beginning of their buyer’s journey – and we have the opportunity to walk with them along their buying journey.
Why salespeople and vendors like “disruptive selling”
Vendors love partners that can execute on disruptive selling – because it starts new buying journeys. Rather than having a large slice of the channel fight over “late buyer journey” tenders and RFOs, disruptive selling partners start brand new opportunities that can lead to new vendor opportunities.
Salespeople love disruptive selling because it’s “concrete”. It’s possible to build a “customer insight journey” presentation that introduces to a prospect a better way of running their business.
Armed with this type of presentation, the salesperson is in charge of the agenda – and is genuinely trying to teach the customer something new. This takes away any “sales stigma” the salespeople or the prospect may feel – and adds value, even if it doesn’t lead to an immediate sale.
How to implement disruptive insight selling in your partner organisation
It’s possible to run a pilot disruptive seling program within even small organisations.
Special sales enablement training programs can be run – however the key is to undertake a disruptive insight research program within the existing customer base, to identify “before and after” disruptive insights.
Based on how much cheaper/faster/reliable an organisation’s solutions have made various customers, some disruptive insight presentations can be built.
Once they exist, we just need to find prospects that have a specific profile, that is likely to match the disruptive insight.
Wouldn’t you rather be starting new buying journeys – than joining multiple other sales organisations in bidding for deals already on the table?
This article first appeared on the CRN blog.