Change as Product

enterprise marketers and sellers, circa 1999
enterprise marketers and sellers, circa 1999

My first sales position out of college was with AOL. [PAUSE]. Okay, now that all of the grandpa jokes are out of the way… Back in the days of cave drawings, we pre digital natives were taught to sell features and benefits. Then the asteroid came.

Once the dust settled and the sun came back, “solution sellers” walked the earth freely and prospered. Well, our species devolved, and the “Age of Thought-Leaders” came to pass. Buyers gorged themselves on a diet of “value” – i.e. free info, insights, and IP offered up by markeing and sales Eloi.

Change is inevitable. Success is optional.

Enterprise selling models that have gone the way of the dinosaur.

  • Relationship selling – buyers do not want to be friends.
  • Consultative selling – buyers will gladly acept free info/advice and buy from a competitor.
  • Challenger selling – you just come across as an asshole.
  • Value selling – value is subjective.

Enterprise buying groups are comprised of many individuals. Individuals with motivations, biases, and fears that often are in direct conflict. What they all may or may not know is that they have three clear options:

  • Take action now
  • Take action later
  • Take no action and maintain status quo (see picture).

Articulating (selling) and managing change is the key to marketing and sales success.

Tom Brady has played twenty-two seasons in the NFL. During this time, he has compiled a W% of eighty percent and amassed seven Super Bowl Championships. Twenty of those seasons were spent with the New England Patriots, where he played over 160 home games at Gillette Stadium. Nobody knows Gillette better than Brady. Yet in 2021, when he returned, this time as an opponent with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, he performed the exact same pre-game routine that he has religiously followed for twenty plus seasons. Brady arrives at every game stadium hours ahead of the other players. He methodically walks the entire field in a grid fashion, examining every square foot of sod, looking for any dip, tear or bump, any change to the field condition that he can use to his advantage. Tom Brady knows Tom Brady is the greatest (American) football player to ever strap on a helmet, because even after twenty-two seasons, he prerpares to meet the challenge of change.