Change as the 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 functionality. 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:

  • Act now.
  • Act later.
  • Take no action and maintain status quo.

Each of these actions will set the organisation down a road of unique consequences. Desired and unintentional. Articulating the impact of change (or not) is the key to aligning and gaining mindshare with your buying group.

So, simplify the complexity of the enterprise selling and buying process with nothing more than a conditional (if-then) statement.