Targeting segments of buyers has always been the focus of marketing efforts, regardless of product or industry. But customers don't buy as segments.
There are disconnects between marketing and sales. Organizations today need to invest in marketing the same way they once invested in sales.
In the past, we took the characteristics that made salespeople (or ourselves) successful over the last 20 years and looked for those traits in potential hires. What do we do when the world is more complex?
Marketers today don’t have the relatively simple tasks of informing, persuading, or reminding. Salespeople don’t have the relatively simple task of convincing someone to buy from them. For both of these functions, the challenges today aren’t about outgoing messages at all.
There isn't much attention paid to how decision-making transitions from one generation to the next on family farms. The problem? As the roles of each on-farm generation evolve, it affects more than just the farm families. It affects the businesses who work with them.
Marketers talk a lot about differentiation. The problem is that their processes can be a little self-centered rather than customer-focused.
Effective sales discovery is a conversation. Making it useful to both sides requires plenty of planning on the part of the salesperson. It means giving thought to how the conversation benefits the customer, not just the seller.
Each company is different, of course. But in every case, understanding the strategy of a customer company and the beliefs, goals and needs of the people in it, is at the heart of managing key customer accounts. That's where the process of discovery can have exceptional payoffs.