What is Customer Discovery? And Why You Should Care?

Addressing The #1 Reason Startups Fail – The Case for Customer Discovery

According to CB Insights , 70% of startup tech companies fail, after raising financing and the #1 reason is No Market Need; Tackling problems that are interesting to solve rather than those that serve a market need was cited as the top reason for failure and at 42%, it dwarfs all other factors.  So, as they say, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. In this case, you need a pound of prevention in discovering who your customers are and why they would want your product.  Steve Blank and Eric Ries created  The Lean Startup  movement and popularized the minimum viable product (MVP), which has become foundational for startups and mature companies alike; however, far too often, the MVP is a solution in...
 
9 Key Elements to Include in Every Sales Kit
Are you are a startup, early or mid-stage B2B company and struggling to make your numbers? If so, it could be the result of poor or non-existent sales enablement processes and associated assets (aka a sales kit). Early-stage companies often don’t have a well-defined sales process, sales training is typically “on the job” and  sales tools are provided on an as-needed and ad-hoc basis. So, how do you fix these problems? You need to focus on enabling the sales team to improve their odds of finding and closing deals. You need to determine where they will get the greatest return on their efforts, and what the Ideal Customer Profile looks like.  Beyond marketing infrastructure that provides air cover for sales (i.e. corporate website, advertising, social media, press releases, events,...
 
Why Selling Is 5.4 Times Harder Than You Thought - And what to do about it
MOST TECHNOLOGY PURCHASES ARE GROUP DECISIONS AND MANY SALES AND MARKETING ORGANIZATIONS ARE UNPREPARED TO SUPPORT THE BUYING PROCESS: Buying and selling has become increasingly complex and purchases no longer hinge on “the decision maker”. On average, 5.4 people are involved in today’s B2B purchase decisions. This creates differences in opinion that make it increasingly hard to reach a decision and many organizations simply give up on purchases altogether. This scenario combined with a buyer- controlled purchasing process significantly increases the challenge for sales and marketing to influence the buying process.  Typically both business and IT functions are involved with initiatives that require
 
How Do CEO’s Define and Value Product Marketing ?
The Great Divide: If you’re trying to understand how product marketing can bring value to your organization try looking at it from the CEO’s perspective. The CEO of a global IT security vendor recently emailed me and stated: “In brief, our current challenge is the gap that exists between product management (very technical) and marcom.  We need to do a better job on sales enablement, competitive analysis, pricing, licensing and all that goes with product marketing...Getting this right is the key to our growth” Addressing Products Not Problems  This statement says a lot and gets to the heart of what holds many technology companies back. 
 
Developing Bottom of the Funnel Content To Drive Purchase Decisions
Providing sales with the content and context they need to effectively engage and support the buyer’s journey : What content do you need for the last leg of the buyer’s journey? How do you support the bottom of the funnel as your prospects begin to engage with sales? The concept of the  Buyer’s Journey is essentially a framework that  describes the cognitive steps each buyer must personally traverse leading from apathy (Do I care?)  
 
Messaging vs. Positioning
What is the role of Messaging and Positioning in a Communications Strategy Ensuring your communications development process covers both these critcal and foundational elements. B2B product marketers have to think about both positioning and messaging when developing marketing content, training sales and working with influencer groups.  Your messaging and positioning needs to be developed with these uses in mind and has to
 
The Growing Relevance of Challenger Selling and Marketing
MORE ORGANIZATIONS ARE LOOKING TO MARKETING TO SUPPORT AN INSIGHT SELLING MODEL : I don't know if it's merely coincidence or because there's a growing recognition that the way complex technology products are sold must change; but a number of CEO's, sales leaders, and marketing executives I've spoken with lately have specifically brought up the  Challenger Selling Model or have described issues that this model addresses.  The conversation either starts with or leads to the need to improve their marketing  (and more specifically what is usually considered product marketing)  to provide support for this approach.  They typically mention the need for "better information on our buyers to create more effective messages" 
 
You’re Not Special (Yet) - Why Positioning Matters
Of the million or more messages you encountered in the last year, how many can you remember? How many were meaningful enough to shape your buying decision or to change your behavior? Just recently, Cybersecurity Ventures published "The 500 Top Cybersecurity Companies". (that's not a typo) In 2016 VC's invested $3.1 billion in a record 279 cybersecurity startups- adding even more "next generation" technology. CTO's CISO's, and security decision makers are overwhelmed and inundated by vendors offering "solutions". It's now harder than ever to reach buyers of complex technologies, vendor's struggle to get their messages across and get lost in the noise. There are a few key things you need to do to stand out in any marketspace and especially a complex one like cybersecurity where the...
 
Why did Sales spend only one-third of their time selling ?
Sales enablement tips to boost productivityWith sales spending two-thirds of their time last year on non-selling activities, it should come as no surprise that with such low sales productivity, 79% of companies surveyed report that their top priority is to improve sales productivity. If only one-third of a salesperson’s time is spent selling- what’s happening the rest of the time?   Sales bandwidth is consumed by a number of non-selling activities including internal meetings, administrative tasks, service calls, training, researching accounts, generating leads, and preparing for sales calls. Some of the above mentioned tasks are unavoidable, however one stat is very revealing:  31% of rep time is spent searching for and creating content, which indicates a major disconnect...
 
4 Keys To Building Buying Consensus
THE BIGGEST PROBLEM IN B2B SALES AND MARKETING IN ANY INDUSTRY: HOW DO YOU GET ALL THE PEOPLE THAT MAKE THE DECISION TOGETHER AND CLOSE THEM OUT ? The myth of the decision maker On average, 5.4 people are involved in today’s B2B purchase decisions. This creates differences in opinion that make it increasingly hard to reach a decision and many teams simply give up on purchases altogether. This scenario combined with a buyer- controlled purchasing process significantly increases the challenge for sales and marketing to influence the buying process.