In the world of B2B management, there are numerous head scratching efforts going on as we peer ahead into 2012 and beyond. Primarily, it has to do with how to get from here to there. One of the issues faced by B2B companies with the high degree of uncertainty, global economic turbulence, and a rapidly changing buyer driven and social world is figuring out where the from here to there actually leads to.
Recent buyer and management interviews tell me a lot of head scratching continues to go on. Plenty of internal angst and debate is taking place on how to get from here to there, what is needed, what should be done, and what a lot of people think. The what to do aspects of internal planning usually center on strategy and tactical questions such as:
How do we grow revenues?
What can we do to generate more leads?
How do we expand business with existing customers?
What type of content will drive more traffic to our web site?
Should we get more active with social media?
Do we need to improve our product quality and offering?
Should we boost marketing and sales budgets?
Do we need to hire more people?
What should our pricing strategy be going forward?
What new technologies do we need to adopt?
As you can see, the list of questions for B2B organizations can be endless. And plenty of them have to do with what should we do – probably more so than how to get from here to there. What is striking however is that there is a tendency to dive into the angst over and debated questions without truly having clarity on where from here to there actually should end up. As they say in the venture capital world: sometimes there is no there - there. So in this riddle of thinking, to figure out how to get from here to there, you first have to figure out where the there actually is.
What is the one thing you can do to figure out where the there is and how to get from here to there?
You have guessed it by now, I am sure, if you have read my articles before:
Attaining deep qualitative B2B buyer insights.
Investing in deep qualitative B2B buyer insights means talking to your customers – and yes that sometimes means with the help of a third party. Let’s face it – in certain situations buyers are more revealing to a third party when the perceived wall of sales agenda comes down and the expertise level to conduct qualitative research is not in-house. However the point is this: to be informed on where the there is actually means your company needs to be talking with existing customers and prospective buyers deeply outside of a marketing and selling context.
Revealing buyer insights can tell you plenty about where your existing customers and buyers are headed. Deep buyer insights give you a clue on where the planning of how to get from here to there is suppose to end up. Giving you answers to the above mentioned type questions as well as what you should be doing to align with your buyers.
Collecting deep qualitative B2B buyer insights – before you get in over your head in angst and debate – can alleviate much of the headache that comes with strategy and tactical planning. Imagine a meeting with less I think we should debating going on and more discussion on how we need to help existing customers and prospective buyers get from here to there. Helping your customers and buyers to get from here to there helps you figure out how you and your company will get from here to there. The definition of where that is, if you are aligned with your buyers, should be a two sided coin. Helping buyers achieve their emblem of success on their side of the coin ensures that you will have an emblem of success on your side of the coin.
The one thing you can do is acquire deep qualitative buyer insights. The type of insights that inform you on the map you need to put in place that shows you, your teams, and your company how to get from here to there. Now – can you imagine getting anywhere in the world without a map?
(Image by Kenny Madden © All rights reserved)