Many data center providers use the same marketing and sales playbook they’ve depended on for the past decade. The problem, however, is that there have been dramatic changes in how many of the most ideal IT decision-makers navigate the buyer’s journey.
In the right context, the key is getting found early enough to matter.
Every Single Deal Comes Down to Price
Now what we hear so often from sales managers, marketing managers, business development directors, and even CEOs at data center providers is that “Every single deal comes down to price.” And we hear these words pretty much verbatim.
The frustration boiling over usually sounds something like, “I can never get in early enough to explain our real value. This sucks!”
It’s no fun when the price is the only thing you can get people to pay attention to at the tail end of the sales cycle because that’s when you first met them. And that’s not a good place to be.
If this describes your feeling, you’re going to want to completely change what you’re doing and make sure that you are getting in there early enough to explain your true value, to be perceived as an educator, to be perceived as helpful, and to be perceived as a thought leader.
Where does this all start? It starts with understanding the buyer’s journey.
The Old-School Buyer’s Journey – Where Many Data Center Providers’ Playbook Still Lives
And the buyer’s journey is very different today than it was as little as 5 or 10 years ago.
Back then, marketing did lots of things like trade shows, print advertisements in trade journals and magazines, a lot of postal direct mail, and a lot of renting lists and sending emails to the people on those lists – even if they didn’t want to get your emails. We know the four-letter words that describe that kind of email (spam, junk, etc.).
What also jump-started the sales process, the buyer’s journey, early on 10 years ago was a lot of cold calls.
And then, prospects were ready to speak with your sales team about 10% or 20% of the way into the buyer’s journey and 10% or 20% of the way into the sales cycle.
Way back then, it was a very different relationship between your prospects and your sales department.
Buyers were largely at the mercy of your sales team. Sales controlled access to almost all information. There was tremendous asymmetry – really, really lopsided.
Marketing could be totally unaccountable – and in a lot of cases, it was. But it didn’t matter that much.
It was also a very seller-centric sales cycle.
Are you getting found early enough in the buyer’s journey to explain your value proposition and influence the selection criteria? Or is every deal lost or won as a result of cutthroat price competition? Share your take in the Comments.