10 years ago, most IT decision-makers and evaluators found out about various data center solutions through cold calls from salespeople, trade show booths, direct mail, ads in trade publications, and spam emails.
Today, the buying process has completely changed. The sales rep no longer runs the show because of major disruption from the consumerization of IT and the mainstream adoption of search engines, social media, mobile devices, and cloud computing.
In fact, most decision-makers and evaluators do as much as 80%+ of their upfront research before they’re even ready for a conversation with sales.
This is a massive change in behavior and a massive change for many data centers that naively believe that their buyers don’t use the Internet to research products and services.
But it’s also a huge opportunity if you can get your data center solutions found early on in the sales cycle. This must happen well before that 83% point so you can use helpful, relevant, educational thought leadership to achieve trusted advisor status and significantly influence how potential clients navigate the buyer’s journey.
In this post, you’ll learn why it’s so important for your company to get found early enough to matter to your ideal clients.
Arrive Earlier in the Sales Cycle to Establish Trusted Advisor Status
With anywhere from 60% to 90% of the buyer’s journey now over before potential clients are ready to speak with your data center’s sales team, attracting prospects earlier in the sales cycle is no longer a luxury. It’s a necessity.
If your remarkable content gets found by the right decision-makers early enough, it’s a chance for your company to establish trusted advisor status and really have a major impact on how that prospect navigates the buyer’s journey for data center solutions.
Get Found Early Enough, or Your Company Won’t Matter
However, if that same prospect only finds your competitors’ content and websites and ends up in one of their sales funnels, how is your company perceived?
Well, because the prospect navigates the consideration stage of the buyer’s journey without your company being present, it’s like your company’s solutions don’t even exist.
Now, if by some bizarre stroke of luck, that prospect does reach out to your sales team when 60% to 90% of their mind is already made up, there’s only one thing that your sales team can say that might get your company into the bottom-of-the-ninth inning consideration -- "we’re cheaper."
And wow, what a lousy place to be when your only perceived advantage is the price!
When you have basically zero differentiation!
Goodbye, profit margins. Goodbye, profitability. Forget about positive cash flow. Your company’s been relegated to a commodity broker.
Sales Today No Longer Has as Much Power
Again, most data center executives completely ignore this drastic shift in power brought about in recent years by selective consumption, mobile, search, social, and the cloud.
But now that you know the inside scoop, you won’t have to suffer that same fate.
Approached correctly and aggressively enough, you can get your data center solutions found:
- Early enough (in the buyer’s journey)
- Often enough (by committing to scale)
- By the right decision makers (with marketing to buyer personas)
- In the right places (because half the budget goes to content creation and half goes to content promotion)
What do your marketing and sales teams do to find your data center solutions early enough in the buyer’s journey to matter? Share your take in the Comments box below.