Creating And Engineering New Technology Or Products Are Not The Challenge: Marketing And Selling Are

Engineering – R&D creating technology or product

For any company innovation is probably a must for continuation. New technology or new solutions.
When R&D has developed a new solution or is using a new technology achieving to make a new product is only the initial step and effort.
The big challenge is not the engineering and technical parts but in marketing and selling.

Marketing creating the demand

First marketing needs to understand what and why Engineering or R&D have invented a new technology or have created a new product. next marketign needs to figure out who the potential customers could be. Why would they buy ?

Then Marketing needs to make clear to all potential customers that there is a new technology or new solution. Stipulating the benefits and the advantages for the customer is utmost important. Moreover the customer needs to see and understand these benefits or advantages. He needs to see what the new stuff brings for his company. Somehow Marketing should create the need and demand. In the best case the potential customer contacts the company – but that is rather rare.

Sales getting the deal

If Marketing has achieved to create the demand or need for the new technology or product then the Salesman would just need to come in and have the Purchase order signed.
However that would be too easy.
First the Salesman needs to find interested and potential customers. This can be achieved by knowing who is visiting the website and the specific webpages of the new technology or new product. A web service that reveals the companies visiting does this work.
In most cases the potential customers have much doubts. They will not be rushing in to buy a new technology or solution as this is B2B and not B2C.

The skills of the salesman are required to take away the risks involved in the decision of buying a new product or solution. The Salesman needs to take away or convince the potential customer there are no risks involved.
For an existing product or technology this is rather easy as a list of references must exist. In case of a new technology or product no such list is available.
This is where the Salesman needs to use the relationship and the trust he has build-up with the customer or he has to gamble on the brand name of the company in order to assure the potential customer.

The biggest challenges are Marketing and Sales for any new product or technology. Creating demand, finding customers and getting the customer sign the Purchase Order.

What’s the biggest challenge in your company for any new product or technology? The R&D or Marketing or Sales ?

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What A B2B Website Really Needs For Lead Generation

All B2b companies have a website which has to support the sales team and should generate leads. However many websites will get traffic but don’t generate leads at all or very little.

So what is required for having a scoring B2B website ?

SEO Search Engine Optimization

B2B search is quite different from B2C. For a start the number of people searching is much lower but also have much more specific search phrases. In most cases the keyword string are much longer. Hence the SEO is different too.
Tips on SEO trends in 2015 video

Search display

As the searches are much more specific it is required to have matching subject text that is displayed on the search engine result page. Hence it is required to have at least one page for every different solution or part of solution you propose. Business people and employees are not going to waste their time on websites that doesn’t seem to correspond to their requirements on the search engine result page.

Expertise publishing

You need to publish content that demonstrates your expertise on the matters or solutions you tend or intend to solve. You should relate problems and solutions to the industries you are targeting selling to.
– Present the problems of your potential customers and the solutions you can bring
– One subject, solution or concept per page in order not to confuse visitors
– Optimize titles, descriptions and keywords per page (problem / solution)
– A White paper that can be downloaded per solution
– Additionally an RSS feed

Clear website structure

The menu items need to be structured efficiently and effectively allowing your visitors to find easily what they are looking for during their purchase process:
– Search: Finding their described problem
– Solution: Finding the solution to their problem
– Company evaluation: Finding the company information
– How to buy / where to purchase

Effective Calls-To-Action

Without Calls-To-Action the visitor is less likely to take any action.
– More visible or prominent Call-To-Action button placement
– Multiple and different Call-To-Action
– Different levels of engagement: “Contact Us”, “Newsletter Subscription”, “Price Quote”, “Download White Paper”, “Webinar Sign-up”, “Podcast”,…

Missed visitors

Even the best designed websites will still have a large percentage of visitors who don’t take any action. In general only 2 to 3% of all visitors will contact you. In order to improve this low score you should install a web service that reveals the companies visiting and what they were looking for.
This will allow your sales teams to contact the visiting companies with a suiting message according what they where looking for.

Response control

Incredible or not but a large quantity of web leads just get lost as they remain unanswered. So make sure you have a system in place for follow-up on each inquiry that is being received.

How is your website scoring in lead generation ?

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Getting Inside Information About Your Potential Customer

The Sales Meeting Is Superficial

When a company is looking for a solution they will invite several vendors or resellers to have informative meetings. However often the complete picture of issues and problems isn’t presented during these meetings as companies don’t want to expose their problems and issues to the outside world. It’s more or less like the reason why consultants are required to show or to tell the problem everyone in the company knows about but nobody dares to raise the issue.

The Digging For Information

If you want to sell then you need to know what is or are the real problems.
At the informative meeting there will be several employees present. However most of them don’t dare to speak out freely as they are restricted by the hierarchy present in the meeting.
It is crucial to get the contacts of every person present in this meeting. After the meeting you will need to contact each of them and asking questions about issues or events you (supposedly) didn’t understand during the meeting. The goal is to get one or more people talking.

Finding The Sales Pitch Information

In most midsize to large companies there are people who are frustrated or unhappy for reasons of being passed by in promotion or degraded or on a dead road or whatever reason.
These people are craving for interest and attention.
So when you encounter one of them it is likely they will start to tell more than what you heard in the informative meeting. Keep the person talking. The more they talk the more they will reveal. This will be valuable information for you. At the same time you will be building a relationship with him as he feels you care about him.
Of course if possible double check.

This valuable information you can use for your sales pitch as you can focus on the real problems.

Where else would you get your information for your pitch ?

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How To Know What Your Customer Wants Or Needs

Focus on the need to succeed

If you can focus during your sales meetings on what your customer wants and needs it is more likely you will succeed and close the deal.
The customer will have the perception you really understand his problem(s) they are facing currently.

The sales meeting

Just posing open questions during meetings could reveal what their need really is. However during a meeting people are restricted by the hierarchy: if the man in charge doesn’t speak out no-one else will tell you. If you can manage to get the man in charge to start telling, then let him tell as people will always tell much more and reveal much more than they have the intention.
Instead you should look to get into a conversation with the other employees present before or after the meeting. Again if they start speaking out you will be getting valuable information.

Investigation beyond the man in charge

After the first meeting it could help if you call all the other people involved in the meeting. By asking some open questions or asking to explain something you supposedly didn’t understand you could get the person talking. Once she or he is talking then let him talk and register all the information you are getting.

Cross check

Whenever you have found indication(s) of the main problem(s) you should cross check with any one else that was present in the meeting. Preferably not with the man in charge, but if you haven’t got any one else or nobody else speaks out then you should address the man in charge and ask him to explain whatever you supposedly didn’t understand.

Closing the deal

Using your information you should be able to focus on he main issues of problems the company is facing during the next sales meeting or in your price quotation. This should give you an edge over your nearest competitor.

How do you get to know the real issues or problems your potential customers are facing ?

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The More Legal Requirements The Less Business ?

Hindering business perception

Rules, regulations, laws, … they all seem to be made to hinder your business. They will slow down your innovation process and time-to-market. resulting into less business, sales and profits.

While legal requirements can be a burden on entrepreneurship, business and innovation, it can also open opportunities that didn’t exit before.

Legal requirements limits business

In most cases the increase of legal requirements will shrink the number of free parameters for the entrepreneur or businessman as he or she has to adjust the services or the products to the legal requirements.
– Complying to legal rules is always a limitation.
– More legal requirements will make the products or services of competitors more uniform.
Some products are almost entirely defined by legal requirements and the differentiators are in the sales pricing.

In most cases legal requirements will increase the production costs or delivery costs of the service, which is reflected by the increase in sales price.

Legal requirements bring opportunities

As companies are forced to comply, some will not be able to follow and will no longer be a competitor.
Features that were already present in high end solutions become mandatory making the high end solution or product interesting for a larger market.

Companies from a country leading in legal requirements or companies having market share in such countries, will have a competitive advantage over their competitors when the other countries follow and issue these new legal requirements.

Conclusion: limitation and opportunity

The conclusion is a mixed one as new legal requirements will hamper most businesses or industries at first, but can become a competitive advantage over time.

Do your products or services have to comply with many legal requirements ?

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The Big Mistake Of The Company: Stay Or Leave ?

What if your company makes a big mistake?
It’s been published in the industry press and everybody in the industry and business knows about it.
What should you do ?
You have two alternatives: Stay of Leave

Stick with the mistake

Stick with the mistake and try to make the best out of it is one way to go.
Perhaps the worst will be over quickly and people forget or come back because of the previous renown of the brand.
You have existing customers to visit and to convince as you are their trusted contact to the company.
If others leave the company you have the opportunity to obtain a larger or more profitable region or even climb the hierarchy ladder getting more responsibility.
You know what you have in this company but you will be unsure what it is with the competitor.
At least you are consistent which gives a certain trust relationship: the main task of a salesman is to minimize the risk that the decision maker has to take.

Admit and leave

Admitting the mistake and move on is a new multiple challenge as you first need to find a new opportunity and secondly you need to prove yourself again in a different environment. What you have been building up in your previous company is probably gone too.
The competitor might just hire you for your contacts and once entered them into their CRM and contacted you get dumped.
The grass is always greener on the other side of the fence.
It is likely you will start at a lower level than previously.
Will colleagues trust you as you jumped ship ?
Will your existing clients follow you as you have praised the competitor previously and now you turn around.

What would you do or what have you done in such an event of a big mistake of your company ?

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The Method To Create Valuable Content

Some people (not many) are able to write and create great content. It is their given.
All other people need to do their best to achieve writing valuable content.

In order to help you in the process of writing great or valuable content you can use this checklist:

Understandable

Will the reader understand what you are writing about ?
– Adjust to the reading level of the audience
– State your subject, idea or concept clearly
– Define the context in order not to be misunderstood
– Address to the reader
– Make the reader recognize the situation or circumstances

Question to ask yourself: can the visitors understand my content ?

Fast content

People are impatient and don’t want to waste their time:
– Front-loading (inverted pyramid style): put the most important or newsworthy information at the top. Important details in the middle. And general data or background info at the bottom.
– Quickly and easily assessable content: with a fast scan your visitors should be convinced to start reading the content.

Question to ask yourself: can the visitors assess my content fast ?

Digestive

– Split your content into short chunks that can be scanned easily
– One idea, concept or information per paragraph: avoid all complexity

Question to ask yourself: one thing per paragraph ?

Readable

Make it easy for people to read or just scan your text:
– Stick to the same style guide or pattern
– Use headings for each paragraph
– Use numbered lists and bullets
– Highlight what’s important

Question to ask yourself: how does my page look ?

Findable

Even the best content can be not findable:
– Use tags:
– Use metadata
– Catchy title
– Add descriptors if possible
– Add keywords
– Insert links to related content: the more the better
– In case there are images add the Alt tags

Question to ask yourself: did I add all the things to optimize findability ?

How is your content created ?

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Sales Persuasion Secrets

In order to sell you need to convince the potential client in several ways. You need to persuade the decision maker and his staff or influencers to say ‘Yes’.

The techniques sales people use to get you to think the way they want you to:
1. Reciprocity
2. Scarcity
3. Authority
4. Consistency
5. Liking
6. Consensus

Watch the video with the exceptional white board sketches:

One human behavior that might have been forgotten is emotion.

In B2C there is an overwhelming amount of emotion involved in most buying decisions.
Even in B2B there is emotion in marketing and sales.

Which persuasion techniques do you already use in your sales ?

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B2B Bribery Or Incentives ?

In whatever B2B business bribery is lurking around. The bigger the projects or the more recurrent the sales value the greater chance one of your competitors will try a form of bribery. This can have very different forms: from a lunch, to a favor, to cash.
There is a very narrow line between bribery and incentive. Incentive for a company or incentive for a manager/director is a big difference. The incentive for a company is beneficial to the company thus no bribery. The incentive for a person is clearly a bribery.
As everybody has a price a bribery or an incentive is sometimes easier than going through a long sales process and not closing the deal.

Another type is giving incentives to people in order to get a referral. The referral is important for future sales, whereas the incentive for the referral was for an already closed deal.

Bribery is omnipresent in all B2B business and it is the fieriest competition as it can turn your competitor into a winner even with inferior products or solutions.

If your competitor is using bribery, then should you use it too ? better not as there are laws against it: the Bribery Act 2010 (UK) came into force 1 July 2011 and Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (US).

Have you spotted bribery in your B2b business ?
Occasionally or often ?

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Think and talk like your customer in order to sell (and listen)

Sales meeting

When meeting a potential customer or a customer successful sales people hardly talk about the product or solution. If possible they will even avoid product demos.
The best is to think and talk like your customer:

Think:
If you are able to think like your customer – as if you were in his position facing his daily problems or the main problem ahead – you will have more chance to get into a conversation and relation with your potential customer.
The subjects and the matters you bring or discuss will be related to him.

Talk:
Once you can think like your potential customer you will be able to hold a conversation that really interests the customer.
You will be able to talk about real life situation where the customer can relate to.
Moreover the conversation will continue and not drop death as you engage the decision maker while he feels you are dealing with the same problems and issues.

Listen:
During the conversation you will learn by listening to the decision maker or the influencer about current and future problems. Anyone talking openly will tell more than what they want to tell. Every single bit of additional information will allow you to adjust your product or solution offering and thus increasing the chances to win.

Conversation instead of pitching

The main interest is the conversation not the sales pitch. Eventually the solution or product needs to be promoted, but only after establishing a basic relationship.

Website

Similar is happening on your website as potential customers will visit before and during the sales process the website of the vendor. Although this is not a conversation but the trails they leave (pages visited, their visit pattern, frequency of visits) will indicate their interest or their approach to solving a problem they have. Use this additional information in your next meeting or telephone call as you are able to have more understanding of the view of the world (of problems and solutions) by your customer. that’s how you will succeed in your sales process.

How do you get the attention of your potential customer ?

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About us

Engago Technologies provides a B2B web service for marketing and sales.
 

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