Insight You Can Use

UNDERSTANDING BUYING BEHAVIOR IN THE NEW DIGITAL AGE

CSO

How The C-Suite Can Discover Rich Buyer Insights Through Buyer Stories

CEO’s and their C-Suite teams are mired in quantitative data analysis.  Trying to make sense out of dollars and cents.  Uncertainty reigns on how to shape future company strategic direction.  Frustration exists with research consisting of surveys and data analytics only providing a snapshot of customer and market realities.  Recent customer profiling efforts only telling senior executives what they already know. Sound familiar? Given the amount of technological changes impacting buyer behaviors in the past decade, this is the likely state of affairs in many B2B corporate environments. Frustration Many executives today in marketing, sales, strategy, and operations are frustrated…

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Tony
Article by Tony Zambito

Walk A Mile In Your Buyer’s Shoes With B2B Buyer Ethnography

It began, as history can best record, as a proverb of the Native American Cherokee tribe.   Which said, “do not judge a man until you have walked a mile in his shoes.”  This proverb had been rephrased, reshaped, and reworded many times as a way to communicate.  What matters though, is the truth of this proverb.  To truly know someone, you must walk a mile in his or her shoes. Increasingly today, B2B buying decisions are heavily weighted towards perceptions about a brand’s promise and experience.  Oftentimes, gaining clues about buyer perceptions and experiences with a brand is not an…

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Tony
Article by Tony Zambito

Why B2B Should Invest In Branding (And What Happens When You Do Not)

When the financial crisis hit in 2008, a certain word went missing in business.  And, another word became all too powerful.  The word, invest, and the inertia behind it lost traction in B2B business.  Rocked by the financial crisis, many plans were shelved.  Collecting dust.  The word, cut, became dominant in business vocabulary. A few short years later, B2B business leaders in the C-Suite are waking up from this slumber of cost cutting and extreme focused on tactics.  For some, it was a matter of necessity in order to survive.  Having to resort to the proverbial cut their losses and…

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Tony
Article by Tony Zambito

CSO 2014: The Challenger Buy

Every few years, in the sales world, new methodologies come out.  Chief Sales Officers and sales leaders struggle with balancing the hype with worthwhile adoption.  In the past two years, the latest of these is The Challenger Sale based on survey-oriented research conducted by the Corporate Executive Board.   The survey conducted and given to sales professionals, found most successful sales professionals succeed by challenging customers with insights intended to change the status quo. The Challenger Sale is also based on the premise buyers are 57% of the way through the buying cycle before they engage a salesperson.  Although this statistic…

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Tony
Article by Tony Zambito

Is Your 2014 Sales Strategy Already Doomed By Lack of Information?

Right around the corner, the laborious and angst filled process of planning for 2014 begins.  2014 will be different.  While economic growth will remain sluggish (according to the Congressional Budget Office), businesses are starting to release the chains put around growth spending.  A lot has changed since the meltdown of 2008.  In these short five years, what we know about buying and selling has been turned upside down. The Revolution Continues What we have learned is a buyer revolution is in full swing with buyers now holding the cards.  We are in the midst of it and the revolution shows…

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Tony
Article by Tony Zambito

Does Your Organization Have What It Takes to Catch Up to Evolving Buyers?

Today’s buyers are afforded sources of information, systems, and tools, which help them to make the right purchase decisions.  Depending on the complexity of challenges faced, buyers may be seeking simple answers or complex custom solutions.  For B2B buyers, the nature of buying itself has changed.  This puts pressure on B2B marketers and sellers to evolve and get in lock step with buyers.  Many are behind the pace of buyers. Statistics Losing Meaning Over the past year or two, we have had many statistics proclaimed about the buyer’s journey.  Stating buyers are from 50% to as much as 90% through…

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Tony
Article by Tony Zambito

Use Persona-Based Buying Scenarios To Improve Buyer Predictability

One of the must have competencies in the future of B2B is buyer predictability.  Without it, there will be an inability to anticipate how to help buyers and customers.  Creating the undesirable position of being old news. Scenario Planning Scenario planning, as a strategic tool, has been around for a while.  It is used in several contexts.  You will see its use in military, economic, and business environments.  The use of scenarios in buyer persona and insight development is an important component.  During the past dozens years, best-in-class organizations, from Fortune 500 to mid-size companies, have made use of persona-based…

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Tony
Article by Tony Zambito

Are You Treating the 57% of the Buyer Journey Statistic As Gospel?

I was inspired to write this article after reading Megan Heuer’s article entitled Three Myths of the 67% Statistic.  Megan is Vice President and Group Director, Data-Driven Marketing at SiriusDecisions.  It is a good read.   I am happy to see SiriusDecision make a commentary on their statistic regarding the buying journey.  As Megan points out, we have all seen a variety of numbers, such as the Corporate Executive Board statistic of 57%, as well as others.   All stating buyers are not making their first sales contact until up to 70% of the buying process is completed. What I would like to…

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Tony
Article by Tony Zambito

How Well Do You Know Your Ideal Company Persona? (4 Ways You Can Know)

The concept of targeting companies has been around for a long time.  Opportunity pipelines usually consist of company names.  Sales automation typically has started out with creating a company account name.  Knowing which companies to target has been the lifeblood for B2B Sales for decades. This approach, however, is starting to become like trying to race across a quicksand lake.  B2B organizations find themselves sinking deep into a state of darkness with little knowledge about the companies being targeted.  There is a reason for this.  For years, we have done targeting quantitatively, categorically, and statistically.  One problem, these approaches give…

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Tony
Article by Tony Zambito

5 Steps B2B Chief Sales Officers Must Take To Survive The B2B Buyer Revolution

For tenured B2B Chief Sales Officers, the world of sales – as they know it – is undergoing its most dramatic disruption in the last 50 years.  What worked before no longer works now.  Sales organizations are under constant assault by both internal forces and buyers.  The demands and expectations of buyers and internal leaders rising each quarter. As I have written about for marketing, B2B sales now find themselves in the throes of a buyer revolution.  The traditional sales processes of the last two decades have been upended and overthrown by newly empowered buyers.  The use of conventional sales…

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Tony
Article by Tony Zambito
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