Minds - Gaps - Paradoxes and why they matter
Sales and Marketing teams in B2B continue to struggle to effectively work together. Solving this problem (or overcoming these gaps, as we would say) holds the promise of accelerating the potential of both organizations, to overachieve their combined goals of building repeatable revenue growth.
Most of these challenges are not new, but our thinking must be. We need to better understand why (according to Mike Bosworth) sales performance has declined, prospects are unresponsive and sales and marketing struggle to understand each other’s role and value.
We see three phenomena in play that cause these gaps. Understanding these forces helps us decide how we deal with them, how we market better, are more effective with demand generation campaigns and better enable our sales teams.
The Three Forces
These three forces are all “paradoxes” – defined as “a seemingly absurd or self-contradictory statement in logic…that superficially cannot be true but cannot be false either.” Paradoxes are challenging in and of themselves but become seemingly imponderable when they act together. B2B sales and marketing face at least three of these behavioral concepts.
The Paradox of confidence
Sales has become more difficult. Prospects expect sellers to know everything about their function, company, business, industry and future. They expect the seller to then combine this with their solution to show undeniable value. Leadership promotes an abundance mindset, insisting sellers project situational dominance. Sellers are overwhelmed and start to lack confidence when confidence is supposed to be part of their DNA. They won’t ask for help as that shows weakness and you won’t know why they’re failing until it’s too late. This Paradox of Confidence promotes Doubt.
The Paradox of choice
....has resulted from the availability of identical products and services. Software can be created quickly and cheaply. Vendors relinquished the task of information gathering to the “internet enabled” buyer, who has now become the victim of the internet's success. When confronted with vast choice, people will do nothing at all. The Paradox of Choice promotes Inertia.
So we’re dealing with three paradoxes that, in and of themselves, cause these independent outcomes of inertia, doubt, and suspicion. They also act together to create an even more complicated set of sales and marketing gaps. Click on the links below to see how these ideas affect your Marketing Strategy, Demand Generation Tactics and Sales Enablement.
The Paradox of trust
We’ve moved from communal based trust to institutional trust (or distrust) and are now tackling technology’s effect (of course) as we try to understand distributed trust. Your prospect can't know you until they trust you, but they won't trust you until they know you. Promoting your trustworthiness is a delicate process. It’s easy to act prematurely and appear inauthentic, desperate and unoriginal. Handled clumsily you’ll have the reverse effect. The Paradox of Trust promotes Suspicion.