11 December 2009

Defining Need: Distinguising between "Need", "Want", and "Like to Have"

First things first: what was your answer to the KISS question from the last post - "What makes a great lead - for your team?"

One of the easiest ways to determine if a lead is great is to focus on the baseline NEED of the customer. Whether you are selling enterprise software, diamond rings, floral arrangements, or insurance options, there is a need.

Need, however, comes in variety of flavors. Need can be "true" need - as in, "something will blow up if I don't acquire this asset", but it can also be more subtle as "want" or "like to have".

Converting the more subtle "want" or "like to have" types of need into true need can be accomplished - this is when effective demand generation can step up to make this happen - all before the lead is sent to the sales teams. And more often than not, clients' needs (at least in the client's opinion initially) fall into these subtle types of need.

Think of why people reacted to your campaigns - what was your original message, how did they find you, what issues are their industries facing, and what issues are they personally facing? Data is critical to making this work. Are you seeing trends of commonality amongst what type of people are responding to your message? If Client A, B, and C all respond to the same marketing message, you could infer that they are all facing the same business challenge.

Let's take this a step further - let's say Client A, B, and C all respond to your campaign - a webinar in this case. Do you know what they thought of the webinar? What they wanted to get out of it? What their reaction was to a statement made during the webinar? Did they share what they learned with their colleagues?

Did you ask?

There are numerous opportunities for vendors to listen to their clients and what they are saying about their needs - but often, these opportunities are overlooked or missed (usually by the vendor talking about how terrific the vendor is and how the solution works). The only way to move subtle need into more definitive need in a client's mind is to leverage these opportunities to listen to them, absorb the data they are telling you, capture and leverage the data across your teams, and then reinforce how painful their need is back to them.

The KISS question for today's post is "how many times during a campaign did you ask for your client's feedback?"

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