The New B-to-B Fundamentals (1,907 words)
3. Develop required capabilities to close the gaps and educate everyone.
To close the gaps, improved or new capabilities will be needed. For example, many companies use telemarketing, but most have done so sparingly. Under the new sales coverage model, telemarketing will assume a more important role in such applications as lead qualification, lead development, telesales and sales coverage. Building the outside and inside telemarketing resources quickly will become a priority.
Other capabilities also will be required. An obvious one is building a marketing database that not only is descriptive of the market, but is accurate as well. Finally, education and training will be required to introduce these new sales and marketing methods, and spread the knowledge to all (in particular to sales—this group will be the most resistant to change).
4. Engineer the new sales coverage model.
The new sales coverage model blends the four primary contact media across the entire customer life cycle. To effectively determine the contact strategy, a profiling, targeting and segmentation process must be completed to focus the efforts on the best prospect and customer groups. Once this has been accomplished, the typical buying process of each key market segment should be established. Then the sales process should be matched to the buying process—a big change for most companies.
This effort then will call out when each of the four primary contact media should be deployed. The goal is to direct the limited and expensive face-to-face sales calls toward more "golden moments" and away from calls that could be handled by other contact media. The salespeople initially will resist this type of direction and loss of control. But once they realize they will be relieved of low productivity calls and given more time for key sales calls, their resistance will fade—provided they are kept informed of other customer contacts.