Over the past three to five years, we’ve seen dramatic changes in how IT evaluators and decision-makers navigate the buyer’s journey from prospect to paying client.
The colocation providers that still market and sell how they have for the past decade leave a ton of opportunity on the table. Here’s why.
Today’s Buyer’s Journey for Colocation Providers
Fast forward to today.
Marketing’s still doing a fair amount of trade shows and still a teeny amount of print ads. That (spending on print ads) has largely fizzled away. Many trade publications either disappeared or are a skeleton of what they once were.
Direct mail is still kind of, sort of still there.
The idea of renting mailing lists and spamming the heck out of people is still alive and well. It’s amazing that it’s still alive and well. Google just filed a patent a couple of weeks ago that puts another nail in the coffin with email spam – being able to tie email sender reputation to your ability to rank in search engines. But it (spamming) still is, in the colocation data center space, a practice that’s being done.
Meet the Empowered Buyer – Your New Boss
However, what’s very different about today is that your prospects will no longer speak with your sales team early on.
They’re much more empowered. They have much more research ability and access to much more information.
So when prospects are ready to speak with your sales team, when anywhere from 57% to 70% -- sometimes as much as 80% or 90% of the buyer’s journey is over, it’s a completely different ball game.
What’s caused the disruption of this traditional playbook?
We see huge disruption from the rise of search, the rise of social, and the explosion in mobile and cloud. These four factors alone change the entire dynamics of the sales process.
So sales need to get found much earlier in the buyer’s journey so that it can plant its seed and its flag in the ground.
Marketing Now Controls Sales’ Paychecks
Marketing has more control over sales’ paychecks than many sales professionals realize because so much of the education, resources, and thought leadership is happening during the first 70% of the buyer’s journey.
So the way this is changing, sales professionals need to get found much earlier and be perceived as trusted advisors.
It’s a very buyer-centric sales process that’s completely turned the whole funnel on its head.
The sales monopoly on information is long gone.
And now, most of your prospects expect that sales professionals can deliver a highly personalized, highly customized conversation – more of a consultation than a static pitch.
This is a complete game-changer, and it’s really important to realize that this is not the future. It’s the present. And this is the present that’s existed for the past two or three years.
Are your marketing and sales teams working together, in close alignment, to team up on the modern buyer’s journey? Do you position your company as the best, world-class communicator in the world when it comes to explaining and educating your prospects about relevant IT, business, and data center challenges?
Or do your marketing and sales teams still trash-talk each other behind each others’ backs?
In the Comments section below, let us know where you are with these challenges.