Author Stephen King once wrote, “Sooner or later, everything old is new again.” While King might have stated this in regard to writing his books that have kept many of us awake at night, the statement is relevant to many things outside of King’s writing.
What the statement is not relevant to is an understanding of your customers and prospects within the current pandemic. If you think your pre COVID-19 customer intelligence and insight is still as relevant today as it was prior to the pandemic then I advise you to think again because EVERYTHING has changed, and I do mean EVERYTHING!
CMOs New Reality
Gartner recently released several 2020 studies on the impact of the pandemic on CMO’s, which serves to validate changes that are occurring as a result of COVID-19:
- CMO’s are preparing for budget cuts ahead. What this means is that they will need to be more discerning in how money is spent and, importantly, with whom.
- CMO’s cite brand (trust) as a key element of determining who they do business with. Do your customers believe you understand their new individual and organizational situation and needs?
- The COVID crisis adds to organizational complexity. What impact does this have on the buying process? Do you know who’s involved, roles and responsibilities, and how the process has changed?
“Change is Inevitable. Growth is Optional”
We have no choice but to deal with the changes that we all are facing as a result of the pandemic, from virtual work to the economic challenges it has caused.
But as we deal with the changes, we also need to be focused on growth, despite the changes. A key to maximizing the opportunity for growth will be to refresh and re-inform your customer and prospect intelligence.
As Mark Twain once said; “It is wiser to find out than suppose!”
Which leads me to the recommendation that you consider the following VOC research options, or what we refer to as “Decision Drivers” to update your customer and prospect intelligence.
Three Ways to Listen Better:
Knowing why your customers buy is the one question your entire company is designed to answer. As a result, it’s the one question that can galvanize everyone in your company around a shared view of customer.
- Buyer Personas and Account Personas: Solid, insightful buyer persona research provides insight into ‘real buyers’, not made-up personas. It also identifies each individual role in the buying process. The information is then rolled up into what we refer to as Account Personas.
- “Win-Loss-Stalled” Analysis: Win-Loss Research should also focus on your “stalled” prospects, not just wins and losses. CEB research indicates that 60% of B2B engagements fail to end in a selection of any Your objective should be getting to the real reasons behind decisions and uncovering motivations, not just reasons-why.
- Net Promoter Score (NPS): Retention will be a key platform for growth throughout COVID-19 and beyond. NPS research is the industry-standard measure based on a question about the likelihood of recommending a company or product to colleagues or friends using a 10-point scale. It provides a basis for a comparison with industry leaders, direct competitors and the company’s own prior performance. Critical to this process and output is providing insight to the issues and reasons behind the ratings.
Listening is Key!
I’ll end with a quote from Simon Sinek, author of “Leaders Eat Last” and a noted keynote speaker:
“There is a difference between listening and waiting for your turn to speak.”
We at B2P have been working on these types of issues for a long time, within multiple industries and with small businesses to enterprise-type companies. As a result, we have experience and knowledge that we can share with you in helping you get the answers to the questions raised here. In fact, we’ve developed several solution packages to help you get off to the right start.
Contact us – we’re ready to help get you up and running!