Have you ever heard that? I certainly have. I have also heard CEO’s and Sales leaders say the exact reverse:

“We need marketing because every time we go to tender, it seems like the RFQ was written by our competitor”.

It probably was! ‘Back in the day’ this would have been done by a good sales person with great relationships, a consultative style, and a persuasive argument. Today, it is done by marketing.

Good thought leadership marketing engages with the buyers to help them work out what they need and why. ‘What’ is all about shaping their concept of the need, and ‘why’ is about shaping the problem they should be focused on.

There are three  problems with leaving the buyer to form their own view of what they need and why:

  1. They will not benefit from your company’s expertise. Surely, if this is all you do, you are pretty good at it. Your customers want that expertise as they shape their thinking.
  2. You lose the opportunity to shape their concept of what they need. That’s our job, and shame on us if we forget that.
  3. Your competitors will gladly fill the breach, shaping the buyers’ concept of what is needed to their advantage.

And what about telling them what you do and why you are the best? Save that for your  credentials meeting, and your proposal presentation. Your we site is not there to describe your products and neither are your white papers, webinars, events or videos. These should be used to shape the need.

That is why when we build plans for how our clients will earn new revenue, we get Sales, Marketing, Operations and Customer Service into a room together until they agree every tactic that will be used to help buyers move from ‘hello’ to ‘thank you’. All the stakeholders need to agree the whole revenue process, and be held collectively accountable to it.