Apocryphal though he may have been, Moses was pretty cool. I really like that whole Red Sea parting thing, Exodus in general, frogs and he’s gotten great holy book PR coverage from Jews, Christians, Mormons and Baha’i alike. That alone speaks volumes to his general awesomeness.
Even the Muslims dig Moses as a prophet, messenger and leader. He was really an amazing guy.
Here’s something most people don’t know: After chatting with the legendary fiery-yet-loquacious ficus tree on Mount Sinai, Moses was given 15, not 10 commandments written on 3 tablets.
Have you ever carried a big blue sapphire tablet – or three? They’re heavy. Moses only had two hands. So he carried down the 10 most important rules with a plan to retrieve the other 5 then generally comment on the lot.
It didn’t quite work out that way as he got super busy with other stuff like destroying gold baby cows and the mass production of uber-sandals that would allow his people to wander the desert for 40 years without them needing to be replaced.
These 5 forgotten commandments were a bit more practical and not as morally high-handed as the more well-known 10; YHWH is a pragmatist and these were meant more in the vein of “Oh, and by the way..”
Luckily being the world famous biblical scholar that I am, I have access to these lost edicts. I give to you the 11th Commandment handed down to The Law Giver himself. It is pithy and essentially intended for the merchant class: Know thy account.
One of the many studies my firm runs is focused on sales effectiveness. We survey over a 1000 IT buyers in companies of 500 or more employees. Our goal is to determine not just who bought what from whom, but also why, or more importantly, why someone did NOT buy from a specific vendor.
This won’t come as much of a shock but we routinely see that:
- Share takers (vendors who displace incumbent solutions) are overwhelmingly viewed as having been extremely prepared versus their competitors when entering into competitive bids.
- There is an even greater direct win/loss correlation for those firms in the countries where general sales preparedness is highest (China & Germany ranked highest, France and Italy lowest of countries we surveyed).
- Prepared reps are also seen as having a deeper understanding of industry specific issues and being capable of solving a buyer’s problems; consequently they also had more frequent access to senior decision makers and executive team members.
Vendors that scored lower in sales effectiveness were deemed, by buyers, deficient in three main areas:
- Seller does not know my company
- Seller does not understand challenges in my industry
- Seller does not understand my role within the organization
In short the “losers” generally broke the 11th commandment.
Guess what? It’s only getting more complicated and competitive. As the tech landscape shifts from the 2nd to the 3rd platform, the impact of enterprise technology begins to affect many other business units outside the CIO’s office.
Data points from some of our other tech-buyer studies indicate that:
- The average buying team is 7.4 people with 40% being from a business function (e.g marketing) and 41% from IT, with executives and procurement rounding out the team.
- The average IT buyer self-educates like never before consuming 5 pieces of marketing content before stating they are “ready” to speak with a vendor.
- Three distinct cross-functional, archetypal personas arise in sales cycles: Action-oriented advocates, expert challengers, consensus buildingcollaborators.
- Personas are impacted by emotional triggers both in the materials they consume as well as the sales process itself. Factors include rewards, risk and control. Not WIIFM, but rather how does this impact me?
- Role based materials (marketing and sales) had less of an impact on people than those that focused on solutions that help address emotional controls. Emotive content is viewed by buyers as more relevant versus functionally driven demographic (role) oriented content.
- Only 54% of firms we survey had a formal mechanism in place to ensure sales & marketing materials addressed relative pain points of their customers.
I have never been to Mt Sinai nor have I chatted with a burning shrub of any sort. The most I ever wandered was for an hour and a half when I was 8 and got lost in the Miller Hill Mall in Duluth. That’s more of a cultural desert. So I won’t claim to be a prophet.
But I will give you this useful little graphic many simply call The JSGGfISaMP or, more long-windedly, The Jason’s-Simple-Generic-Guide-for-Improving-Sales-and-Marketing-Preparedness:
This is not all inclusive, just illustrative. I want to point out that preparedness starts with marketing and the smart use of content to start clients down the “right path”.