You may not be a shrink but turning a sales appointment into a self-help session is a lot more reasonable than the typical Mad Men approach that’s colored B2B marketing and sales. Whether it’s throwing in a hotline in your appointment setting process to regular check-ups by your lead generators, it’s all in line with what is commonly advised by many B2B marketing experts.
Then again, is it?
According to Brian Carroll, the reality is that many organizations have yet to fully embrace the sort of marketing focused on delivering what customers are looking for:
“This is something that has been near and dear to me which is the main gap I see is that often times us as marketers, sellers or companies; think in a sociopathic behavior in terms of, “How do I get what I want?” And what was driving me is that I have been seeing that if we look at serving our customers and instead of that, given this is something we talk about, but really isn’t practiced.”
With a heavy-hitting word like ‘sociopathic,’ it just goes to show how serious the problem still is. It also doesn’t make any sense. Plenty times customers, activists, and corporate critics have blasted the entire business sector for stuffing people with a surplus of irrelevant, pushy advertising. It’s completely logical for organizations to have taken the hint. So why haven’t they?
- Conflict of interests – Sometimes an appointment setting strategy doesn’t need to change. The change could be required of the sales rep because said sales rep conflicts with too many customer interests. Instead of incentivizing them to reach quotas, transform your process into something that rewards based on the problems being solved.
- Unhealthy focus on constraints – You’ve probably heard this already: They don’t have time. Too expensive. Too complicated. The results aren’t fast enough. Well psychiatrists make well enough and the self-help industry is reportedly worth billions. If those people can find time to focus on their customer’s problems and figure out what they want, then so can your own.
- Lack of harder evidence – Finally, you can try to turn the challenge on its head by saying that sustaining the company and its employees should be considered. This though doesn’t solve the paradox that it’s in a business’ best interest to cater to the best interest of their own customers.
So despite conflicting interests, time constraints, and lack of evidence, it only aims to criticize the customer centric approach. It doesn’t help any alternative hold water. Meanwhile, the results of a satisfied customer still speak louder.