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Building Collective Confidence

by Hank Barnes  |  April 23, 2019  |  Submit a Comment

Our understanding of the complexities associated with technology buying continues to improve.  We know that buying is frequently done by diverse teams.  We know that, in many cases, many of those team members may never have been involved in a previous buying effort for the same type of “stuff.”   And, we know that market pressures and the looming concerns around “digital” and “disruption” frequently cause priorities to shift like the weather in Scotland and Ireland.

Many of these issues have driven work at Gartner around themes like consensus buying, buyer enablement, account based marketing, and more.  All of these are geared toward helping these buying teams understand you, and themselves, better.

But, we are learning that consensus is not enough.   It takes more than agreement.  It takes confidence.  Collective Confidence.


Photo by from Pexels

We have to work to help teams be confident that they should make a change (exploring), that they are considering the right path to change (evaluating), and that they can be successful in executing the change—with your help (engaging).   The last one is critically important and often underplayed by sales teams.   Paint the picture of the future.

If you follow this blog, you’ve seen me write quite a bit about these ideas recently.  Things like pre-mortems can help you build confidence.

But it’s not for the individual—it’s for the team.   Show the team how they can work together (and with any vendors or partners) to be effective and successful.

Great sports teams win not through the confidence of an individual.  They win when that individual, that coach, inspires the team and creates a vision of success.  It’s happening right now for my favorite hockey team, the Carolina Hurricanes.  We’re young and back in the playoffs for the first time in 10 years.   It will be a challenge to go far, but we are already farther than people expect (just won game 6 last night, against the defending champs, game 7 tomorrow).

As you look at your customer strategies—across marketing, sales, service, and customer success teams—ask yourself, “Are we doing enough to create collective confidence?”

You can probably do more and in doing so, I believe you and your customers will be energized by the results.

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Category: go-to-market  new-customer-acquisition  product-marketing-impact  sales-effectiveness-and-enablement-sales  

Tags: b2bbuying  confidence  consensus  strategy  teamwork  

Hank Barnes
VP Distinguished Analyst
6+ years at Gartner
30+ years IT Industry

Hank Barnes explores the dynamics, challenges, and frustrations enterprises face when buying technology products and services. Using that customer-centric lens, he advises those responsible for marketing technology products and services, general managers responsible for product portfolios, and startup CEOs on next practices to drive success for their customers and their business. Read Full Bio

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