As I was trying to come up with an idea for this week’s post, I found a number of ideas floating around in my mind. Nothing really came together as a definitive idea, so I’ve decided to go down the random thoughts path. Hope there is a nugget or two of value or something that triggers some critical thinking.
Is the CyberSecurity/Security team the source of the greatest insight into everything going on in tech at a company?
Today, tech spending occurs throughout the enterprise. IT is not involved in everything (they are in most things) and budgets are widely disbursed. But virtually every tech decision today is scrutinized (or should be) from a security impact angle. As such, if you have a strong security story, should cultivating relationships with the security team be a priority?
The most surprising cloud buying data.
In our recent study, the most surprising thing about the customers for whom cloud technology was the biggest purchase was how high the SPVM function ranked on the decision maker list and even the final decision maker. It was higher than for any other category. I think this is a sign of organizations being surprised (or burned) by bills that seem to have come out of nowhere. The shift is probably a good thing, as long as the focus is to get a deal that makes sense for the organization (vs. a pure cost driven decision).
Egocentricism is a risk for us all.
While having a sense of place in an organization is important, being too focused on your department or group can create issues. I think of the changing patterns of buying and the concern expressed about it from sales leaders because of their lack of control. But when the lens shifts to the customer and why the change is happening, there is an opportunity to meet the customer where they want by work that may come from other groups (marketing, product, etc). Egocentricism also impacts the CX market where I still see vendors positioning tools like CRM as CX–when the usage and goals have little to do with the customer and everything to do with the company. My suggestion- create a mental checklist item as you execute work and make decisions—“Have I looked at this from different points of view and who can help me do so?”
Top of Mind and Frame of Reference
Things that are top of mind and our frame of reference impact everything we do. Currently, I think every customer discussion I have is framed by the ideas of the new chasm and a market stage lens. In the past it was all about ETAs. Before that, it was always about storytelling. Now these are all blended, but the things shaping your thinking and dominating your brain have a way of working into everything you do (similar to the comments on egocentricism). This can be good or bad, but awareness is critical and getting a different context is always helpful.
“We don’t want to miss an opportunity”
As I talk to people about messaging and market stages (last week’s post), ideal customer profiles, and getting focused, I regularly hear “We don’t want to ignore anyone” Well, the reality is that lots of folks will ignore you anyway and those that express interest at the wrong time, for them, are likely to waste a lot of your time and cycles. If you are creating something new, the majority of the market is not interested, so why even worry about them. Watering down a story to appeal broader will do just the opposite–it will reduce your appeal with the folks you want the most.
Providing help people don’t know they need
When I think about companies on the right side of the new chasm, they need a lot of help. But they seem to be the least interested in getting that help. It is a bit of a conundrum. But I know one thing for sure. No one wants to fail and this group in particular has that fear. Offering help and guidance to reduce that risk and fear has the potential for a high impact. Make the things that are unknown or unasked by them (that you know matter) clear. Guide them on the important work and activities that make for better decisions and less friction. As you encounter these customers, the early days of the engagement may seem like a bluebird deal–little exploration, seemingly ready to move customers. But then they drag on and on. Your most powerful tool might be a checklist on best buying approaches that you review and work on together with your prospect. Maybe they’ve done a lot of things before hand, that’s great. But if they’ve skipped steps or avoided them, that should be warning signals.
Any of these things strike a nerve for you? Let’s dig deeper together.
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