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Detect and Deflect Detours Ahead to Accelerate Opportunities

By Hank Barnes | November 22, 2022 | 0 Comments

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In my last post, I talked about what I see as an Effort Effectiveness Crisis that continues to expand as we try to do more without mastering the fundamentals, leaving little time for critical thinking and focused efforts to improve.    May of the ideas in that post were not new, it was simply a reframing or combining of things that I and others have talked about for years.

For example, our B2B research, both for tech and non-tech businesses, has revealed the importance of getting some customers to “slow down in order to speed up”–largely by creating learning paths to help them be more effective.   But I worry about that a bit.   Not the idea, but the way it is described (and we are not the only ones advising with a “slow down, speed up” message.   Why?  I think some folks see the “slow down” and ignore the rest–because they can’t slow down or don’t want to (see the blog post above).

So I started thinking, how could we reframe the idea?

My proposal…let’s tell people–sales, marketing, or anyone with experience in doing something that others could benefit from–to focus their efforts on helping their clients and cohorts on “detecting and deflecting detours.”

Photo by Joshua on

Here is the thinking:

  1. No one likes a detour.
  2. In the days before GPS, detours would erode confidence and comfort leaving many to wonder “where are they taking me.”
  3. Detours often involve some level of backtracking.
  4. Detours invariably make things take longer.
  5. If you know about detours ahead of time, you can often plan a way to manage through them without the big delays and confidence erosion.

Detours happen all the time in buying, whether you look at a realistic journey map or think about things like:

  • The majority of B2B tech buyers encountering surprise steps in the buying process that they did not know they had to follow.
  • Discovering a new vendor that you have to evaluate before you make a decision (even late in the game)
  • Being forced to wait for some critical information (more of a roadblock) before you can proceed.
  • and I could go on and on.

As decision making gets more and more distributed, we have more and more people that are less experienced in making enterprise purchases getting involved, and often leading, buying efforts.  They need help learning what detours may lie ahead.   Telling them you can help the detect and deflect them sounds a bit more appealing than telling them  to slow down.

In stealing a phrase from Geoffrey Moore.  That is what I think. What do you think?

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