Clarity between buyer and vendor should occur already at the marketing level. Your pursuit of IT leads should already lay out what should be expected between yourself and your customer. Do not just always depend on your salespeople to clarify and elaborate.
Your Sales Leads Should Already Be Clear Enough
As cloud computing continues to trend, so does the danger of hype blurring the hard facts. Marke Thiele of Gigaom warns that this lack of clarity could result in a very painful backlash:
“Customers have come to understand the potential of having an agile IT environment, but by and large most of them don’t fully understand what that means for their current IT model or organization and legacy environments. I fear that we are heading to a point in the next 12 months where we will see a strong customer backlash in the form of brake lights or return to sender notes.”
This all goes back to the simple marketing lesson about how you should never try and pull the wool over your prospects’ eyes. You want to attract your cloud computing leads with the promise of benefits but that promise needs the fine print already spelled out in bold letters. It is not just about dangling some fancy piece of technology so that your salespeople can reel in a sale. It is about providing a service all throughout.
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In Thiele’s article, he says that the best way to avoid backlash is to simply view your cloud as less of a product or service and more of a partnership. In other words, your business IT leads should be set not towards an end but to the beginning of something bigger.
To that end, you must always keep things clear between yourselves:
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- Get in touch and keep in touch – The toughest part in generating leads is not just getting in touch but staying in touch. You get in touch and get a prospect interested but both of you have to invest more in that interest by constantly engaging. Keep yourself open and encourage your prospect to ask questions. But at the same time, avoid compromising the interest with the wrong answers. Make sure you do not fall behind your prospect in terms of expertise.
- Lay out your responsibilities – During your discourse (whether it is still during qualification or already in the sales meeting), clearly lay out where your responsibilities lie. This is part of avoiding the backlash that Thiele is warning about. You want to dispel false expectations while simultaneously demonstrating the true benefits of a cloud solution. Your limitations have to be discussed as well and do not forget to discuss where you stand on compliance.
- Look beyond limitations – Even though you have outlined your jurisdiction, that is still no reason to bring them up. Always consider how your actions in the cloud can affect those outside your responsibility. Instead of defensively reviewing your agreements to re-highlight your compliance, you should review them for the sake of determining how far you can improve outside factors from within.
Business or otherwise, no relationship will go far when both parties constantly keep secrets. In fact, not having all the facts defeats the very purpose of your B2B sales leads so they must always embody clarity!