If organizations within a business are not ready for overt, public, sales and marketing efforts, then it makes sense to implement under the radar sales and marketing techniques for dialogue with the marketplace. Businesses are not ready if sales staff are not yet at a stage where they can close business and/or products and services cannot be reliably delivered to customers. Rarely are conditions so black and white that a CEO can quickly make a correct decision on this point, but lucky for the business that experiences these rare conditions. Far more often, the history of business activity suggests maturity and then, for some reason, disappointments arise; therefore, I recommend that if a CEO has the slightest indication that his/her business lacks the ability to sell and to consistently deliver, then better to stay under the radar. Maintaining under the radar sales and marketing activities that are emblematic of a careful and hesitant pace, at an early stage, will ensure that dangerous and, potentially, fatal mistakes can be avoided.
Why might these early stage mistakes prove fatal?
If products and services are complex and target customers are enterprise businesses with monolithic, hierarchical decision-making systems then the adage: “one strike and your out” holds true. There will be no second chance with these types of prospects, nor will there be any value in networking throughout a large contact list of prospect staff. Your business has one complex product and there is only one group that can buy what you have to offer. Don’t blow it. Wait
What are the indicators of a lack of maturity in sales and delivery?
On the sales and marketing side, maturity is easy to determine: the length of a “normal” sales cycle has been established; staff is in place with demonstrated capability to close business; and the product has been well received by customers. On the delivery, or fulfillment side, staff levels have been correctly planned for either normal, slow, or exceptional business conditions with regards to sales volume; of course, implicit to correctly planning these levels is access to individuals with required skills on a variety of bases including “as needed”.
What are the visible sales and marketing strategies and tactics to be avoided until maturity has been achieved?
Any strategies that will encourage natural, free-flowing product visibility within the marketplace are to be avoided. Examples of these strategies include Web 1.0 marketing; specifically, building brochureware web sites, Pay Per Click (PPC) advertising campaigns, and high volume email marketing campaigns. With regard to brochureware, better not to put up anything of any substance about your product than to start with an online brochure, complete with a vague and purposely generalized presentation of your offering. Conference appearances should be few and far between and very carefully orchestrated to ensure that the visibility gained is completely positive and purposeful.
© IMB Enterprises, Inc. & Ira Michael Blonder, 2011 All Rights Reserved