As I’ve just written in a previous post, in my experience, the principal reason to market and sell complex products to enterprise customers “under the radar”, meaning in “stealth mode”, is to delay the entry of competitors into a market while establishing one’s business in first position. The importance and value of first position in an enterprise market is well known and needs no further explanation here. I will simply say that first position in an enterprise market is a powerful placement where even competitors with better offerings will be hard pressed to unseat you. Therefore, the effort of operating “under the radar” makes sense as long as your product is either new, or of unclear value to enterprise customers.
There is another formidable reason to market and sell enterprise customers “under the radar:” If your business has established a brand name for other products, then be sure to insulate your established brand as you attempt to modify the market perception of what your business is about. Nothing could be worse than to undermine your core business as you branch out into new and untested markets. If you restrict your marketing and sales efforts to highly targeted prospects to whom you have disclosed your interest in entering new markets, you can always cease efforts should your efforts fail.
A key point here is to share with your prospects the truth that you’re making efforts to test new markets. Once prospects understand your tactics, then you will be able to realize the benefits as you will be perceived, in the market, as expanding and growing your presence beyond your initial product offerings rather than supplanting them with a new product. Therefore, the perfect tactic for product promotion/marketing communications within this “stealth mode” of operation is the survey which, once again, is familiar ground for teleprospecting.
Telephone surveys (and online surveys completed by registered web site visitors) will result in lots of useful information that can be leveraged should you decide to proceed with new, complex enterprise products.
If, on the other hand, you opt not to share the truth of your efforts with your prospects, you may add some further insulation to your core business, but at what cost? Whomever you contact as you test the case for new products will see you as less than honest, a negative impression that you will be hard pressed to dispel as you go forward.
© IMB Enterprises, Inc. & Ira Michael Blonder, 2011 All Rights Reserved