I know my own professional network well and I have a good idea of :
- Who I know
- How well I know them and how well we get on
- Where they work and what they do
- And any other relevant information that’s going to help me win and drive business
The company, the job, the person : making sense of identity
Any CRM worth its salt will let you stock and consult three key pieces of information : your contact’s name, the job title he/she holds and which company he/she currently works for. Having access to these three sets of information help you target, shape your strategy and tailor messages.
While the terms B2C and B2B are familiar to you, you might wonder what i2i and o2o stand for.
These terms add an interesting twist to the concept of B2B selling. The first term, i2i picks up on the fact that in a B2B environment people buy from people and not from organizations. The term i2i (individual to individual) expresses just this. An individual at the customer organization buys from an individual of the seller’s organization. This situation actually implies a relatively simple deal structure.
When you ask Key Account Managers (KAMs) to show you the relationships they established in their account, they will most likely show you some form of organization chart. Sophisticated KAMs have annotated those graphs with additional information about the people involved. Usually, this information is accompanied with the remark: “It is a bit out of date, but I just did not have the time to update it yet. Things are changing so fast in this organization”. A sustainable up-to-date view of your relations in a complex account starts with having a more granular view of the data elements you need to describe your relations allowing for more flexible faster updates.
Holding the purse strings gives you the power to act, decide, veto, choose, etc. You can step in at the last minute and decide to call the whole thing off.
Obviously, information is shared and discussed during complex decision-making processes. Sales teams prepare sales messages, kits, demonstrations, etc. The potential client holds internal meetings, they look at the literature and compare solutions, they meet the sales force. There may be a pilot study, the results of which are shared and analyzed. There are additional internal meetings, during which the outcome of the pilot study is discussed : return on investment, adoption rate, customer satisfaction, etc.
And yet, sometimes someone suddenly comes out and stops the whole process, meaning the whole thing is dropped. This someone may or may not have had access to the information during the evaluation period.