This discussion with Jack Vinson was previously cut from the original podcast. You can find the Related Podcast and Transcription at the Knowledge Game.
Our discussion at the end of the podcast:
Joe Dager: I think people struggle with that concept of Knowledge Management. I just really, that’s why I was trying to find people to kind of talk about it more on the practical side.
I think it’s important with what’s going on. I really think Knowledge Management; knowledge creation is just about what marketing’s turned into. Being able to give access to your people, I think is one of the things that marketing misses and is one of the things that I’m writing about, is that the concept of marketing has changed. Part of the concept of marketing is how do we make the knowledge within our organization applicable to the customer when they want it and how they want it?
Jack Vinson: That’s a great example of taking it, it’s one of those struggles that we have in process improvement, too, of we’ve done just about as much as we can internally, and we see that our next big constraint is the way that we interact with our customers, say. How do we take that from what we know and done and what we’ve learned inside to really developing a new relationship with our customers, so, like maybe one specific customer or supplier? That’s a great path that you can follow down.
Joe: It’s not about cute and clever anymore, as I put it, is that it’s really, I mean most B to B relationship is making knowledge accessible, proving that you’re the expert in the field that they want to do business with because it’s not the price. People want to be treated fairly in price, don’t get me wrong, but a lot of people don’t even shop for some of their biggest purchases if they’re comfortable with the knowledge within your company.
Jack: Well, not only the knowledge, and the relationship, right?
I think one of the things that is most interesting to me is the sales and marketing capability. It’s one of the areas I struggle with. But operationalizing it and practicing it has been interesting for me. But, I mean in selling, the thing that people really go out on is when you can help them understand what the problem is and give them some hint that you may actually know how to solve the problem is they’re going to treat you very differently than somebody else who says I can solve your problem, I can solve your problem.
So, a lot of that is, you know, how do we develop the idea that I understand? It’s tricky because it’s not a game, it’s just you have to help people get to the statement of the problem themselves, and if they could solve the problem, what the benefits would be to that problem.
I think that’s why that conversation about the power of technology, that’s an interesting path that that goes down because then you really involve your organization in answering the question well, we think it’s going to do this, but, how are we going to make it really going to work? Then, the organization has to get involved.
We think we can have this relationship with you, Mr. Customer, and here’s what we bring, here’s what, you know, we can kind of talk about features, but until we can start talking about the real benefits of the relationship, then it’s not going to go as far.
Joe: That’s the problem that most people have especially in the marketing. I’m a good example, to sell marketing services; I have to give an idea to solve their problem to get my foot in the door. But then, typically, when your foot gets in the door, they really have never defined the problem. We need more customers. Well, the problem is many times, you find out that all your money that you’re spending to dump people in the top of your funnel, which is the most ineffective use of your money, the most expensive.
Jack: They just sit up there, right?
Joe: Well, is it the bottleneck, for lack of better words is down along the funnel somewhere. Let’s say you can get people to attend webinars, and you get 1,000 people in a webinar, but you’re only converting one or two of them.
Why spend the money to get more people into a webinar? Why not spend the money to double that rate? That’s a crude example, but, it’s an example. That’s where most of the time is that you’re there that they want to know how you can bring more customers to them. I don’t know that I can bring more leads to you, but what I can do is help you take the leads you have and double them.
Jack: That process of asking a question is sort of, “Do you get 1,000 leads from a webinar? How many get to the next level of the salesmen? Is it just one or two, or do you get actually a strong interest from your webinars? OK, great. How about the next step? Are they, once you get the strong interest, are you able to convert those to move them down the path of having that conversation with them and however many steps we have in your particular company sales funnel?” But then, you can say, “OK, it sounds like you’re doing fine in steps five and six. What about that first step? What about that third step? I can help you.” The issue for me is I don’t know what the next conversation is to have. I can help you do that, but I’ll, let’s put it this way, what would be the impact, I think that’s the correct comment, right, what would be the impact if we could change it from five percent to ten percent? Oh, my God, wow. Well, OK, let’s think about that.
Joe: One of my favorite things to do is to take someone’s budget and take a value stream or marketing funnel and put the steps of the process across the board. Then we take their marketing budget and break it up to where they’re spending their money. You should see how enlightening that is because if they have a $100,000 budget, it’s like $80,000 of it is spent getting people in the funnel, $20,000 is spent in the back end of the funnel once you have a qualified lead.
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