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12 Credible Ways for B2B Marketers to Disrupt UPSTREAM Decision Phases (Insights from a “Buy-Side” CXO)

Traditional B2B sales processes/funnels are designed to launch, albeit with latency often measured in months, during what I call the Standard Operating Buying (SOB) Decision Phase, otherwise known as the traditional “buying cycle”.  What a colossal strategic mistake!  B2B marketers may love to “discover” and actively pursue SOB “opportunities” and “leads”, but customer CXOs know the SOB Decision Phase to be the low-value (read transactional) back-end of a more comprehensive customer decision process that kicked off months earlier.

Aside from the funnel attach latency issue, the real problem for B2B marketers is there are 3 additional Decision Phases upstream from SOB being neglected by traditional opportunity planning sales processes.  I call these upstream customer decision phases the Influence Window.  Without credible outside intervention during the Influence Window, customers will naturally proceed in making their own investment decisions, sometimes existential decisions with a narrow margin of error.

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