Making B2B Buyer Shortlists: Is Your Firm Even in the Game?

For most B2B companies, there's no way to predict when a prospect will purchase their product or engage their services. Sales cycle management is particularly challenging for professional services firms, where top-of-mind awareness (getting people to remember you) is a critical part of business development. Unless it's an exclusive assignment, and a prospect seeks no other alternative providers, for most professional services firms -- legal, accounting, investment advisory, technology, management consulting, recruiting or marketing -- the road to new business means earning a position on the "shortlist" of firms to be called in as a candidate for selection. Regardless of industry, shortlist s

How to Sell to Companies that are Out of Your League

The most enduring injustice in the world of B2B marketing is that, very often, a firm with strong brand perceptions will be selected over a more qualified, but lesser-known firm. The old adage, “No one was ever fired for hiring IBM,” still rings true in every industry. And firms that understand this market dynamic, and work to build a marketing strategy to address the underlying human issues, can gain market acceptance and compete effectively against larger and better-known competitors. The central, unspoken issue embedded within the selection process for any type of B2B firm is easy to understand. All decision-makers require a certain level of comfort and confidence necessary for them: 1. T

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