So, I went to my 30th high school reunion a few weekends ago. I learned something very interesting during this event. Not only was it interesting how people have changed and “matured”, but it was also interesting learning about what others do and explaining what I do to them.
It’s very easy for someone to say, “I am a real estate attorney, I work for the post office, I am a plastic surgeon.” The facial expressions received when it comes to saying “I am a Sales and Marketing executive for a Microsoft partner” are quite interesting.
Some of the questions received: “You work for a what?”, “Oh you work for Microsoft”, “Oh is that fun?”
I had to put my sales and marketing skills to a test. The storytelling skills kicked in and after a few minutes of speaking to these people from my past, I realized how hard it is for others to understand.
They definitely understand what someone that does “Sales” do and they understand what “Marketing” is, but the googly eyes and clouded over expressions exploded when I said, “Microsoft Partner”. Let alone try to explain what “ERP” or “CRM” is to some of these folks.
This made me really begin thinking about our jobs and how many of us assume that the customers we work with understand this concept of Microsoft Partner, ERP, and CRM much more than they really do.
Even today, we received a lead from Microsoft, and the prospect had no idea why he was speaking with a Microsoft partner.
Whose fault is this? Is this our own fault since we live and breathe this every day? Is this Microsoft’s fault for not explaining that a HUGE amount, if not almost all, of their solutions, are sold through an amazing channel of partners?
Either way, as marketers, I think we do need to do a bit more educating our buyers. We say that the buyers already are sold before they contact us, but really is that true?
I wonder how much better the prospects/buyers would respond if more of us, as partners, spent time explaining the through a partner buying process and even helped define ERP and CRM a bit more.
I know I am going to begin helping educate the prospects I am selling to a bit more. Are you?