B2B Marketers prefer pain killers to steroids when trying to hit home runs.

I have an old boss, Stu Silverman from Salesramp, and he is a straight-up guru in B2B lead generation. He has a very simple formula for creating messaging, to paraphrase:

  • In technology, there are steroids and there are pain-killers.
  • The steroid is a nice-to-have, it makes you stronger, but when asked for a choice, a buyer will choose:
  • The pain-killer. The pain-killer solves an excruciating problem in the buyer’s life.

Simple, yet powerful. The basic tenet of the successful enterprise sales guy is the ability to extract pain from the client. They understand this, they can sell to someone without a project because they find what the prospect HAS to do not just what they would LIKE to do.

Marketing should support these efforts. The vendor organization should understand if there are common customer pains that extend across a large potential target market.

How do you do this?

  1. Hire an analyst group to do a study
  2. Spend some money going out and looking clients in the eye and ask them yourself. (I will talk about this more in an upcoming post, but I would suggest hiring a pay-for-performance appointment setting company for this unless you are Oracle, MSFT, etc and can get into the C-suite easier)

Once you have identified some pains you can rally around. Push this information across the marketing – to – sales supply chain:

1. Inquiry Generation — Outbound offers should be centered around pain may convert better for you. Especially if you are an emerging company, people will not download your offers if they haven’t heard from you, but if they have a clue you can solve their pain, your chances have increased. if you are a established vendors, prospects will be relieved to know that someone that they trust can help them. Offers are defined as: white-papers, webinars, google ad-words campaigns, banner ads, etc.

2. Lead Qual Group — Lead Qual’s qualified lead definition should be to get the customer to articulate their pain and why. Follow me: you have gotten inquiries around people solving a problem, lead qual finds the guys with really acute pain, and then they pass them to:

3. Sales — Sales now receives qualified leads with acute pain that they now can offer a solution. Sales training should help the sales team identify and solve these issues. Don’t bog them down with technical features, etc. Focus on PAIN. Sales should create a pain-identifying sales methodology.

Stu talks about this in his article: Sales is on Venus, Marketing is on Mars

The first step on connecting sales and marketing is to find a common thread from inquiry to close. Find the pain, and conversion rates will rise.

Craig Rosenberg is the Funnelholic. He loves sales, marketing, and things that drive revenue. Follow him on Google+ or Twitter