No doubt you and your team are in planning mode for the New Year. With so many uncertainties in the economy, it has become difficult to plan and forecast. In a qualitative in-depth study we are conducting with enterprise CIOs titled "CIO Decision Roadmap 2023", many have already shared their planning priorities for 2023. We will be posting our findings here when we publish them next month, but the common theme when asked, "What do you want to see from technology vendors?" is greater effort spent in uncovering their company vision and objectives. Secondly, how their solutions can help achieve these things. Too many technology sellers are not properly qualified or trained to sell consultatively and effectively to enterprise buyers.
We therefore thought it would be appropriate to update our post from earlier this year on Aspirational Marketing, where we shared with you the top five key questions we ask in our Executive Opinion interviews to elicit their high level aspirations. We believe making these questions part of your sellers' playbooks and battle cards will give your company a competitive edge in 2023.
Here are the five questions:
- The Magic Wand question:
“If you could wave a magic wand and get three wishes to create your ideal [cloud infrastructure, cybersecurity setup, data lake etc.], what would they be?”
- The “Future-scape” question:
“If we were to have a conversation two years (or three years) from now, and you were able to create your ideal [cloud infrastructure, cybersecurity setup, data lake, etc.], what would it look like?
- The "Do-over" question (a variation on question #2 above):
“If you had an opportunity to set up your [cloud infrastructure, cybersecurity setup, data lake, etc.] all over again today, what would you do differently?”
- The "Look ahead" question:
“Looking ahead, in what are top two [or three] ways would you like to see your [cloud infrastructure, cybersecurity setup, data lake etc.) evolve over the next two years?
- If...then questions:
These are designed to elicit internal decision rules and can yield powerful insights when your product co-exists with other complementary or substitute offerings. However, these questions get best results when asked by a third-party (consultant, partner or research provider): “What if...then rules, either formal or informal, does your organization have for which use cases call for the use of [product x] versus the use of [product y]? This question is a great conversation opener for a broader discussion around the utility and efficacy of your product in a complex multi-solution environment.
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Alan Nazarelli is President & CEO of Silicon Valley Research Group.