Friday, February 29, 2008

Where Are We? Part 2...

... OR, "Who Should I Talk To?"

The questions posted yesterday should be posed to:

Key influencers
Decision makers
Beyond the obvious C-level people
VP of Customer Service
Customer Service reps
IT People
R&D People

Not just yours... Salespeopole in any business bridge the "inside" and the "outside" every day. They are the closest thing to interviewing real customers and prospects. In fact, they're sometimes better because people in sales make their livelihood by listening and responding to real customers' comments and complaints almost every day, and they have firsthand insight into potential solutions.

Salespeople also spend their time trying to outdo the competition which makes them knowledgeable about competitors' specialties. As a group, salespeople are often the most practical thinkers in the organization because results are the only thing they're compensated for. And, results come consistently from what works, not from what works in theory.

Current customers
Past customers (i.e. those who've left for greener pastures)
Prospects you've pitched to and lost
Your target audience (unpitched)
Competitors (job recruits, ex-employees, current employees)
Industry observers (analysts, press, newsletter writers, bloggers, government regulators, industry attorney, investors, venture capitalists)

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