The New Solutions Marketing Skills Set — How to Develop Tomorrow's Experts Today

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Presented by Matt Leary, Solutions Insights

A recent study identified Solutions Marketers as the most important marketing position that B2B companies are looking to fill today. But how do we judge what the right skills and competencies will be for that role? In this session, Matt Leary from Solutions Insights will present the results of a recent study that has been conducted on both the knowledge and skills required to successfully develop and marketing complex services and solutions. Matt will talk about the most critical implication of the survey results for companies in the automation sector -- tomorrow's marketing leaders will look different, think different and use different tools and approaches. Based upon competency assessments of over a thousand marketers, effective marketing strategies will need to move away from being based upon traditional approaches like the "4 P's" technology innovation superiority to more customer-centric, collaborative and solutions-focused strategies. The session will include presentation of research, discussions of new models, practical examples and interactive exercises

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  • As Peggy Attracting the right skills a challenge----- Meeting Notes (9/13/13 08:25) -----topics for today
  • Example: Cisco
  • Survey of 1,646 companies assessing current job understanding< 1 in 4 new marketers know the specifics of what their job entail
  • The New Solutions Marketing Skills Set — How to Develop Tomorrow's Experts Today

    1. 1. The New Solutions Marketing Skill Set How to Develop Tomorrow's Experts Today The ISA Sales and Marketing Summit September 2013 Presented By: Matt Leary, Principal Solutions Insights, Inc.
    2. 2. © 2013 Solutions Insights. All Rights Reserved. 2 Topics for Today ● Solutions Overview ● What’s in a Name: Solutions Marketing ● Study Results: Solutions Marketing Competency ● Ideas to Address the (In)Competency ● Closing Thoughts
    3. 3. © 2013 Solutions Insights. All Rights Reserved. 3 Our Clients The Commercial: We are solutions strategy, development, marketing and sales experts We help B2B companies develop, market, and sell integrated solutions that deliver increased business value. Our main areas of focus are: ● Strategic Integration Aligning the organization around a solutions strategy ● Offering Distinction Developing and launching new and distinct solutions offerings ● Customer Connection Deepening connections with customers and prospects ● Sales Acceleration Accelerating the selling process for solutions Our Partners
    4. 4. © 2013 Solutions Insights. All Rights Reserved. 4 Solutions Today
    5. 5. © 2013 Solutions Insights. All Rights Reserved. 5 Some solutions definitions… Solutions Marketing The process of understanding, creating, communicating, and delivering value through the development and support of offerings that dynamically combine core capabilities of the company and its partners to address customers’ key business problems. Solutions Marketer A marketing professional who understands how to create and market solutions, and how to support the solution selling process. Solutions A combination of products, services, and intellectual property focused on a specific business problem that drives measurable business value. The solutions components can be from either the vendor and one or more partners, and the solutions implementer can be the vendor, the partner, the customer itself, or a combination of the three.
    6. 6. © 2013 Solutions Insights. All Rights Reserved. 6 How important is your solutions business to the future of your company? % of Respondents (N=121) Solutions continues to grow in importance Note: Mean rating based on a 5-point scale where 1=not at all important and 5=extremely important. Source: ITSMA/SI Online Survey: Anatomy of a Solutions Marketer, February 2012 0 2 14 45 40 Not at all important Somewhat important Important Very important Extremely Important Mean Rating = 4.2
    7. 7. © 2013 Solutions Insights. All Rights Reserved. 7 Marketing expertise on this topic is in demand 0% 5% 10% 15% 20% 25% 30% 35% 40% 45% 50% Technical Marketing Advertising Marketing IT Public Relations Analyst Relations Market Intelligence Partner Marketing Sales Enablement Event Marketing Marketing Operations Marketing Communications Product Marketing Industry Marketing Direct Marketing Field Marketing Support Campaign Management Web Site Content and Development Social Media Solution Marketing % of Respondents Increasing Staff Source: IDC’s 2012 Tech Marketing Barometer Study, n=61 Q: Please indicate if investment in the following staffing categories will increase, stay the same, or decrease in 2012 as compared to 2011.
    8. 8. © 2013 Solutions Insights. All Rights Reserved. 8 Who is a Solutions Marketer
    9. 9. © 2013 Solutions Insights. All Rights Reserved. 9 Mean=2004 Solutions marketing is relatively new to most companies In which year did your company first introduce the role of solutions marketer? % of Respondents (N=111) 0.90.9 1.8 0.9 1.8 5.4 1.8 0.9 7.2 2.72.7 1.8 5.4 11.7 7.27.2 9.9 6.3 15.3 5.4 2.7 1 9 0 0 1 9 7 0 1 9 8 0 1 9 9 0 1 9 9 2 1 9 9 5 1 9 9 8 1 9 9 9 2 0 0 0 2 0 0 1 2 0 0 2 2 0 0 3 2 0 0 4 2 0 0 5 2 0 0 6 2 0 0 7 2 0 0 8 2 0 0 9 2 0 1 0 2 0 1 1 2 0 1 2 Source: ITSMA/SI Online Survey: Anatomy of a Solutions Marketer, February 2012
    10. 10. © 2013 Solutions Insights. All Rights Reserved. 10 Product and services marketer before solutions marketing 61% Services marketer before solutions marketing 23% Product marketer before solutions marketing 11% Neither product nor services marketer before solutions marketing 6% Almost two-thirds of solutions marketers were both product and services marketers prior to their stints in solutions. Were you a product and/or services marketer before a solutions marketer? % of Respondents (N=119) Source: SI/ITSMA Online Survey: Anatomy of a Solutions Marketer, February 2012 “From VP Marketing to CMO, then President and General Manager then CSO. The solutions focus was a natural outcome of trying to find ways to bring more value to clients.” “Moved from traditional product marketing into services marketing and realized the importance of integrating the two...into solutions marketing.” “Started in a pure product management role. I moved to software applications from automation systems where the software applications often need to fit particular needs. So, product management evolved into solutions management naturally.”
    11. 11. © 2013 Solutions Insights. All Rights Reserved. 11 In addition, many solutions marketers are asked to do solutions marketing in addition to product and/or services marketing. Marketing Responsibilities % of Respondents (N=119) Source: ITSMA/SI Online Survey: Anatomy of a Solutions Marketer, February 2012 Solutions, products, a nd services Primarily solutions Solutions and products Solutions and services
    12. 12. © 2013 Solutions Insights. All Rights Reserved. 12 Discussion At your tables… 1. Discuss why solutions marketers are in such high demand in industrial automation today 2. What is/will be different about the role of solutions marketing vs. product marketing in automation – Impact of a marketer’s “heritage” – New challenges, needs, requirements – Etc., etc.
    13. 13. © 2013 Solutions Insights. All Rights Reserved. 13 Assessing the Competency of Solutions Marketers
    14. 14. © 2013 Solutions Insights. All Rights Reserved. 14 Our partner’s assessment… ● Firm: Imprint Learning Solutions ● Assessment: Marketing Readiness Diagnostic ● Over 1000 marketers responded ● Verticals include: – IT Solutions – Industrial – Life Sciences ● Approximately 250 identified as solutions marketing – this is the data represented
    15. 15. © 2013 Solutions Insights. All Rights Reserved. 15 Assessment focus – knowledge and skills ● Marketing Knowledge –Do we have the knowledge we need ● Marketing Practices – Do we know what to do? Category Rating Below Average Average Target Top Tier Knowledge Measurement Poor performers The average score attained in this role Expected level of knowledge for this role The scores attained by the top performers in this role Development Need Extensive Need Moderate Need Low Need Little or No Need
    16. 16. © 2013 Solutions Insights. All Rights Reserved. 16 Key finding: There is a knowledge gap 30 40 50 60 70 80 90 Market Sensing CVM & Pricing Life Cycle Solution Profitability Value Proposition Average Target Top Tier Score Knowledge&SkillTopics Competency Rating Source: Imprint Learning Solutions LLC.
    17. 17. © 2013 Solutions Insights. All Rights Reserved. 17 Lets talk about these scores… Scoring Knowledge/Skill Topic What’s the Activity? Why score Good/Bad? Good Value Props Good Solutions Profitability Bad Life Cycle/Offer Dev. & Mgmt Bad Customer Value Mgmt. and Pricing Bad Market Sensing
    18. 18. © 2013 Solutions Insights. All Rights Reserved. 18 Key Finding: Self professed development need is a different story! 0 1 2 3 4 Value Prop. & Positioning Market Sensing Life Cycle CVM & Pricing Solution Profitability Self Manager Ave. Score Below Average 54% or less Extensive Need Average 55%-62% Moderate Need At Benchmark 63%-70% Low Need Top Tier >71% Little or No Need Knowledge/Skill Topic Self and Manager Assessment of Knowledge and Skills Needs vs. Competency Source: Imprint Learning Solutions LLC.
    19. 19. © 2013 Solutions Insights. All Rights Reserved. 19 Key Finding: There is misalignment between managers/solutions marketers assessments— and they all feel needs in the wrong areas! 0 50 100 150 200 250 300 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 Scores %Alignment Range of Scores Solutions Marketers -- Range of Alignment Scores 70% were out of alignment Source: Imprint Learning Solutions LLC.
    20. 20. © 2013 Solutions Insights. All Rights Reserved. 20 Inadvertently – we have created the ―unconsciously incompetent‖ WHY? Two driving forces: • Source: In general, where do today’s solutions marketers come from? • Support: And when get to a solutions marketing role…how are they managed, supported?
    21. 21. © 2013 Solutions Insights. All Rights Reserved. 21 Addressing Unconscious Incompetence
    22. 22. © 2013 Solutions Insights. All Rights Reserved. 22 5 proposed antidotes to address this condition Support the Role Communicate and Align Find the Right Talent Address Managers Build the Right Skills
    23. 23. © 2013 Solutions Insights. All Rights Reserved. 23 1. Support Solutions Marketers …not just marketers of solutions and other things ● Plug them into your: – Market research organizations – Offer development teams – Customer value/success group – Etc. ● Provide them the resources they need: – May have value prop templates, but do they have customer value calculators? – Might know how to price the piece parts, but do they have the guidance on how to price the solution? – Should already be experts in launching an offer, but do they have access to the metrics to measure long term impact? Going Beyond
    24. 24. © 2013 Solutions Insights. All Rights Reserved. 24 2. Manage Internal Communication/Alignment Better …don’t isolate solutions marketers ● Communicate the importance of your solutions marketers in the organization ● Articulate their role better to marketing and sales management ● Champion their outputs and successes to the sales organization ● Connect them with customers more often Image: www.serve-others.com
    25. 25. © 2013 Solutions Insights. All Rights Reserved. 25 3. Groom Solutions Marketing Leaders …don’t forget their importance ● Promote well rounded managers, not just ―homeless‖ managers that have been around ● Identify leaders that understand the metrics of solutions marketing and sales success ● Invest in managers the same way you invest in new solutions marketers Image: Dilbert
    26. 26. © 2013 Solutions Insights. All Rights Reserved. 26 4. Find Tomorrow’s Solutions Marketing Talent …don’t just give HR the same marketing job description with “solutions” added ● Write real job descriptions that outline the scope of solutions marketing ● Think differently about the source of new solutions marketing talent: – Offer development/lifecylce management – SME’s – Sales – Where else? Only general job description available, individual not clear relative to how best to meet job demands. 62% Individual has a detailed job description and/or clearly defined tasks. 15% Individual has a clear job description and is provided with an opportunity to advance based on performance. 16% Individual has a detailed job description, opportunity to advance, and clear career path opportunities. 7% Source:©2011MarketingSherpa PersonnelBenchmarkSurvey Methodology: Fielded November2011,N=1,646
    27. 27. © 2013 Solutions Insights. All Rights Reserved. 27 5. Address the Knowledge and Skill Gap Today …by developing the profession!
    28. 28. © 2013 Solutions Insights. All Rights Reserved. 28 ● Customer and market assessment ● Solution development and pricing ● Thought leadership development and implementation ● Sales process and system evaluation and redesign ● Customer value measurement and referral/reference management 5. Address the Knowledge and Skill Gap Today Key Solutions Marketing Competency Areas (continued)
    29. 29. © 2013 Solutions Insights. All Rights Reserved. 29 We need your help to expand the assessment… ● We are working with our partner Imprint Learning Solutions to expanding the MRD tool to be more specific, probing, hopefully to produce even more interesting results ● We need top marketers to take the assessment ● You will have input, get detailed results and actionable recommendations Please join us!
    30. 30. © 2013 Solutions Insights. All Rights Reserved. 30 Closing thoughts… ● There’s no fighting it – solutions are becoming crucial to our success ● Solutions marketers are newer to their roles, and come from diverse, often non-solutions backgrounds ● Because of their history—and because the organization might not be ready—they are less prepared and poorly supported ● What might help: – Provide tools and support they actually need – Be proactive and help them communicate/collaborate – Don’t forget managers – When looking for new talent, broaden your horizon – Invest in the skills and knowledge that matter ● And lastly…help us explore the topic more!
    31. 31. © 2013 Solutions Insights. All Rights Reserved. 31 Questions?
    32. 32. © 2013 Solutions Insights. All Rights Reserved. 32 Thank You! Matt Leary – mleary@solutionsinsights.com

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