The amazing speed of technological innovation is creating new winners and losers by disrupting well-established enterprises. And yet, most companies have made little to no progress in preparing for a digital future. According to Dell’s Digital Transformation Index, only 5% of companies are digital leaders, and 72% are still digital “laggards,” “followers,” or “evaluators.”
What’s holding these companies back? According to Dell’s study, it’s due to privacy concerns, a lack of resources and expertise, and changing regulations, among a few other factors. I sum this up as a general lack of confidence these buyers have in technology purchases. They lack the knowledge and expertise required to confidently navigate the purchase process. How can B2B technology-solution providers overcome this huge barrier?
It starts with their own experts and leaders and content campaigns that focus on outcomes and partnering experiences rather than the actual technology that gets them there. After all, the lagging tech market is not going to digitally transform by buying technology because, honestly, its overwhelming. They are going to transform by partnering with technology leaders and experts they can trust to deliver the right outcomes.
The Challenges for Tech Laggards, Followers, and Evaluators
Let’s say you’re a behemoth company with a massive IT infrastructure that’s totally outdated. You need to update all your apps, move most of your content to the cloud, and make your systems more seamless and accessible for your, say, 60,000 employees. Maybe you bring in a consulting firm to evaluate the situation, and they tell you the cost of this massive overall is $50 million.
Challenge No. 1: Stakeholder Buy-In
Immediately, there are a ton of moving parts. The tech itself is pretty straightforward — that’s not the problem. But getting every person on your team on board with this totally new system? That’s where things get complicated.
These kinds of deals take a long time to sell, mainly because they involve myriad stakeholders who can (and do) influence the buying process. And no matter how great the fit, a salesperson for the tech provider you’re considering can’t possibly expect to sell their product or service to you and 200 other people.
In those long, complex sales processes with tons of stakeholders, convincing, compelling content is their savior. When this tech company can anticipate your questions or concerns and answer them in a clear, engaging way, all in one place, they’re selling their systems at a level of efficiency and accessibility that a salesperson simply can’t do on their own.
Challenge No. 2: The Mysticism of Tech
Here’s the other factor at play: A lot of people just don’t understand it. As the CEO of this massive company, you probably don’t know everything there is to know about technology. You don’t know how to modernize your apps, and the words hybrid cloud architecture mean nothing to you. Understandably, you don’t have the fundamental knowledge to determine which solution offering is better.
The only way you can evaluate the deal is by understanding the people at play. And again: The most practical way for you to get to know them is by engaging with their thought leadership content.
Why Thought Leadership Content Works
Thought leadership content brings the company leaders forward, shows who they are from a human and professional standpoint, and conveys their vision. As a B2B buyer, you can gauge whether you like these people and whether your vision aligns with theirs. You might not know whether their cloud technology is right or not, but you can vet the people behind it.
This thought leadership content — be it a video tutorial, a white paper, a customer testimonial, an article, or a custom publication — is a powerful platform for the visionaries, inventors, computer engineers, investors, and other key players who have value to offer as a voice for the tech organization. And for large-scale B2B sales, thought leadership content coming from these experienced tech leaders is often more effective in selling a product or service than the sales team. Forrester B2B research found that 62% of business buyers finalize a prospective vendor list solely on digital content.
The bulk of today’s market for B2B technology-solution providers requires thought leadership content that reflects the challenges and outcomes that are most important to them, as well as opportunities they haven’t recognized; content that supports digital transformation from a business perspective, helps build relationships, and initiates dialogue at a leadership level.
To learn how D Custom can help your brand become a thought leader, contact me.