When I used to go to London often and ride the Underground, the constant refrain seen was “Mind The Gap”.   Mind the Gap or you could suffer some unmentionable and clearly gruesome fate.   As Online software service providers of all flavors try to create high velocity sales and marketing businesses, they would do well to mind these 3 gaps:

1) The “It’s Not Your Time” gap
2) The “It’s Not My Job” gap
3) The “Window Shopping” gap

Let’s take a quick look at each of these gaps and see how we can minimize the risk of a potential customer “falling through the cracks”, which while not bloody and gruesome, is costly and mostly avoidable.

1) It’s Not Your Time – Sorry Ms. Vendor, you got me here and I was pretty interested, but you’ve failed in the 3 minutes I have to deliver relevant value once I arrived.  I’m not ready for the trial, because you’re not showing me any compelling reason to listen.

2) It’s Not My Job – Oh shoot, I went to try your product but I realized I need the X (CTO, Network Admin, HR Manager, Salesforce.com implementer, …) to configure, load or integrate something to try it.  Can’t I get see something now, maybe later…

3) I’m Just Window Shopping – Today’s world is full of triers, but where are the buyers?  If you can’t tell them apart, it won’t be the prospect falling through the cracks, but it will be your valuable sales and marketing resources…

 Bridging the Gaps

How then can we bridge this gaps with our Go To Market approach?

Here’s a few ideas…

1) Create the context – We compete not just with 4 or 5 other solutions that are close to ours, but hundreds or thousands of things on the buyers mind and agenda.  Engage visitors with a unique and compelling viewpoint, and then keep them around by relating your value to their world.    Zuora’s “Subscription Economy” is a compelling and relevant viewpoint, check it out as a great example.  Now it’s YOUR TIME!

2) Reduce Experience Friction – Make sure it is EASY for buyers to experience the value you deliver.  If an integration step is needed, make sure there is a way to simulate or demonstrate the result without the full commitment.  GoodData does this by providing a myriad of example implementations of salesforce.com dashboards, so if a potential buyer doesn’t want to or can’t do the integration right then, they can still experience the value.  Remember what your key buyers job and skills are and deliver experience to them NOW!

3) Find the Buyers – In try and buy and freemium models, it is absolutely possible to monitor and understand buying behavior vs. window shopping.  Don’t depend on inefficient sales methods to find the most likely buyers, watch and understand what their actions are, they speak louder than words.  Tools like Totango offer powerful and easy platforms that let you do this.  Let the Buyers find You!

So if your velocity isn’t where it needs to be, take a quick look at these 3 Gaps found in many go to market plans.  Mind the Gap, Find the Gap, and Fix the Gap to drive high velocity!!!

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