I was waxing a bit poetic about “Nuance” recently and Eric Wittlake, as he’s wont to do, nudged me for examples. Because he’s a data guy and floaty opinions don’t mean much to him. He wants examples. And in the past couple of weeks, I had plenty of company talking about nuance. I’ll share some examples first about who else is talking about this and then I’ll jump in with why it matters.
Extra props to ITSMA for actually using the word “Nuance” in their piece:
Does your thought leadership read like a book report? All facts, no nuance? Winning is in the nuance. Repositioning for SMAC: 7 Rules for a New Era
“If marketing stopped talking about leads, and started focusing on relationships, how would that change their execution? How might it affect the importance they place on managing and nurturing existing leads vs. constantly generating new clicks and entry points?”
In fact, Matt’s first line is really all about nuanced levels of understanding: “Sales has had this right all along. They may start with leads, but over time they are focused on turning those ‘contacts’ into trusted relationships.”
Ardath (she only needs one name like CHER) is up next with this tweet about missing nuance:
@ardath421: I tell salesperson “I’m not your buyer” Resp: “Yes, but you can sell us to your clients, so I need you to watch our demo” Ugh!
And all Amber Naslund is asking for in her post about connecting on LinkedIn is a little finesse mixed with some nuance:
Money line: ”Because I’m open about it, I get lots of notes from people within a day of our connection trying to sell me their stuff. Instead of launching straight into the make-out session, let’s have coffee first.”
The single biggest block (floaty opinion alert) to B2Bs selling more efficaciously is such limited understanding of how important nuance is.
We get Automation. We get Color Psychology. We apparently get excited about Automators releasing coloring books. Whatevs. We get Process. We kinda get training (on Automation, Process). We at least pretend to get Mentoring, Coaching. We clearly get tactical overproduction. We get dials. We get touches.
We. Get. It.
But we don’t get nuance. Marketers don’t get it. Sellers don’t get it.
It’s the single biggest block I see when coaching sales teams. And you can see from this small sample above that I’m not the only one bugged by it.
It doesn’t matter how great (*mammoth) the entire sales and marketing process is, if the sales person flubs the first 1:1 interaction, that’s almost impossible to set right. And when marketers add more tone-deaf clutter, it just increases the noise to signal ratio.
My recommendation: Let’s redirect 10% of the resources going towards clutter production (*marketing) and provide some training in nuance to our sales teams.