New B2B Marketing and Selling Truisms


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This is my list of new truisms for B2B marketing and sales. They are the context for most of our services and writing. I post them prominently here so as to not have to repeat them in any conversation or material I create. If you agree with these truisms, please join the conversation. If you have additional, please help me growth a comprehensive list.

  1. Buyers are more in control of the B2B buying process than ever before.
  2. For buyers, all customers look and sound alike. Products and services appear undifferentiated. Therefore, the way we sell is a critical area of differentiation and value add.
  3. The Internet changes everything, by providing instant access to virtually unlimited information.
  4. This requires new ways of thinking about marketing and sales, as well as new processes, skills, resources and investments.
  5. Content is the new currency for marketing and sales.
  6. The goal of content marketing is to provide the right person with the right content in the right media at the right moment in time. That requires a new approach to content.
  7. Content must help customers with their buying process by addressing their questions and issues, which are not addressed by vendor product features and functions.
  8. Content must be relevant, remarkable, timely and convenient to be appreciated by buyers who are inundated with information and have limited time and attention.
  9. Content must meet and optimize a new set of criteria:
  • Quality,
  • Rapid development and instant availability,
  • Affordable cost,
  • Flexible tailoring for relevance,
  • Accommodate the volume of content required,
  • Easy to share and maintain to optimize use and shelf life, as well as provide an acceptable return-on-content
  • Ability to enable front line to access, select, assemble and deliver relevant content in a timely and convenient manner.

Republished with author's permission from original post.

Jim Burns
Jim Burns is founder and CEO of Avitage, which provides content marketing services in support of lead management and sales enablement programs.


  1. Jim, I don’t disagree with any of your truisms. Is that sound I can hear the death knell for ‘traditional’ sales people the world over?

    I guess you could add, as a rider “If you’re standing still, you’re really going backwards. Change or die”.

  2. Jim:

    Great post but I would add one more truism to the list and that being:

    In order to respond to the shift in the B2B buyer organizations need to understand that technology on its own is not enough. In addition to the right and relevant content, they need to ensure they have the right people and a defined lead management & business process.

  3. Neil, clearly order takers and those sales people who “show up and throw up” are hearing the bell. But in the complex, B2B sale, I am one who thinks there is a huge need for professional, value adding sales people who can help customers diagnose business problems, determine the most appropriate ways to solve those problems, and help navigate the internal issues associated with gaining buy-in, budget and execution — no small tasks.

    The era of the sales person as walking product encyclopedia is indeed over. This means there are entirely new areas for sales professionals to be knowledgeable about.

  4. Carlos, great point. As Lance Armstrong has famously pointed out, “it’s not about the bike!” We overestimate what technology will achieve, and underestimate the importance of people and skills, process, the right content and other factors. Thanks.

    — Jim


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