The classic book, Crossing the Chasm, by Geoffrey Moore, is a manifesto, a field manual, and sales’ version of Dr. Spock’s book on “company rearing” for new entrepreneurs…all in one. To level set for a brief moment – and Googling an image of Dr. Moore’s chasm graph may be helpful for the episode here - marketers have traditionally identified different kinds of B2B tech buyers: Innovators, Early Adopters, Early Majority, Late Majority, and finally the Laggards.
The traditional model assumed that, in the lifespan of a product, the market is first dominated by the innovators, then the early adopters etc. down the line. This model implies a level of inevitability in the flow-through of one of these categories from another to another…as your business continues. Good in theory but not so easy in practice.
The reality of entering and competing for markets today, gaps exist between the categories in this model that are large enough to derail the most promising startups as they transition from one category of customers to the next.
And the biggest gap Moore writes about is the one between Early Adopters and Early Majority. This is where both bags of money and companies go to die. Because the GoTo market & sales strategies that win deals in the Early Adopters group, won’t necessarily work so well for the Early Majority group. Instead, you may find yourself at the bottom of a valley looking up at an el Capitan-like sheer vertical wall of market climbing ahead of you. The sales team by your side that did well in the early stage of capturing innovators and early adopters now find themselves often overmatched and underequipped by the challenge and technical nuances of a market wall this big.
Since it is vastly different market types, moving from early adopters to early majority requires new tools, new approaches, and a lot of new thinking.
So what is the new thinking? In this episode, I ask Chris about the simple differences in the type of team and skills and techniques you need to climb this wall and continue moving down Moore’s market path. Building trust is the core requirement – and without understanding how and why you need to manufacture it to scale this wall, you’ll be left floundering and eking for survival with other amateur but well-intentioned climbers at the lower reaches of this meager market wall.
So once again welcome to the Market Dominance Guys and this week’s episode, “All dead companies are equally uninteresting.”
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