The traditional view of marketing is that suppliers will actively seek the requirements of customers and attempt to fill those needs better than the competition. This model places the initiative with the supplier. Purchasers can assume a passive role, relying on their suppliers’ sensibilities to their needs and technological capabilities to supply them with solutions to their problems.
But recently, buyers, sometimes dissatisfied with salespeople that create little value for them, have been taking a more affirmative stance in acquiring the products and services that they need to compete. This process whereby the buyer attempts to persuade the seller to provide exactly what the organization wants is called reverse marketing.
Implications of reverse marketing include serious threats to uncooperative in-suppliers but major opportunities to responsive in-suppliers and out-suppliers. While the potential benefits to buyers are obvious, some suppliers will have a monster in the room. Why? Because there are just too many salespeople that are anchored in old school sales practices that turn off the new, sophisticated buyer that has a different agenda.
How about your sales force? Have they been retrained to achieve aggressive revenue targets in this new paradigm? If not, how will reverse marketing impact your business?
Herman D. Alvaranga is a marketing and sales strategist.