Why Clients Choose Us
Unlike all other B2B sales and marketing consultants, we’ve been on the front lines developing new sources of revenue and expanding existing channels for emerging growth companies, established firms launching new strategic initiatives and companies working through corporate renewal and board-directed turnarounds.
As we say, we’ve been in your shoes.
We’ve led the launch of more than 40 emerging growth companies, new products and initiatives on modest (or meager) budgets, where our roles have spanned marketing, sales and business development. We’ve built sales and marketing departments from the ground up, run corporate marketing, authored and delivered custom sales training programs, managed channel programs and created many powerful, yet simple, selling tools.
Along the way, we’ve hired and fired staff/reps/channel partners. Made tough choices. Lived out of a suitcase. Met quota. And now: consult for revenue-thirsty clients like you.
Clients appreciate our minimum-necessary, lean strategy approach developed over years of successfully selling and marketing new technology products and services through direct and independent distribution channels.
We seriously enjoy digging into lengthy buying cycles of complex products to discover the triggers that get customers to “YES” faster.
Sure, there are probably hundreds of marketing and sales consultants with outstanding resumes who may attempt to make similar claims. But if you scratch below the surface you’ll quickly find their experience does not include all of the following:
- Serious Research to get answers to questions others fail to
Research projects include: Customer Insights & Segmentation
(interviews, field research), Product & Category Management, Pricing, Sales/Channel Effectiveness (sales rep interviews, field research), Go-to Market/Marketing Strategy, Buyer Personas/Buyer Research, Strategic Workplan, Strategic Messaging, Value Net, Competitive Analysis/Market Intelligence, Objection-handling, Marketing Game Plan.
- Business Development for new technologies —
Business development is all about new channels, new partners and teaming with other advocates in unconventional ways. Often, it is these new avenues of revenue that yield the best profits.
- Business-to-Business (B2B) sales and marketing
B2B is very different from Business-to-Consumer (B2C). B2B marketing is a support function for the direct and indirect sales team. If you’ve never carried a bag you might be tempted to argue this fact, and you’d still be wrong.
- Small and midsize (SMB) operating platform —
It’s one thing to sell and market for well-known companies. It’s another thing altogether when you’re promoting companies and technologies that no one has ever heard of. Getting on a prospective customer’s radar with a no-name product requires “stuff” few others have. We have the “stuff.”
- Selling and marketing through Partner Channels
Channels go by many names. They include: VAR, Distributor, OEM, Independent Representative, Affiliate, Private Label, B2B Franchise, Dealer, Reseller. We have experience with all of them. Since the majority of Channel Partners are small businesses, too, our ability to speak with them in their own language has been one of the keys to our success.
- Technology —
Our educational and career backgrounds are rooted in technology such as: Semiconductors, Telecom, Software, IT Professional Services, IT Infrastructure, Business Intelligence and Analytics, Embedded Applications and Operating Systems, Industrial Controls and Automation and Industrial Products.
It’s what we mean when we say, “Think Like A Startup. Win
Faster.” It’s the shortest distance between your objective and
Also known as the Bob Vila of B2B Marketing, John is the author of Marketing Playbook: The B2B Marketing Director’s Definitive Guide. The book was named Business Breakthrough of the Year, 2006 and has been endorsed by such well known marketing gurus as Seth Godin, author of All Marketers are Liars and Free Prize Inside; Guy Kawasaki, the original Apple Evangelist and author of Art of the Start; Al Ries, author of 22 Immutable Laws of Marketing; Ben McConnell, author of Creating Customer Evangelists; Rieva Lesonsky, Senior Vice President and Editorial Director of Entrepreneur Media/Entrepreneur Magazine and Doug Hall.
Unlike other consultants, he’s spent his career on the front lines. And most of it, working with and selling through Channel Partners for small, upstart firms.
Bottom line: John’s advice is nothing like what you’ll hear from an academic or pundit who have spent their careers on the sidelines. He really knows how to get B2B marketing, sales and business development working together because he’s spent his career doing it.
John has been featured in numerous publications and radio programs, including BusinessWeek, Chicago Tribune, Crain’s Chicago Business, Crain’s B2B, PCWeek/eWeek, and the Advertising Show.
John is a graduate engineer from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in Computer Science. He earned his MBA from Keller Graduate School of Management.
He actively serves on an advisory board for the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign’s College of Engineering and Mercantec, Inc.
An in-depth interview with John is here.
Victor Ranczynski — With a total of more than 25 years of high-technology sales and marketing, Vic has concentrated more than 19 years of this time on early stage and small technology companies, personally closing several 7-figure contracts with F500 customers.
He is skilled in strategic business development, marketing and sales force management.
Combining a background in corporate finance, product management and channel and vendor relationship development, Ranczynski focuses on helping SMBs bring their products and services to the marketplace. He has served emerging businesses across the full spectrum of hardware, software, telecommunications and “dot-com” technologies, relentlessly pursuing and closing sales among targeted accounts.
Prior to VM, Vic was Vice-President, Sales at Heurikon, an industrial controls start-up. Before Heurikon, he was North American Sales Manager for U.S. Robotics. He also has held several other sales management positions with Intel and Magicsoft where he gained significant experience in start-up and small business revenue generation and distribution channel management.
Ranczynski earned his MBA in Corporate Finance from the University of Chicago. He earned his BS in Engineering Mechanics from the University of Wisconsin in Madison, Wis. Ranczynski is a National Merit Scholar and has been active with Habitat for Humanity for more than ten years.