This is the ninth in a series of articles for e-learning for Advanced Sales Training for IT and High-Tech Sales. "Sales Strategy, Understanding Your Customer – P1 Helping Clients Succeed.”
This part of the programme has nine sections, starting with your approach to helping clients succeed through to the tools and techniques you can use to understand your customer’s business, hold intelligent business conversations with executives, and identify opportunities. The nine sections are grouped into several articles.
Part 1. Helping Clients Succeed
In this module, we'll be exploring how to leverage a range of business planning tools to better understand your customers’ business, to position your solutions in a compelling way and help your clients succeed.
As IT and High-Tech sales professionals, your success hinges upon your ability to identify opportunities for your clients to improve their business performance, effectively acting as a consultant, assessing and addressing their needs and delivering solutions.
In all large organisations the purchase of information technology is a strategic issue. In the Principles of Selling Model, we showed that sales teams operating in the top right quadrant are acting as problem solvers and consultants, delivering high-value, complex solutions of strategic importance.
Suppliers of IT solutions need to be aware of the various levels of strategy within their target accounts, and this means understanding and being able to comment on those strategic directions, knowing how business strategies drive the information systems strategies, and how different technology solutions can be used to support information systems strategies and business transformation. To achieve this sales teams must establish long term partnerships at executive level, working with rather than responding to customers.
What can you do to help your clients succeed?
Business Transformation Programmes
Business transformation requires a complete understanding of the issues, challenges, and pain points facing companies, and can only be accomplished by effectively bringing together an in-depth knowledge of business processes, the advanced technologies needed to enable them, and the cultural changes necessary to make them effective for flexible growth. Business transformation does not have to cover the whole business at once; instead, it can occur for a single business process, at a department level, or for the value-net (see below).
Business Model Development
A business model that works for the clients’ business and sets them apart from their competition is critical. It must fit with today’s competitive business environment. The right business model can help clients:
– Optimize performance
– Deal with changes in the market
– Enable them to overcome existing and new competition
– Enable them to seize new opportunities
– Leverage their strengths and the scale and skills of partners
Improving Business Processes
Streamlining and integrating outdated processes can have major impacts on a client’s business. Extending processes so they are integrated internally and even externally to their partners and customers can revolutionize their way of doing business.
Supporting a Creativity and Innovation Culture
Helping your client establish creativity and innovation as cornerstones of their management culture is essential for driving the business forward. By showing that technology can support and enable their employees, partners, and customers to be creative and innovative, finding new solutions for improving business performance.
Creating Exceptional Services
Helping clients provide superior services to their customers has a direct impact on the bottom line. Keeping existing customers is as important as finding new ones, and your clients can build that loyalty by enhancing and innovating their services.
Innovating and Making Products Special.
New innovative product ideas can be delayed because the business processes and business applications cannot support them. You can help your clients speed innovation in their products, creating a business environment that is flexible, resilient, and integrated by providing the business solutions and IT infrastructure necessary to support innovation.
Collaborating in New Ways - The Value-net
In today’s business environment collaboration across the business and beyond with partners, suppliers, and customers is essential. Companies need collaboration solutions that bring organisations closer, helping to improve communication and productivity. This is driven by the need for the real-time exchange of ideas, insights, and experiences, and the advances in technological capabilities that support a rich exchange of digital information between collaborators. These types of interaction give people and companies more freedom to innovate and can allow resources to be used more efficiently and effectively.
The tools and techniques, discussed in subsequent articles, can be used to help you understand your customer’s business, hold intelligent business conversations, and identify and develop new opportunities for improving business performance.