Monday, 23 June 2014

Make the right move from enterprise software sales to an enterprise solution provider

Socrates is considered a great teacher. His method  was to ask probing, open ended questions which enabled his audience to understand problems better and agree on his conclusions.
When we go about acquiring new business, try to position yourself as Socrates and the customer as the student. For a successful deal closure eventually the customer needs to be convinced of our solution offering to him.
It has become a common occurrence to see a customer complaining about enterprise software sales people trying to sell products which don't fit their requirements. Similarly, we frequently hear customers complaining that the implemented product does not meet their requirements.
In the current scenario, product selection poses a tremendous challenge for a customer. His IT team is bombarded with a host of requirements from different business verticals. It's getting increasing difficult for them to evaluate products by themselves and finalize one.
Hence what the customer seeks from the enterprise software provider is to be their IT consulting partner and guide them with right solutions. Customer is not looking for disconnected products, but a set of integrated IT components which coordinate seamlessly in their IT environment.
Although traditional sales representatives are at a distinct disadvantage in this environment, there are an increasing number of high performers who have understood the shift and embraced the change. They have adopted the following strategies:
  • Act as an IT solution partner instead of just selling product.
  • Engage with the customer more before outright selling. Understand the customer pain areas in totality and not just restrict to your domain. This helps establish mutual trust.
  • Propose a solution road-map to the customer which aligns with customer's short term and long term plans.
  • Be receptive of customer feedback and act on it.
Customers these days are smart to understand that a product out of the box is usually not a direct fit. Hence make the right move of changing from a product centric approach to solution provider.

Written by:

Mr. Vivek Iyer- An IT professional having more than 13+ years of experience in experimenting and building commercially viable usage of different technology solutions.Presently working as Practice Head - Microsoft Dynamics CRM at Direction Software Solutions, Mumbai, India.He enjoys traveling and exploring new places.

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