I hear sales and marketing talking all the time about value exchange, thought leadership, and the dreaded strategic partner rhetoric. Yet, when I ask how do you drive value for clients, I hear silence (insert cricket chirping)
“You are not a strategic partner to my business just because your marketing department gave you slides that say you are. You are a vendor, selling us technology, and until you tell me exactly what business value you bring to my business – that’s all you’ll be to us”. -quote from an executive in Forrester
Today , customers want and need collaboration, especially with other business leaders. Over the last year , market research shows a major shift in the ability of customers to get information directly from each other – without going through vendors. Social activity will allow customers to band together into communities of interest to not only solve problems and find more creative ways to use products and services, but to provide direction and innovation to the firms who supply those products and services.
Driving Value – Ideas & Concepts Leaders today want the right visibility and insight to minimize the learning curve in unprecedented times. I personally find that more and more leaders are more apt to listen to the right knowledge if you can bring value to the table however organizations are failing to even understand this let alone act upon it. Marketing departments still talking about campaigns and the next webinar versus structured engagement activities ,market research, analyst insight ,and true collaboration with customers. Give us Ways and methods to truly articulate business value via business cases.
“We're looking for partners who don't know the answer but can help us drive the way to find it.” – Voice of the Client
As an organization what methods do you have to solve problems? What is your approach? Leaders today don't want a value pitch or value prop they want to know how are you different in your problem-solving ability ?As an organization or individual looking to drive value with clients, focus more on your capabilities and not product or services. This will allow for you to see key assets that you can bring to the table for better alignment and business value.
Partnership equals collaboration –Formal Engagement Activities As an organization what type of activities do you have that are structured , to allow for your SME community to bring insight , ideas, a different way of thinking to the customer ?
If you are still screaming for content and leads, you don’t’ get it . Start asking for more ways to bring value and insight to your client. Focus more on engagement and alignment and I promise you will bring value and profitable results for not only you but more importantly your current and future customers as well.
Author: Eric Stavola