This last week (August 1st – 4th) I was fortunate enough to find myself at CompTIA Breakaway 2011 in Washington DC. Among the many informative sessions and vendor offerings I heard, Peter Sheahan, founder and CEO of ChangeLabs, present the keynote address. I had never heard him speak before, and his speech really set the tone for the entire session for me. His speech was centered on sharing his advice on how to help gain an understanding of why your potential or current clients make buying decisions.
As his speech progressed, Sheahan posited the idea that the largest, self-imposed, hurdles to the sales process are misconceptions on the sellers part about who they are trying to offer products and services to.
"It is often not the buyer getting in the way of the seller exploiting the opportunity, but the seller not fully understanding the opportunity," he explained. "I would put to you that success is less about the tactical decisions, but rather your ability to see the money to be made, otherwise you rob yourself of opportunity."
Here are some of the common assumptions that he has observed in everyday business;
The lesson? Cloud may still be maturing, but don't wait until it does to create your strategy. You'll be too far behind to catch up then.
To speak directly to customers’ needs in a more productive way, here are some questions Sheahan suggests you use to engage your customers in the conversation:
The margin, says Sheahan, is in synergizing solutions together. How do you show your customers how to take advantage of various IT solutions and turn it into a cross business lines solution that answers one of those questions above? How do you capitalize on it? The answer is in development of the relationship with your clients to a level where you uncover those business needs and make available the options to pull together the technology bits that can be weaved into a seamless business solution.