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T V Ananthakrishnan January 19 , 2013
1. 2. 3. 4.
Who am I?
What do I do ? Why am I here ? What (or who !) is on top of my mind ? Where do I hang out ? 1. 2. 3. 4. 5.
You …Name College , Qualification , Specialisation Interests What brings you here ? Why I'd want to hire you
A Few Questions…
• What is a solution? • What is solution marketing? • Why do you think solution marketing matters?
Beyond Products: Solution Marketing .
time. rigor. consistency – best practices • But there’s not a common definition • Many sales teams use the Solution Selling methodology • But Solution Selling does not provide strategic guidance for Marketing • There’s little discipline around solutions • Help Marketing to work with Sales • Provide a solution methodology for Marketing • Solution Marketing Blog. • It can be confusing • Solutions make life easier What is “it”? What’s Needed • Technology is increasingly complex and customers lack in-house resources. Consulting <5> . Chuck e Cheese birthday package • Seems like everyone sells solutions today • Help customers “It” = Solutions • Provide discipline. IBM and Chuck e Cheese sell it • Most tech companies claim to have it • But none of them know what it is • Sales thinks they’re selling it… • …but they’re doing it without Marketing. expertise • Each offers complete solutions to customers… Apple iPad ecosystem. IBM industry solutions. Group.What’s Happening • Customers want it • But most customers can’t do it on their own • Apple.
Chuck e Cheese birthday package • Seems like everyone sells solutions today • Help customers What’s Needed • Provide discipline. consistency – best practices • But there’s not a common definition • Many sales teams use the Solution Selling methodology • But Solution Selling does not provide strategic guidance for Marketing • There’s little discipline around solutions • Help Marketing to work with Sales • Provide a solution methodology for Marketing • Solution Marketing Blog. What’s Happening • Customers want it • But most customers can’t do it on their own • Apple. rigor.What is “it”? Solutions is It. Consulting <6> . time. Group. • It can be confusing • Solutions make life easier • Technology is increasingly complex and customers lack in-house resources. IBM industry solutions. expertise • Each offers complete solutions to customers… Apple iPad ecosystem. IBM and Chuck e Cheese sell it • Most tech companies claim to have it • But none of them know what it is • Sales thinks they’re selling it… • …but they’re doing it without Marketing.
What if… I wish…
• Introductions • Beyond products
Exercise #1: is it a solution? Solution Education & engagement Value Access Customer visibility Discovery Strategies for solutions, education & engagement, value, access Exercise #2: solution marketing fail
• Solution marketing
• Building your solution marketing strategy
Conclusion, Q&A Hands-On
Exercise #3: sell me your solution Exercise #4: field – test your solution<11>
The Solution Imperative
Typical Company Wants… Customer Technology Company <11> .
What is a Solution Anyways? so·lu·tion noun \sə-ˈlü-shən\ General definition: a: an action or process of solving a problem b: an answer to a problem so·lu·tion noun \sə-ˈlü-shən\ Business definition: A complete and integrated offering that includes everything required to solve a customer problem <12> .
Typical Customer Wants… Services User Technology Customer --Pain Points Process Content/ Data Complete Solution Everything to solve the customer’s problem <13> .
hosting • Support <14> Technology Services • Hardware/ infrastructure • Software platforms • Applications • Strategy • Project management • Risk management • Custom coding .Complete Solution User Process Content/ Data • User interfaces • Training • Support • Process optimization • Reengineering • Workflow • Content Documents Images Video Music Books • Best practices • Domain expertise • Integrated experiences • ROI studies • Security • Data • External data sources • Data security. data policies • Complementary technologies • Integrations • Custom coding • Integration services • Communications services.
Why Solutions? • Increasing complexity of technology • Limited in-house IT to support systems • Avoid in-house/SI build or integration • Business users drive tech decisions but don’t understand the technology • Mature markets <15> .
Why It Matters Relative % of Customers The Chasm Main Street The Solution Opportunity The Tornado Early Life Bowling Alley Early Majority/ Pragmatists Late Majority Conservatives End of Life Innovators Early Adopters Technology Visionaries Enthusiasts Customers want technology and performance Laggards Skeptics Time Customers want solutions and convenience <16> .
Solution Marketing Customer-Centric Marketing for Today .
educating. and providing access to complete and integrated solutions that deliver value by helping customers to solve their problems.What is Solution Marketing? so·lu·tion mar·ket·ing noun \sə-ˈlü-shən\ˈmär-kə-tiŋ\ The process of defining. <18> .
Walmart © 2009 p4 . not another ad campaign. Quinn Executive VP and Chief Marketing Officer.Walmart: People Need Solutions “ With some of our customers who live paycheck to paycheck. they need solutions to problems. Stephen F.
Not A Solution to the Customer’s Problem Product © 2009 p 5 .
Complete Solution to the Customer’s Problem Solution © 2009 p 6 .
documents.Complete Solution to the Customer’s Problem Technology • Applications • Complementary technologies • Hardware and infrastructure • Custom coding • Integration services People • User interfaces • Training • Support • Best practices • Domain expertise Process • ROI studies Reengineering • Process optimization efficiency. images • External data sources • Data security • Data policies © 2009 p7 . effectiveness Services • Strategy • Project management • Risk management • Custom coding • Integration services Information • Data • Content.
Solution Marketing Requires a New Model Promotion P Product P Price The 4 P’s P Place P p9 © 2009 .
Solution Marketing Requires a New Model The 4 P’s . Dev & Schultz © 2009 p 10 .updated Education Solution SEVA Solution Marketing Access Value Derived from SIVA model.
Solution Marketing Adds Value To Marketing. Sales and Product Management Social Media Field Enablement Frictionless Sales Education Solution Value SEVA Solution Marketing Marketing Support Access Solution Marketing Product Management © 2009 p 11 .
Sales and Product Management Social Media Field Enablement Frictionless Sales Marketing Support Product Management <26> .Solution Marketing Adds Value To Marketing.
margin is king <27> .The 4 P’s – All About the Company Product “Build it and they will come” Best channels for us to sell the product Place Company Promotion Outbound. interruption marketing Price Cost-plus.
Solution Marketing – All About the Customer Strategy Metrics . Solution “How can I solve my problem?” “How can I learn more about it?” “Where can I find it?” Aclc cs P ae es Access Customer --Pain Points Education ProEngagement motion Priu Valc e Value “How will it help me and what is my total sacrifice to get this solution?” End-to-End Marketing for Today Customer-Focused Marketing <28> .
Education & Engagement: Strategy Challenge & How to Buy Now! Market Education Market Engagement Demand Gen Frictionless Sales Field Enablemen t/ Sales <31> .
com – Training – Change management – Desktop upgrades <34> – IT management .SolutionMarketingBlog. revenue drivers New business Time savings Productivity improvement Headcount reduction Soft benefits External… – Software – Hardware – Services $Dollars Total Cost of Ownership • Internal… © 2011 www. expense.Cost Value Benefits (Improvement) • • • • • • • Profit.Value = Benefit .
Value-Based Pricing Value = Benefit .TCO Assume that vendor charges fair price for features provided Business Benefit ($) Lost revenue Customer Benefit Unneeded features Customer Benefit Price A High Value Lost software revenue B Fair Value Price matches benefit Customer Benefit C Customer Benefit D Poor Value Unneeded features Fair Value Price matches benefit Solution use-case drives benefit and value <35> .
Microsoft SharePoint Delivers Value with 50% of the features BIZ CHALLENGE SOLUTION RESULT Share information with other people in the enterprise <36> .
The magic is that end users actually like to use the software. Chris Capossela Senior Vice President Information Worker Product Management Group . If we do 50 percent of the functions that these other companies do. that’s fine.Microsoft SharePoint Delivers Value with 50% of the features BIZ CHALLENGE SOLUTION RESULT “ We don’t claim we do everything. Microsoft NY Times 8/2/2009 ” <37> . but they’re the ones customers really want.
Microsoft SharePoint Delivers Value with 50% of the features BIZ CHALLENGE SOLUTION RESULT Significant growth at expense of mainstream ECM vendors Lesson: Customers gain value by buying only the features they need E <38> .
the following practical issues were found with the solution sales process .Typical solution sales process example As part of an effort to re-design the process for a B2B technology solutions provider . Two messages became crystal clear: 1. They are engaged too late in the sales cycle to make a difference These two findings were especially significant because both sales managers and sales reps indicated that SEs are a scarce and valuable resource. There is no defined selling role for the sales engineer (SE) 2. .
it was losing SEs.• One manager said that his biggest fear was not losing deals to the competition. but talented pre-sales people are extraordinarily difficult to replace. • There are always more deals to go after. Does this sound familiar? • An organization may not use engineers as part of its selling process. . but there is a good chance that its sales rep is teamed with vital pre-sales resources that are not deeply integrated into the process.
Questions to ask to determine if presales resources are being leveraged correctly: 1. World-class sales processes include specific actions to execute at each stage and job aids to accomplish the task. Does my sales process describe when. Pre-sales resources are often an after-thought. how. . and why pre-sales resources are engaged in the deal? The purpose of a sales process is to enable and assist the customer to move through the buying process. These processes are typically built for sales reps and sales managers. if thought about at all .
But the “Sales” part of SE is not. They need sales tools too. They have the skills to apply them effectively to comprehend a myriad of technical challenges. • The “Engineering” part of the SE title is covered. Are there specific tools and Job Aids that enable my pre-sales resources to succeed in driving the sales? • SEs generally employ home-grown diagnostic tools. • SEs often have powerful resources to configure a valid solution architecture that will solve the customer’s problem.2. .
3. . Innovative ideas flourish and there is opportunity to expand the deal with up-sell and cross-sell solutions. SEs unanimously declared that they needed to be engaged early in the buying process. This is the time to be creative and influence the solution requirements. Early in their buying process prospects are open to suggestions and are willing to consider new ideas. “What would increase your effectiveness in the sales process?” . When are my pre-sales resources engaged? When asked .
deal sizes. solution closure time.• Once the prospect has moved past the early stages of “Recognize Needs” and “Identify Requirements. it is too late for the SE to do anything more than explain the product specifications and capabilities • SEs can directly impact cost of sales and revenue by improving funnel quality. and solution win rate .” the opportunity for exploring and trusted advising is gone • When the buying process has advanced to the “Evaluate Solutions” stage.
templates and guidance to identify specific actions at each stage of the sale. It is not enough to simply list an action “Request SE support resource” for the sales rep • Include specific tasks for the SE that advance the sales cycle • Depending on the solution set.Or create unique sales aids for the SE • Provide worksheets. . these could include presenting a nontechnical concept framework to the decision maker • The best source for specific actions is to research past successes where the SE played a vital role in the early stages – those are the actions to replicate Update or add Sales Aids • Include fields for input from the SE in the job aids your reps and managers use .How to improve the impact presales resources have on an organisation’s sales campaigns: Define and enrich the pre-sales role • Update your sales process to include specific actions and job aids for sales engineers.
• Better yet.Integrate SEs in the sales process workflow. • The sales manager and SE manager now have the ability to coach the selling team through the process. Hold them accountable. • Use weekly reviews and informal touch-points to ensure that the reps and SEs follow the game plan. and they will work better as a team. . the next step is to update the sales process to indicate the engagement points for the SE. Engage early in the sales process • With clearly identified tasks and tools. links and mouse-over instructions. • Identify the SE tasks and tools in the CRM sales process flow so that the SE has clear direction and integration into each opportunity. • Train the sales reps and SEs on the new expectations and provide the managers with insight through CRM reporting. • Their expected contributions are now clear to the sales rep. incorporate their tools directly in the CRM system with embedded forms.
• Support resources are essential players on every successful selling team. • The strategies described above have the potential to significantly boost the profitgenerating performance of an organisation’s sales process and maximize its investment in support resources. But their roles and engagement are often poorly defined. .
Solution Sales Cycle .
an excellent communicator who is equally comfortable in front of large crowds as well as small groups They are Sales Reps in sheep's clothing • Able to build and nurture relationships throughout the sales process. while maintaining an already established level of trust Pre-Sales Engineers not only demonstrate the breadth and depth of their company's products. Anyone who believes otherwise has a huge character flaw.a. SE's should never be treated like tools or just "technical resources" .k.The Pre-Sales Engineer. Systems Engineer or Sales Consultant. is the stage performer of the IT world: immensely capable. the Pre-Sales engineer is there to make the prospect feel at ease. a. but they also work closely with sales Account Managers to aid in the sales process and help close business • From 1st calls to technical support to demonstrations. to paint a vision on how the products will meet a specific need Their knowledge of the products and services being positioned to solve the business problem are invaluable • It is exactly this knowledge and skill that should be valued by the sales organization and it's management team. confident. judges people immediately and demoralizes those whom they manage or work with .
The end of those discussions resulted in no clear solution path.Sharing a recent quote from one of the network partners of a US-based data integration company : The SEs are the smartest(breadth of experience and depth of expertise) we have met in several years of doing BI consulting sales. • “ This organisation’s SEs were a pleasant surprise . Their ability to quickly understand the client problem and devise several innovative approaches (incl thinking well outside the box) makes them fun to work with on accounts We feel like our clients get the best possible solution – one that fits them and not one that fits the vendor product functionality One recent experience involved spending several hours with various vendors explaining a complex client problem and investigating the different solution approaches.they understood the problem within a few minutes and developed 3 different methods that could be used to tackle the problem – all in an hour phone conversation! “ .
reviewing several alternatives before making any decisions to ensure the correct fit • In order to set the correct expectations surrounding those items. prospects are becoming more guarded and demanding when they engage with sales professionals • Specific "needs" to be addressed. the sales/pre-sales process must fully uncover the business issues described along with there causes and effects • The process to identify a fit and understand a customer's expectations should be no different whether you are positioning a physical product or a software solution • The key is to listen and understand what is being said. it is important to keep the prospect's expectations into consideration • During the discovery phase of the sales cycle.The Prospect's Expectations Depending on the selling company's business model. as well as identify what is "not" being said . justification of the value of any purchase. a Pre-Sales engineer listens and identifies a fit for its company's offered solutions • He also sets expectations for the prospect on how the solutions will work for them With knowledge of failed promises from many software/service companies or poor interactions with sales people. Pre-Sales activity can take many different forms • Whatever that activity may be.
the sales professionals should speak to the prospect as if "they" were the prospect . on a call with a major customer who was just “ kicking the tyres “ and stated that they did not have any "specific" business problems Further discussion revealed key targeted pain points that the vendor’s BI suite could remedy with its software and services One won't be able to show a solution to someone who doesn’t perceive they have a problem The first step when presenting is to help them understand that they have a problem – and that the problem is both important and can be solved Also. most importantly . . the rep MUST keep it conversational. • That way the prospect is "not" forced to go through a constant mental exercise of morphing what the sales rep is saying into something that's meaningful to them • On top of all this.For example.
there is a time and place to shake a hand . even sending pre-sales engineers all over the United States (or the world for that matter) for simple discovery calls. giveaways .are they providing any real value? The pre-sales process takes different forms depending on the business model of the selling company • For example. white boarding sessions and demos can add up to $2500/month per engineer (depending on location and means of travel) • While it is important to understand the importance of human interaction .On sites. golf outings or even iPod giveaway promos because they know they will recover those costs from the software licensing fees they charge their customers • In the US .but it has to be managed carefully or you will just continue to waste money and downsize your company more layoffs and more seasoned SE's leaving to find more fruitful and fulfilling jobs. many of the recently consolidated proprietary BI vendors have no problem wining and dining their prospects in the form of expensive lunch and learns. events. .
• The pre-sales process should be very similar to any sales process but not so extravagant when it comes to the travel or promotions • There can be more web meetings and conference calls with an even higher quality pre-sales engineer(s) who has the experience to back up their company's claims • This can result in a solution that compares to the proprietary guys but with a lower TCO and a higher ROI .
. there are plenty of reasons for pre-sales to push back • One of them may be. set the proper expectations. A sales person's job is not only to represent his company but to "get" as much information as possible so he can accurately position the products and services It is recommended that this "discovery" should be done with the pre-sales engineer in order to achieve the most accuracy and again.Opposition. is it Pre-vent Sales? There is a little joke in the pre-sales circle that the "pre" in pre-sales stands for "prevent“ • This can commonly be heard from the account managers in sales organizations due to the level of push back they may receive by the Pre-Sales department. If this information is not received by pre-sales. Why would anyone want to hinder their company's performance for little or no reason ? However. pre-sales can't accurately paint a vision or present a solution if they don't even know "why" they are being engaged. not following the defined pre-sales process. • First off the interpretation is silly because the company's success rides on qualified engagements.
Hope" is NOT a phase in the sales cycle !! • A requirement such as. "I want to see dashboards and reporting and analysis". is not really too descriptive of what the "drivers" are for "wanting" to see these things • Doing a demonstration without knowing anything is a "Show Up and Throw Up" with HOPE that the prospect will find something of interest .
. where there possibly wasn't a process or the business model was different • Some may be reactive and used to saying yes without drilling in further • Some may not want to bother with the pre-sales process and think they can do it all on their own Whatever the reason may be pre-sales needs to identify the styles of these individuals and learn how to work with each and every one so it is productive for the prospect and the selling company.Other oppositions one may encounter are related to the personal styles of the individuals one may be working with • Some may be used to the way things were done previously in another company.
PRE-Sales P-prepare R-respond E-execute Results in Shorter sales cycles Proper customer expectations Improved sales .
Prospect for Leads You can't prospect effectively without knowing all about your product(s). If you're weak in one or more areas. but you can also call in person. In order to succeed in sales you need to master each one of these stages. Set an Appointment It's time to use those leads you collected in stage 1. . how could you know who will want to buy it? 2. If you don't understand the product.The 7 Stages of the Sales Cycle No matter what you're selling. 1. you might survive as a salesperson but you won't thrive. every sale follows roughly the same pattern. It's a rare sale that doesn't include each of these steps in one form or another. Many salespeople prefer to cold call over the phone. 3. Qualify the Prospect The qualification stage usually takes place at the appointment itself. The idea is to confirm that your prospect is both able and potentially willing to buy your product. send email or even mail out sales letters. although you can also qualify briefly during your initial contact.
it's time to ask for the sale... Make Your Presentation The presentation is the core of every sales cycle. you are also selling yourself! You represent your company.. and it's probably where you'll invest the most preparation time.. Close the Sale Once you've made your presentation and answered your prospect's questions and objections. so appearance counts. Too many salespeople are so relieved to get a sale that they grab their things and race out the door the second they get the chance. Ask for Referrals This is hands down the most commonly neglected step. Address the Prospect's Objections Here's where you get to deal with your prospect's concerns.4.” 6. which is especially sad given that it's probably the most critical one. This is the second-most neglected stage of the sales cycle. 7. for fear the prospect will change their mind! . The one you'll hear most often? “I have to think about it. Keep in mind that you're not just selling your product. 5.
In other words. the length of your selling cycle is not entirely within your control. your sales cycle will be longer than if you are selling greeting cards to walk-in consumers. just getting to the decision maker can be a challenge. As a rule of thumb.Every sale goes through the same seven-stage cycle. they'll usually need more wooing from you and will take longer to come to a final decision. from prospecting all the way through to asking for referrals from the new customer the length of this cycle can vary greatly depending on the product or service you're selling. B2B sales cycles are generally longer than B2C With B2B. there are often multiple decision makers you'll have to convince. each with their own set of objections. But that doesn't mean the length of the sales cycle is entirely out of your hands . the more expensive a product is. the longer the sales cycle tends to get If you're asking a prospect to spend a significant amount of money. Worse. If you are selling copy machines to businesses.
by qualifying intensively you'll start to learn what the customer's objections are likely to be. so you'll spend less time pitching to people who won't be doing the buying . First. qualifying B2B customers tightly helps you to confirm that you're dealing with the actual decision maker.It's possible to take control of your sales cycle and adjust its timing. a prospect who is just barely qualified will need more hand-holding from you before you can fit them up with the right product Second. within limits Almost all salespeople can benefit from a shortened sales cycle. and you can accelerate the process of resolving those objections Third. since speeding up the sales process means you'll close sales (and get paid for them) faster and usually leads to a greater total number of sales The first step in shortening your sales process is improving your qualification process.
The second step is to learn everything you can about your products and your company The more you know. if you are clearly an expert on your own products. you'll generate confidence in your prospects. not just brushing them aside . They'll be more willing to trust you and will be more open about their objections. the less often you'll have to tell prospects “I'll get back to you with the answer.” Plus. if you make it clear to the prospect that you take their objections seriously and are meeting those objections with solid resolutions. even the ones that prospects like to keep to themselves It can also help build trust. The third step is to invite the prospect to share their objections as early in the cycle as possible Resolving objections early on helps you to uncover them all.
particularly their hobbies or other personal information.The fourth step is to make as many preparations as possible well in advance of the actual appointment Do some research on the prospect and customize your presentation using the data you unearth Be ready with responses to common objections Learn as much as you can about the decision makers. you can hasten this trust-building process and reduce the sales cycle to the shortest . so that you can quickly begin building rapport Closing a sale really comes down to developing a level of trust with the prospect If you take a few precautions and approach the prospect respectfully.
Did You Know ….. that there are no existing commercial sales methodologies providing a startto-finish workflow for pre-sales engineers to achieve fast.??? . repeatable Solution Closures …..
After-thought ? .
Next Steps .
SI Partners Back Office Manufacturing Engineering Front Office Marketing Sales Service Customers • Goal: Customers get what they were promised • How Do You Achieve This? – – – – Consistent messages across entire company and ecosystem Sales – longer sales cycles. consulting teams Executive support <50> . tech support. solution training. specialized sales teams Support from engineering/product management. services.Ensure Alignment Throughout the Extended Enterprise Suppliers/ Partners Tech.
Think about solution completeness 6.Getting Started 1. Define the business problem 4. Begin internal discovery 2. Move from feature/benefit business value 5. Know the customer 3. Bonus: how are market/tech forces changing solution requirements? <51> .
Solution Technology Customer --Pain Points Process Access Customer --Company Pain Points Education ProEngagement motion Content/ Data Value Complete Solution Solution Marketing <52> .Q&A Services User Strategy Metrics .
Beyond Products: Solution Marketing .