“The new world of selling … is the ability to come in and demonstrate you understand that company, you understand the industry that company is in, you understand the priority of the buying persona that you’re talking to, and you have the ability to present those proven business outcomes in meaningful ways.” – J.B. Wood, CEO of TSIA
We are all accustomed to artificial intelligence and machine learning when used in our buying processes as consumers. In fact, we have come to expect it. Think of when you get onto your Amazon Prime account, and it mysteriously already knows that you are out of water filters again, or it recommends a leather cleaner for bags right after you bought a new briefcase.
Well, the same holds true for B2B sellers today: business customers have come to expect more. It is not enough for you to just come into a meeting to discuss your solutions’ features, functions, and general outcomes.
There is a growing need to understand the specific outcomes desired for your customers’ industries. For example, a cybersecurity solution for a retail store will want to deliver very different outcomes than the same solution for the federal government or a public hospital. The retail store will care about protecting its customers, but might equally value cost savings. The government or a hospital would likely value safeguarding sensitive information and adhering to applicable regulations more than economics or efficiency.
In a recent Voice of Value podcast with J.B. Wood, CEO of Technology Services Industry Association (TSIA), explains that customers no longer want demos, but want to know how the products or services will benefit their business based on their particular industry. He points out that the current model is unsustainable because companies are answering the need for vertical specificity by sellers by creating sales overlays on overlays. This results in “the worst of all worlds” because the cost of the product is going down, the price of selling it is going up, and the revenue recognition is not immediate. He explained that the “qualification standards of a good deal have broadened” – meaning that sellers need to better understand whether the customer will likely do what it takes to be successful on their end (to justify the seller’s front-end costs), and sellers’ compensation structure will likely change to mirror the fact that revenue is now a lifecycle over years.
J.B. goes on to explain, “what we have not done as an industry, I think on the supplier end of the entire B2B world, is done enough best-practice capture to understand that THESE types of customers in THESE vertical industries need THESE business outcomes and we have proven consistently that we can deliver them and, most importantly, we understand the conditions for success.” He then talks about how companies do not have a body of content based on “success science – the processes, the steps, and the data … that are required to produce, with a high degree of probability, a specific business outcome for a customer.”
“Our growth … [is] going to be about specific business outcomes, and outcomes are industry specific. It is not true that a network is a network is a network. Yet, we are not very well equipped to have these vertical industry conversations. We don’t have the content. We don’t have the tools. Those tools are coming and we’re seeing companies that are taking that content gap seriously. If you have the right content and the right tools you can support the seller to a much higher degree than you can today.”
How can you boost your industry-specific content with cutting-edge tools to up-level your customer conversations? Contact Ecosystems today to learn how you can utilize over 2,000 outcome templates tailored to customer verticals such as public sector, healthcare, retail, manufacturing, and financial services.