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When did Failure become an acceptable F-Word?

Would you get on a plane with a pilot who landed safely 50% of the time? Hire architects who give you a 50/50 chance that the houses they design are structurally sound? Trust an orthodontist who straightens one out of two teeth? If so, I have half a bridge to sell you.

Of course, you wouldn’t. But according to new research about enterprise technology buying by Hank Barnes at Gartner, Inc., an average of 50% of IT buyers report that a project failed or is failing to meet expectations. And, while admitting this lack of success, 93% of them indicated that they “were satisfied with the buying experience and experience with the lead vendor.”

Yes, you read that right. The survey concerned technology-buying efforts that had the biggest spend. One out of two were failing to meet expectations. And, the clients were OKAY with it. We agree with Barnes when he says this acceptance of sub-par results is indicative of “a culture of complacency.”

The one benefit of a complacency culture is it’s the perfect opportunity for progressive suppliers to create significant differentiation. Take HP for example. HP has globally deployed a collaborative digital environment – an Ecosystem –where customers and partners can collaborate in real-time with HP on business outcomes. Each party has direct access in the Ecosystem to discover, quantify, and track outcomes. This has become their shared accountability platform with customers and partners to manage expectations in the partnership. The result for HP has been a 7% increase in overall global renewal rates and 34.1% increase in growth in those accounts where the Ecosystem has been implemented.

For those progressive suppliers that won’t settle for a 50% success rate, differentiation and account growth await.

If you would like to hear firsthand, HP’s case study, check out the recording from our Outcome Selling Advisory Ecosystem meeting where HP shared their thought leadership with our community.


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