Its been a long quarter, but to celebrate some of the successes I have had, I wanted to share. Service assurance sales strategies is something everybody is looking for and most do not know how to achieve. I get asked all the time, why does this sell and this do not. To summate my response I decided to write a blog post — A Tale of Two Sales.
Sale A: Relationship Sale
When customers or partner need help, they go to people they trust. If they have no one with answers they trust, they do RFI/RFPs. They do proof of concepts until they obtain trust. So many sales engagements is about trust – obtaining and fostering it. Once trust is there, the deal will only need to be palatable. Until trust is there, you must be patient and listen. This sales is also called a “consultive sale”. Customers must share their pain, their vendor must share their solutions. If there is a fit and proved, you have a match. This can take months or day, it all depends upon how open the engagement. Once the trust is there, its a matter of business case creation. Project approval and budget follow — sale done and dusted…
Sale B: Package Sale
Same situation – a customer or partner in need. They have no trusted advisor relationship. Hello RFI/RFP! They get back a complete, documented, sourced, and independently verified business case. This “known” quantity details provides all the tangibles. This includes ROI projections, feature/benefit, comparison studies, and case studies. The entire business case with minor adjustments required. I call this the package sale. Sales makes the pitch and leaves the bank with the customer. References provide the trust. The customer can go to their management assured in their support. The quality of the deliverable is everything. Management agrees, project approval and budget follow. Sale is complete.
For you buyers out there…
Sales is hard, be nice do your sales rep. Tell them what you want and why you want it. They can get it for you if you ask. If they every tell you false information, stop talking to them. Its not worth putting your career at risk. Even for a slightly superior product.
For you sellers out there…
Its all about the benefits. Completely documented and third party certified benefits. Features are for demos, benefits are for closers. Customer and partners buy solutions to solve headaches or get promotions. Its you job to help on both accounts.
I personally believe it does not matter which strategy is used. Service assurance sales strategies are not complex, you just have to listen to your customer. The customer will guide you and if you do it right, you will have both deliverables: the trust and business case.
About the Author
Serial entrepreneur and operations subject matter expert who likes to help customers and partners achieve solutions that solve critical problems. Experience in traditional telecom, ITIL enterprise, global manage service providers, and datacenter hosting providers. Expertise in optical DWDM, MPLS networks, MEF Ethernet, COTS applications, custom applications, SDDC virtualized, and SDN/NFV virtualized infrastructure. Based out of Dallas, Texas US area and currently working for one of his founded companies – Monolith Software.