Just spoke with another company about the latest features to their software. They took me through their product roadmap and the evolution process for this development. Wow! Lots of morphing going on, but what I was really searching for never manifested itself in their proposal. Where is your value to your customers? What are they willing to pay you for? Where is the connection to your customers? Where is the access to services, support and information versus the features and functions of the product you’re selling?
This isn’t a nuance. Technical companies with technical products continue to wrap everything around the product and its technical capabilities. Discussions about ‘the customer’ are still around how do we get ‘them’ to buy more from ‘us.’ Some companies have been slick about adding value added services to the product push. In some cases, it is a thinly veiled strategy to … sell more product. In today’s software world, this strategy has a very short lifespan.
Those who are doing it right are using services to add to customers’ ‘wanted business outcomes’ – which in more cases than not means an improved return on investment. Savvy companies are answering the number one customer question: ‘How does working with you add value to my business?’ I can tell you that if you get me more business and add to my bottom line, I’ll appreciate you much more as a vendor. In fact, I may even start referring to you as a partner who has a vested interest in my business.
Today’s announcement from Auxilion is a solid, tangible example of moving in the right direction to support customers’ business outcomes and add value: New Azure App Identifies Cloud Computing Costs – for customers and also monitors cloud service providers’ profitability: https://www.techwire.net/new-azure-app-identifies-cloud-computing-costs/
The world has changed. The buyer and the buying patterns are different. Logically, our selling pattern and approach must also change. Adding value to your customers businesses over the lifetime of their businesses is a great start. For those with more innovation in mind and a more competitive appetite should consider that we are heading toward an even more connected world where mutual access between vendor and customer will drive new and different value for both parties.
Think about the possibilities of sharing data, platforms, support. Fantastic! and a bit frightening, but a not so distant reality.