Sales Journey Enablement, moving the conversation from Capex to Opex
Why buy a thing to own it when you can just buy access to it for a much cheaper price, and then use only what you need? The logic of this idea has been the driver behind one of the big consumer trends of the last ten years, consumption economics.
The idea of using assets rather than owning them outright, not only applies to B2B, but also feels second nature to many businesses and has touched many diverse industries, from cars and tech (think Software as a Service) to prom dresses and tuxedos. The concept is so embedded in the way we trade now, the same idea sparked Tom Haverford, a character in the Emmy Award-winning comedy Parks & Rec to open “Rent a Swag” – a designer clothes hire service for teenagers.
However, although the concept is easy to understand, not all technology sales teams have come to grips with how to position this idea and sell it to customers. From a sales perspective, it may seem that customer’s needs have not changed, so why should they change the way they sell?
There is some truth to this argument in that you are still satisfying customer needs, but this time the difference is not what they buy, but how they buy it. Tech businesses who get it automatically have an advantage, an extra arrow in their quiver.
Going back to the 90s, selling technology products designed to meet the needs of a diverse group of customer types required a well-understood set of sales skills, and many a playbook to address this has been prepared by product marketing teams in the years since.
By adapting to a consumption economics view, leading tech companies are transforming their business models to survive and thrive in the new, cloud-driven world.
What does this mean in reality? It means when you are putting your sales bids together you can think about how to put them together to give your customer more options. Think about framing your bids to access Opex budgets rather than Capex ones. Talk about investing in the business rather than investing in IT, and about your service model rather than your system architecture. Take a look at offering capacity or outcome-based contracts rather than “total cost of ownership” old-style ones.
It’s still a win-win. Customers have the option to contract both for access and then to consume as needed, for you that’s two revenue elements. You still get the benefits of recurring revenue, it’s just delivered in a different way, because of how your customers want to buy what you’re selling.
It’s time to look at not only what you sell, but rather the way you are selling it. Alinea Partners can help. Sales journey enablement specialists, Alinea Partners work with companies to improve their sales performance every day.