This week, we present Chapter 8: Consumption Sales: After a Great Run, the Classic Model Gets an Overhaul. This is the ninth post in a series dedicated to helping MSPs understand and adopt the recommendations of Consumption Economics–The New Rules of Tech. Chuck introduces the chapter by sharing how the content resonates with his 30+ years of industry insight.
A FEW WORDS FROM CHUCK
This is the chapter in Consumption Economics where the “rubber meets the road”. The previous three chapters focused on how to create and market the technology products and services that customers want to buy and use today. One of the last steps in the process is figuring out how to sell in the new customer-driven technology consumption world (next week’s focus is on service!)
For the last three decades, selling technology products full of features and functions designed to meet the needs of a broad range of customers required a well-understood set of skills. To achieve your company’s annual revenue targets in the world of Consumption Economics will require changes—your sales team needs to transform just as your product development and marketing teams did. Figure 8.3 below highlights the areas of the sales playbook that are no longer applicable and recommends what the sales team will need to develop and perfect.
There is no easy way to deal with this. Changing your company sales processes, messaging, compensation models, and skill sets will take many months of dedicated work. This is undoubtedly the toughest part of your company’s transition from the old CapEx model to the new OpEx model. The unfortunate reality is that some of your sales team will not be able to make the transformation successfully.
As a leader in your company (whether by title or not), you now have the knowledge and insight from Consumption Economics to make a change. Let the recommendations guide you to a successful outcome…and don’t ever look back! Read on for more information.
AN EXCERPT FROM Consumption Economics—The New Rules of Tech
Chapter 8: Consumption Sales: After a Great Run, the Classic Model Gets an Overhaul
The days of standard products with consistent benefits from customer to customer are coming to an end. Complexity and features proliferation have seen to that. But most companies’ business processes, especially sales processes, are built in the classic product playbook model.
Winning profitable new customers in cloud, managed service, and outsourcing deals will take very different skills and steps. We need consulting skills and service-oriented compensation models. We need salespeople who think on their feet, absorb complexity and uncertainty, and are uncomfortable selling with canned pitches—ones who are business experts much more than sellers of speeds and feeds. Neither tomorrow’s customers nor your salespeople may truly be able to articulate, much less architect, the end benefit they seek at the time they sit down to talk. The customer of the future will be forced to place a bet on a platform of core technologies, add-ons, and services from a trusted provider who hopefully, over time, helps them navigate the complexity to arrive at the best potential benefit.
So if these are the key selling tasks of the future, how does your current sales force map to the required capabilities? Is it time for your company to begin the overhaul of your version of the classic product sales model? As we said, the sales-force transformation is making its way into boardroom meetings and uncomfortable discussions between old friends who have come up through the ranks together. More and more tech executives are realizing that the nature of the customer sales discussion is changing fundamentally and pervasively. They also see that many of their current sales resources are unlikely to excel in the new model.
NEXT WEEK: Chapter 9: Consumption Services: Will They Someday Own “The Number”?
Because D3UC is dedicated to and entrenched with the MSP community, each week a new chapter of Consumption Economics will be discussed with emphasis focused on the challenges faced by VARs and MSPs who are transforming their companies’ business models to survive and thrive in the new, Cloud-driven world.
If you would like an overview of the book Consumption Economics, you can download a copy of the “abridged” version written by the TSIA from our website.
Originally published June 28, 2015. Reviewed November 2016.