Delivering on Backup Services like Big Brands Deliver on the Buyer Experience

Oct 2014

Delivering on Backup Services like Big Brands Deliver on the Buyer Experience

Posted by Tracy Staniland

I recently had the opportunity to attend the Managed Services & Hosting Summit held on September 25th at the Pullman HotelTiffani Bova in London. The event was a great opportunity to meet with Asigra Partners as well as network with Service Providers across Great Britain. Tiffani Bova, VP Distinguished Analyst, Gartner headlined the event and as always Tiffani’s keynote was inspiring and thought-provoking.

The main theme of the keynote presentation was in order for managed service providers to enjoy future growth they are going to need to implement new sales models. The presentation focused on the following three key points:

  • Technology is different.
  • Buyers have changed.
  • Providers need new sales capabilities.

The main message focused on how the buyer’s journey is changing our approach to sales and service providers must change their approach to sales methodologies, approaches and measurement. Now we have all heard how the traditional funnel is no longer, that buyers control their journey through the buying cycle much more than today's vendors control the selling cycle. The fact is that the buyer’s journey is no longer linear, the buyer is continuously moving through their journey. Therefore, managed service providers need to drive content out into the market to inform the buyer through their self-driven research phase of the buyer’s journey. Tiffani’s recommendation to Service Providers is to reduce the speed and feed messaging to focus on telling more stories using customer case studies.

Tiffani also advised that Service Providers need to differentiate based on sales and selling tactics. She also recommended looking at what your competitors are doing – are they more digital and are they using more content. You need to be aware of what your competitors are doing and you need to choose the touch points on how buyers interact with your organization. There is the opportunity for Service Providers to reduce their sales costs by 25% or more due to going digital.

Service providers need to ask themselves if they are rewarding the right sales behavior, how are the inbound leads currently being handled, and how frequently do they rationalize their sales initiatives. With the pipeline becoming more unpredictable with the buyer being in control, your sales team needs to concentrate on being a guide focused on feeding the buyer the right information, at the right time to help the buyer through their journey.

The experience economy

The last part of Tiffani’s presentation focused on a great example of the experience economy and how service providers need to deliver on their brand experience. Her presentation referenced a well known American global coffee company. As Tiffani explained, this company has created a consistent buyer experience that has people all around the world flocking to their retail locations even if these same people have access to free coffee they will pay $5.00 for the experience. They will even stand in a line up to participate in the experience. This example really resonated for me as I can attest to the fact that it does not matter where you are in the world – the experience is always the same. Now I do not normally purchase this brand’s coffee, in fact I don’t really like their coffee, but I do like their cappuccinos. So whenever I am in a new city or country, I seek out their nearest location because I know that no matter where I am – San Francisco, London, Cleveland or Orlando – the cappuccino will taste the same, the service will be the same, and their menu will be the same – the experience is consistent and reliable.

Can you say the same for your business? Do you deliver on your backup service brand each and every time? Have you altered your sales process based on the new buyer’s journey? Tell us about your experience.

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