Before we get to scorecards, I just posted a 60 min audio recording on how to accelerate your managed services business…check it out on the bottom of this webpage (click and scroll to the bottom) *****
Is your company using the outdated scorecard? A few days ago I posted a link to a recent HBR (Harvard Business Review) article on solution selling, and the outdated methods of solution selling. There’s an interesting section in this article on the scorecard – the criteria sales managers give their reps as a means of allocating time. In other words, who do you spend your time with? These cards are more likely to be found in the larger sales organizations that employ a more formal pipeline management process…but this information is great for any size to company. Everyone should be evaluating their use of time. The old scorecard looks like this:
- Management has acknowledged a need for change
- They have a clear vision or set of goals
- There is a well established procedure for making a buying decision
In my book, From Vendor to Adviser, I recommend a different approach…I was happy to see that the HBR article also calls this old school. In my book I discuss the need to go after companies with a predictable message. This means having a message that targets needs we are seeing in companies 90% of the time. This is why I like leading with risk mitigation strategies, regardless of what other technologies might be sold in the future. Operational efficiencies would be a second best approach.
Once the company has an acknowledged need, it’s too late. IT is out on Google solving the problem, purchasing is price shopping, and vendors have surrounded the fort, working to break down barriers with low prices and limited time offers. The winner walks away with a 5% margin and no promise of future business.
Instead, HBR calls for 2 things; customer agility – is this business full of red tape? Is there a long drawn out bureaucratic process in the way of seeing this through? And secondly, is the customer in a state of flux, growth, or change? The busier people are, the more money they will spend on things they don’t have time to do themselves.
In the risk sale, the prospect with security troubles fits the bill, as long as their data is important to them. An emergency, like the discovery of a major hole, removes all red tape, and secures the needed budgets overnight. The urgency of a security issue, puts the company into a state of flux, no matter what else is going on. No one has time to deal with this, and so an immediate project ensues. Forget the outdated scorecards and look for unsuspecting companies open to some education on security trends…move to the assessment phase, and follow the steps outlined in my House & the Cloud Book – Free in PDF format.