This morning I am headed out to speak to 35 sales teams calling on the top 35 retail organizations in the world – My topic, Moving From Vendor to Adviser – Capturing the Security Opportunity. As I’ve prepared over the past several weeks, I’ve had the opportunity to interview some of the top performing sales team directors to better understand how they have made their way into C-Level meetings. I’ve used the same discovery process I recommend in my new book, From Vendor to Adviser; the same discovery process I teach sales people to use as they engage in high-end technology projects. The results are evident – I now have the secrets of their success which I can now draw upon as I work with the entire audience (something every sales person should be doing) – an audience that will include people from all parts of the world over Cisco Telepresence. It’s also no surprise to me that these top performing teams are not just selling product, or responding to RFPs. Instead I found:
- Strategy meetings taking place at the top on a regular basis
- Operational efficiency and risk mitigation – conducting studies and assessments
- Speaking the client’s language and engaging with asset owners throughout the organization
These are just a few of the things I’ve been talking about for years as I work with sales teams around the world, building a more effective go-to-market strategy. The part that was somewhat new to me was how exciting the retail business is right now with regard to technology and security. Millions of dollars are being poured into solving problems and growing sales in ways I had not considered. I didn’t realize that retail operations are losing 8 Billion dollars every year on inventory shortages, and that 30% of that loss is due to shoplifters, but over 60% is tagged as insider theft! Developments in cross channel merchandizing, new forms of payment including Google Wallet, other smart phone apps, and tokenization efforts to get rid of credit card issues and PCI compliance hurdles. Using video to study shoppers moods – which will in turn be used to customize video marketing they may be viewing in the store (this is scary technology). And then there is the QR (Quick Reference) code hype – in England they are using these codes to pay for parking spots, but who is to stop the young entrepreneur who sees the opportunity to replace these 2D bar code stickers with their own, point to their own duplicate paysite – Surely someone has figured this out!
© 2011, David Stelzl