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Let’s simplify

The 7 C’s for winning Client and Customer ______________________________________________________ WHITE PAPER

Mr. Sarajit Jha (sarajit.jha@tata-bss.com) CEO and Interim Incharge as MD - Tata BSS Mr. Sarajit joined Tata BSS as Chief Executive Officer (Interim in-charge as MD). He is based out of Hyderabad. He has started his career with the Tata Administrative Services (TAS) and has been since deputed to various Tata Companies across functions. He has been Commercial Director for Tata Global Beverages Russia managing acquisitions in Russia & CIS, Marketing & Business Development. He has done B.Sc. Eco (Honors) from Presidency College Kolkata. PGDBM - Xavier Institute of Management - gold medallist in marketing, Major in Finance MIM Kuala Lumpur - Advanced Strategy Management Program.

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Let’s simplify

An organization is as healthy as the quality of its profitable organic deal pipeline in an enterprise setting. Given cut throat competition, vendor consolidation and analytics availability to discern total cost of ownership, it is becoming increasingly difficult to further hit/conversion ratios or differentiate indefinitely. Research has also shown that healthy organizations typically have 5-10% of sales coming from new deals and 90-95% of sales coming from existing customers/on-going business. Bear in mind that a deal this year, if retained, becomes ongoing the next year. A key question foremost in the minds of many is that in the current environment that is evolving past, are there simple rules that we can follow to qualify and nurture leads? The answer to the question lies in the sales assets that one needs to build, project and continuously hone in order to keep the lucre flowing. The following common trends are emerging: 

Buyers are becoming more sophisticated, and they buy as opposed to being sold to. A recent survey shows that 58% of buying decisions are made even before the first contact is made. Buyers search out products, companies, independent research, white papers and blogs to be more informed about what’s on offer and what people have experienced with what’s on offer

The death of the sales funnel: The sales funnel is dead. The simple model of moving from awareness to interest to consideration to desire and finally to purchase has been replaced by a more circular process. People start with the initial awareness set and then do search of competition, to come up with a set which can be 1.5 to 2.2 times the initial set as consideration. The collaterals that help during the new circular search process is also different

Longer Sales Cycle: Ironically the deliver cycle has shortened but the sales cycle has become longer. The accuracy of data available, the multi-tude of choices, and the plethora of information that can be and often needs to be processed has multiplied. The perceived risk of a wrong decision and changes of it being exposed early has also gone up. This has led to decision makers becoming more circumspect. Compliance and Governance have become buzz words that lead people to refer decision to heavy weight committees

Solution Selling: With the growth of inter-connectivity and inter-relatedness in a conceptual world, the number of things that a single decision affects visibly and in a short period of time, with potential for measurement has gone up significantly. This fuels organizations to look at knock on effects and search for solutions to problems rather than fixes to problems

While it is relevant to debate the applicability of the above trends by geography, size of the company, nature of ownership, specific industries and stage of maturity of the client company, but overall, one can argue that these trends are fairly visible The Universal 7C’s that one can focus on and build sales assets around to help navigate the new age of client expectations are as follows:

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Let’s simplify

Credentials: Your credentials are the sum total of written and verbal communication that does the round about your company in public space across multimedia & channels. Your brand name, employees, ex- employees, customers, news forecasts, facebook updates, twitter handles by and about you etc are continuously creating or destroying your credentials. These comprise of intangibles like perception about your ‘ethics’ and tangibles like size, industry standing and large projects undertaken. Without Credentials you can’t hope to have a seat on the table and it is the most painstaking thing to build. Incidentally it has become far easier to assess your credentials today then it was ever in the past. Charlatans are at risk. Capability: In every sphere of life people are striving to assess capability. As we move towards a world, where who knows you matters more than who you know, capability assessment has become a very important factor. People want to know you only if you have capability that they can leverage to generate cash. True for individuals and organizations equally Case Studies: As the world moves towards purchasing Solutions, case studies are becoming an increasingly relevant transmitter of the ‘how’. People need to be comfortable with your approach, your timelines and repeatability in order to minimize their real and perceived risks Collaterals: The movement from power point to infographics, from blogs to video, from animatics to live demos are symptomatic of the human need to bring things to life in a form that they can comprehend, is relevant, experiential, exciting and hence memorable. Good Collaterals often have the power of creating their own credentials, demonstrating capability and being a case study in themselves . Comfort: Great, you have now demonstrated all the 3C’s using shock and awe collaterals. But the letter of intent has still not come. Why? Chances are he is still not comfortable with you. Comfort comes from shared values, purpose and perceived intent. Comfort is a show stopper in the sales process. Comfort comes from observation, listening and delivering on initial promises Commercial: With Global growth slowing down and with cost pressures ever present in every business trying to meet shareholder expectations, commercials are always a factor. True commercials alone don’t win you deals any more but they do lose you deals. Commercials is not price alone but the Total Cost of Ownership of you solution Vs the Value it generates in a time frame that is acceptable Cloud: In the age of information, at least for most remote services, and as back end support for performance enhancement of products, the Cloud is becoming a rainmaker

What are your experiences? Do you think the trends and factors identified here matter or are there others which are more powerful? We would love to hear your comments and views.

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The 7 C's for Winning Client & Customer  

An organization is as healthy as the quality of its profitable organic deal pipeline in an enterprise setting. Given cut throat competition,...

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