Is Your Sales Team Creative Enough?

Being a ‘business partner’ to customers makes a nice sound bite, but here’s how it actually works.

Daniel Newman

Following is an excerpt from CI columnist Daniel L. Newman’s e-book, “New Rules of Customer Engagement.” Check back each week as we share a glimpse of his descriptions of each of the six trends that he says are redefining how integration sales professionals must deliver solutions for their clients. The e-book is scheduled to be unveiled in conjunction with NSCA’s Business & Leadership Conference, Feb. 27 to March 1, at the Four Seasons in Dallas.

It comes down to creativity. Not just being creative for the sake of being creative; rather, becoming the business partner that brings value back to the partnership.

Think about the changing role this way. In the past, it was the role of the supplier to bring the customer from start to finish in the sales cycle.

When the customer would come to our door they were almost like children. They needed to be taught how to eat, how to dress and how to take care of themselves. Once they learned those things they became proficient and the focus shifted to teaching them the next thing.

Now they come to us and they are like a student that just graduated college, chock full of knowledge and barely a clue as to what to do with that knowledge.

This is where your “creative value” comes into play.

Your organization is now in the role of “real world mentor” and it is your responsibility to help them take the raw knowledge (data) that is in their head from all of that content they are consuming and to make something useful of it.

New Rules of Customer Engagement, an e-book for sales professionals (and their bosses)

CI columnist Daniel L. Newman’s book is being showcased on Commercial Integrator. Check back weekly for excerpts:

1/10—Intro: Redefining the Sales Process

1/17—Trend 1: How Informed Consumers are Changing Everything

1/24—Trend 2: Why Your Response Time Must be Faster: The Impact of Immediacy on Customer Experience

1/31—Trend 3: Getting Creative: Your Business Value Lies In Your Creativity

2/7—Trend 4: The Role of The Human Network; Your Human Network

2/14—Trend 5: Don’t Sell Me. Show Me! Selling More by Driving Outcomes and Advocacy within Your Client Organizations

2/21—Trend 6: Customer Experience Trumps Everything Else You Do: Why Mediocre is the New Bad and Extraordinary Must be the Ordinary

Follow @Commintegrator and @DanielNewmanUV for updates on the release of “New Rules of Customer Engagement.”

Value Creation Example

Let’s say a customer comes to you and says, “I have been reading all about Web-based video conferencing solutions and I would like to explore implementing them into our business.”

If doing business in the old way, you might respond by saying:

“Great, we sell Cisco Webex. It is a great product. Let me get you a quote, ok?”

In the new value creation focused world the response should be a little bit different. Perhaps it would go something like this:

Client: I have read a lot about web based video conferencing and would like to explore further on how we can implement them here at Acme Corporation.

Vendor: Tell me more about which products you have read about. And more importantly, why do you believe it is a good solution?

Clients: Our organization is trying hard to allow our employees to be more mobile while also cutting back on some of our travel costs.

About the Author

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I am a principal analyst of Futurum Research and CEO of Broadsuite Media Group. I spend my time researching, analyzing and providing the world’s best and brightest companies with insights as to how digital transformation, disruption, innovation and the experience economy are changing how business is done. Bringing together the technology layer with the human layer, I seek to solve the biggest challenges that companies have today; how to grow, scale, change and adapt to a world where technology and media shift at breakneck speed. So what does this mean? It means that I spend my life learning about what drives people to adopt new technology so I can share those secrets with companies that are ready to take their business to the next level. From keynoting on the world’s largest stages to weekly insights on Forbes, MarketWatch and our owned media properties, my goal is to provide our clients with what they need to know to out innovate and turn disruption from threat, into a business model for success.

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