Technology vendors must quickly evolve their sales focus, and market messaging, to sell software remotely in a tough market, as customers are making radical and rapid changes to:
- Protect their employees;
- Reduce their cost base; and
- Accelerate their digital customer engagement.
Disruption of this scale is unprecedented, and timescales are short.
Digital strategy in a time of crisis (Mckinsey Digital webpage report on the ongoing crisis)
There are three phases that represent a significant opportunity for technology vendors:
Phase 1 – Now
Three tactics to rebuild pipeline and forecast strength, in the new market:
- Customer attention – has your sales messaging been updated and shortened? Is your home page the same as it was in December 2019? Our SaaS client, Zaptic, identified how their SaaS platform helped manufacturers to protect, produce and adapt, during the pandemic. Evidencing this with two customer case studies made it compelling for their target markets.
Each market sector and account plan needs reviewing. Pre-crisis messaging is often pointed at customer issues, which are no longer of interest and too long for use in remote selling.
Customer feedback gathered by sales in real time today, must drive marketing content, rather than vice versa.
- Customer business case – do you have a short powerful business case, which is driven from the customer’s data, and justifies a technology investment?
These four customer KPIs are vital:
- Employee safety;
- Business continuity;
- Cost reduction; and
- Digital business acceleration.
- Fast implementation – do you offer a rapid-deployment starter system? Decisions on new solutions will be postponed if they take too long to deploy.
Phase 2 – Coming soon
There will be a wave of mergers and acquisitions, with weaker companies being snapped up by stronger businesses. As the Harvard Business Review comments in the “The Case for M&A in a Downturn” website article” there may be opportunities to make one or more long-sought acquisitions”.
The acquisitors will be highly receptive to technologies, which simplify IT integration, and automation, of their new companies.
Software vendors, with new infrastructure platforms, should present the customer with a business case, to invest in one new state-of-the-art system.
Phase 3 – Long term
In January, no-one could have dreamed that today we would have a public sector supporting major industries and building huge temporary hospitals. Government has had to scale up in size, number of services, almost overnight.
This level of government has only ever been seen before during wartime. Today, as vendors revisit their go-to-market plans, a huge growth potential will be missed if they do not evaluate selling to governments. The public sector has scaled up overnight and is unlikely to scale down anytime soon.
Technology vendors will need new management techniques to sell software remotely in a tough market.