Focus on the outcome
July 15, 2015 § 1 Comment
I’m participating in updates and delivery of Cloud PoV training for sellers and one of the key messages we’re conveying is “focus on the outcomes and the offerings will follow”. The premise is that if we focus on what the client is trying to solve/achieve, we’ll better understand their context and can better recommend appropriate actions, whether in the form of solutions, services, or suggestions.
A recent example of this for me comes from a manufacturing client we’ve been engaged. The client is a current SAP customer and is in discussions with SAP about what to do next. SAP is pushing for a move to HANA and has looped us in with the client for pricing of HANA on the cloud. This is a very broad ask so we sat down with the client to understand what they’re trying to do and it became very clear there’s a disconnect with what the client wants and expects and what SAP is selling. The client is facing extreme cost pressures, changes coming from new leadership, and risks associated with old and unsupported hardware and software. The client needs to consolidate currently disparate regions and drive the company’s stock price up. The desired outcome is not about new functionality or a new platform but rather it’s about finding cost savings to the bottom line while lowering risk of outdated systems. With this as the backdrop for their outcome, HANA on the cloud doesn’t appear to be the right path forward.
It’s easy to get pulled into the specific request and take it as gospel, but we need to focus on the outcome to ensure what’s being asked is really what’s needed and that what’s needed is being addressed by the solution, service, or suggestion. Focusing on the outcome also helps so that we don’t fall into the trap of as the client noted “being a hammer and everything looks like a nail”.