Key decision makers have their hands full with the overload of enterprise content. A report from AIIM (Association for Information and Image Management ) summarized the top concerns of 56 American and European Information management executives. So what issues are currently plaguing businesses?
- Security expansion mechanisms for the new business model and its processes
- The amount of data being collected
- The metamorphosis of the business model from centralized to decentralized and on demand via mobile and cloud technologies
Managing the volume of information that is being gathered from all sorts of systems is becoming an impossible task. Key decision makers are looking for help to sort out their strategies and potential solutions. The consulting firm or account manager that helps guide these individuals through the paper and data maze is sure to be compensated significantly.
To get the ear of these highly visionary thinkers, the approach must not be the “business-as-usual” sales pitch in which is “our company is XYZ and we are the greatest at 123” (however true that might be). Put yourself in your customer’s shoes. You hear this everyday and thus will be more likely to deny an appointment with a starts off their pitch in this manner. Your customers feel the same way, even more so.
However, changing your focus from what you have to sell to seeing and grasping the key decision makers’ point of reference can make all the difference. Listen to their challenges first, and provide a solution second. What is the most pressing challenge in front of them? Perhaps more importantly, what is the Nightmare on IT Elm Street waiting in the wings?
Although a great deal of digital information is being collected, paper processes play a role in daily business transactions. Key decision makers are looking at how to streamline these processes and continue to pursue growth strategies.
VARs should craft value-added conversations that solve issues that key decision makers face:
- The struggle to secure enterprise content and sensitive document data, because it can be found everywhere inside and now outside the enterprise via mobile employees devices
- Adapting to the change of their business models from a centralized, on-premise operating environment to a cloud operation, and how that impacts an organization's operational processes
- Assisting finance individuals looking at cost containment across IT business units because of industry changes, alongside the ROI of solution proposals to address the aforementioned two issues
In each of these concerns, there is an opportunity for VARs to bring in a team of experts with specializations in data security, cloud computing, storage, and content capture.
When VAR account managers contact key decision makers involved in these core business issues, using a consultative approach is important, as is inquiring about how the above struggles are being addressed and what the gaps are between problem identification to implementation and user acceptance. This type of querying should reveal areas where the VAR has another opportunity to uncover additional layers of challenges that can be solved using technology partnership and innovative solutions.
Getting appointments with key decision makers may be the toughest part of an account manager’s role. And it’s been said that seven contacts may be necessary before the executive is willing to not turn a deaf ear.
The good news is that the customer is looking to fix numerous challenges and VARs that can help transform confusion into order will get on the calendar of a key decision maker sooner rather than later.
When you next call an executive, what do you know about his or her industry’s challenges?