Customer relationships in technology product companies: a new paradigm
“…it seems that the most profound, basic, and enduring quality uniting businesses and customers is gratitude. First, gratitude from the business to the customer; then, reciprocally, from the customer to the business because of the service, quality, and value received. Of course, the product or service is also a direct connection, but gratitude is the enduring quality of the relationship." (Paul Hawken “The Ecology of Commerce")
It is customary for technology companies to use the technological features of their products as the main sales driver. In most cases however, the decision makers are business persons that need to understand what the business reasons are for investing in the products. In order to succeed it is therefore no longer sufficient to offer an excellent product at a good price. Salespeople also need to:
- Clearly quantify and demonstrate the business value of their products and services in term of improved productivity and quality, and reduced costs and risks.
- Correctly assess their customers' needs in order to build a sensitive communication approach leading to value-creating relationships and sales effectiveness.
- Go beyond the IT and procurement functions and develop strong and long- lasting relationships with key decision makers within their customers' organization.
- Assure a continued post sale availability assisting customers to mobilize and govern their implementation programs in order to achieve the expected value creation.