We Address 4 Key Areas We Address in the Program
We begin every course by discussing relevant issues within the market, vertical and industry drivers and challenges that vendors are seeing among their customers. We also discuss what changes are taking place and how they are affecting various business and revenue models. For example:
What are the increasing pressures on IT and the executive suite, and how are they affecting purchasing decisions?
What limitations exist within the typical customer's engineering skill sets, and what are the implications on adoption success?
We focuse on the ability to recognize, understand and articulate the problems that customers will respond to, with the goal of creating entry points for the sale. Our courses highlight how the vendor's solution maps back to the problem, helping sales teams answer “how we can help" with a repeatable message. The goal is for the sales conversation to get away from “we have stuff you can buy" and move toward “we can help your business."
We also emphasize that understanding the business problems an IT solution addresses is as, if not more, useful for the architect or manager pitching it internally as it is for the salesperson.
Our courses differ from standard, vendor-driven enablement. In the second section, the courses sift through all of the features, products and capabilities and helps the sales team translate those items into areas where they will directly produce a business change. This simplifies the messaging, makes it more relevant and drives confidence in both the account manager and the customer.
The third section of our courses highlights areas that set vendors apart from their competition. We clearly convey the key differentiators as well as highlight areas where any perceived weaknesses may be.
Limitations—whether real or perceived—are often excluded from sales enablement courses. We believe a prepared sales team is a confident one. Knowing the limitations gives account managers the opportunity to avoid mind fields, so we hit this topic head on.
Customers viewing this information benefit too, as a holistic view allows them to be realistic with their design goals. Often times, a missing feature or limitation does not prevent the purchase; instead, transparency drives confidence.
Decisions surrounding today's highly complex solutions don't happen overnight. There are many factors to consider. Getting involved with the solution early-on—and seeing it from all angles—brings issues to the forefront that could otherwise hinder a successful purchase or adoption.
In the last section, we include next steps, conversation starters and account-planning suggestions.
ENGAGE Series - Sales Enablement
In spite of the shift from selling products to selling solutions, many vendors continue to use the same training and mentoring tactics. That means vendor-sponsored sales/technical enablement courses may be built by product management teams and consist of nothing but technical features and capabilities. When account managers are only trained on technical features, their pitches do not resonate with business leaders.
Simply put people don't buy solutions because products have cool capabilities they invest because they need to solve problems or improve business processes, that is what we talk about in the Engage Series.
A solution must address a business initiative to be successfully adopted.
So the "old" internal, vendor-sponsored training programs fall short for both account teams and customers. No one is hearing the right message.
To remedy this disconnect, NC-Expert designed a series focused on helping account managers and technical support teams to ENGAGE with the customer. We give sales and technical professionals the tools and knowledge they need to understand and convey the business relevance of the solution.
The NC-Expert Engage Series offers a third-party overview of the solution's key features and products and maps those items to real business challenges.
Sales teams need precisely targeted, ultra-relevant guidance when learning how best to position the emerging solutions that customers are looking to purchase today.
But the Engage Series isn't just for salespeople; it's also for end customers. Lead engineers, architects and even front-line managers must communicate the value of the solutions they propose to senior management. For executives, this series offers a third-party review of the solution or vendor under consideration—before they ever meet with a sales team.
We created the Engage Series to provide guidance on how vendor/solution features translate into business-relevant benefits. Our programs are based on decades of experience designing, executing and participating in countless vendor-sponsored programs, road shows and academies. We know what works and what doesn't.
VALIDATE Series- Customer Validation
Consumers today have become so accustomed to the vast amount of information at their fingertips that they rarely make a purchase without conducting preliminary research. They read reviews and myriad of other sources of information before making up their minds. And once they do decide to make a purchase, they tend to favor buying scenarios that involve little, if any, human interaction.
These trends apply to large consumer purchases such as homes, cars, electronics and travel, as well as small ones like mobile apps and dining out. The auto industry, for example, has seen the increasing use of no-haggle dealerships and services like those offered by TrueCar and CarsDirect. The shift in the travel industry is even more apparent, given the enormous popularity of sites such as Trivago, Expedia, TripAdvisor and Yelp.
As consumers, we feel better when we are informed, and everywhere we look, there is a service to help us with that.
Why should purchasing millions of dollars' worth of equipment that can ultimately grow or bankrupt our companies be handled any differently?
Why do most companies depend on vendor sales teams for pre-purchase education? How do they know they're getting the truth? Even if they hear a little mud-slinging between two vendors, are they really discovering the actual benefits and limitations of the competing solutions?
NC-Expert believes the corporate purchasing process is changing, with a trend toward consumer research. Thus, we aim to help both vendors and customers adopt consumer research strategies throughout the sales process.
Our Validate Series enables vendors to become better sources of information for their customers before and during the sales cycle. This not only helps to increase vendors' perceived value, but it also accelerates purchasing decisions—a win-win for the vendor and the customer.
Customers benefit from the opportunity to fully explore and evaluate equipment prior to purchase. This increases the chances of successful implementation, speeds up the adoption of new technologies and solutions and ultimately allows companies to get their problems solved faster.
Activate Series- Customer Technical Training
These are “off-the-shelf” certification courses with added content. We match the courses and certifications your customer teams need to design, operate and troubleshoot the underlying products and technologies that will be put in place to support the Architecture.
We add in the business to architecture connections and streamline the content and delivery to match the portions of the course that apply directly to their environments. Here the customer gets both the certifications that help them personally and also gives their management something to use to track progress.
We also include updated product and technology sections to cover the products being purchased. This gives the customer a direct ROI not normally found in certification training that may be outdated compared to what they are purchasing.
This continuing education helps to drive the confidence beyond the initial sale increasing the deal growth and product adoption over the long run.