Introduction: Making solutions work

Introduction: Making solutions work

The introduction to ARN's special supplement on selling solutions

The phrase “selling solutions” has been thrown about in the channel for many years. But despite extensive discussion and initiatives to promote the concept, many IT players still find it hard to position their business offerings as solutions to their customers.

In this special supplement, we’ve collated advice from vendor, channel and third-party experts outlining ways you can adopt and take advantage of a solutions sales strategy.

As is pointed out in our feature, “solution” can mean a variety of things. At an overarching level, selling solutions is about addressing business needs. But look under the covers and you’ll find a solutions approach requires trust, risk, strategy, process, project management and buy-in, not to mention product and technical knowledge. It's no longer simply a matter of packaging up a set of technologies.

Nevertheless, all our experts agreed selling solutions comes down to understanding the client’s business needs, market forces, and adjusting your technology and services offerings appropriately. And that means positioning technologies as ways to improve productivity, cut operational costs, build sales and opportunity capabilities, reduce business risk and make more money.

Key phrases in a solution sales discussion are optimisation, utilisation, efficiency and long-term value. For some practical tips, check our John Butel’s insightful sales column. This supplement also includes interviews with Avnet and IBM, which look at how both are affecting a solutions mentality across their sales and marketing teams, and encouraging partners to do the same.

Nadia Cameron Editor, ARN

This special supplement is sponsored by Avnet and IBM.

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