“Use our product or service as we are the best in class (or similar).”
Yawn. Check emails. Pretend to look interested.
The three common responses from channel partners when presented with a tiresome and predictable vendor presentation.
Yet worryingly, such pitches remain prevalent at industry conferences and events, as the tech giants of the industry fall into the age old trap of spilling on stage.
“Customers today wield more power and have a wider choice of vendors than ever,” Ovum research analyst, Clement Teo, said.
“Organisations that persist in pushing an “inside out” perspective risk losing to those that articulate a clear customer-centric view, that is, from “outside in.”
“Vendors must transform to meet new, rising customer expectations to remain relevant.”
According to Teo, the onus is now on technology vendors - irrespective of size or stature - to transform for the era of digital business.
“As tech budgets increasingly shift to line of business (LoB) leaders, my bet is that these vendors will struggle to be relevant to the customers they serve,” he said.
“Why? They didn’t articulate how they were trying to solve a business problem, as opposed to a technical one.”
Looking ahead, Teo presented a checklist for vendors seeking increased engagement with channel partners and line of business leaders.
“Be customer adaptive,” he explained. “A customer-adaptive enterprise is able to sense and respond rapidly to change, especially that which impacts customers’ behaviours, wants, and needs.”
Akin to the trusted advisor approach deployed by many a reseller, Teo believes vendors that contribute to businesses growing revenues will win mind share in an ever competitive world.
“Commit to, and drive, change,” he added. “The leadership in vendor firms must attract and retain the right people, forge the right processes, and use the right tools to enable them to become customer adaptive.
“At heart is a customer-centric culture that permeates throughout the organisation.”
Delving deeper, Teo called on vendors to “enhance the customer experience”.
“Vendors must continually enhance the customer experience,” he stressed. “Rich customer data proffer new insights into what LoBs need.
“In the digital era, these insights become more critical for vendors to compete as suppliers. Service providers (SPs) could also become critical go-to-market channel partners, helping vendors fine-tune the customer experience.”
In short, Teo believes vendors and SPs that are customer adaptive will thrive in the era of digital business.