Most technology suppliers don’t think about delivering business outcomes to their customers. For years, the technology industry has delivered products and services to enable the customer to own their outcome. The book B4B profiles how the buyers of technology are changing and the industry-wide impact of new business models that are emerging as a result. No longer is the CIO/VP of IT the only decision maker for technology. Increasingly, line of business executives are involved in the selection and purchase of new solutions.
They want their technology to deliver a business outcome, and these buyers have different measures (KPIs), industry vertical expertise, and technology insights gained from the Internet. These new buyers are more confident in their own ability to make decisions and are no longer completely reliant on suppliers to point them to the right solution. So, what can suppliers do to meet the needs of this new type of buyer and help them achieve the outcomes they’re looking for?
Why You Should Focus on Delivering Outcomes, Not Just Technology
Customers now expect suppliers to deliver on the business outcome their technology solutions promise, which requires technology suppliers to rethink and reorganize their go-to-market models. This shift impacts everything from how products are developed, marketed, sold, implemented, and supported. The customer lifecycle has now become an active engagement, not just during technology refresh cycles.
Thomas Lah, the executive director of TSIA, refers to the ability to consistently help customers achieve business outcomes as “outcome engineering,” which he explains further in his paper, “A Primer for Outcome Engineering.” This objective could be of considerable concern for many suppliers given the many unknowns.
Here are two examples of how a supplier can use outcome engineering to engage a prospect or customer.
#1. Identify Specific Business Challenges Your Solution Can Help Solve
Suppliers can leverage outcome engineering to develop and deliver a customer-focused point of view. Traditional sales methods target identification of a client pain point or utilize discovery to find potential areas of opportunity. Increasingly, customers want suppliers to deliver more defined value to the business relationship. Using this methodology, a supplier can engineer a business outcome they can deliver.
#2. Create a Custom Action Plan for Achieving Outcomes Using Your Solution’s Capabilities
Suppliers can thoughtfully align key capabilities their products and/or services can deliver to impact a client’s business processes and measures. Demonstrating this alignment gives the client confidence that the supplier understands and can deliver a business outcome. As an example, a technology suppler may have many customers in the healthcare industry, and therefore has a unique understanding of the business outcomes their customer desire. The supplier can bring a point of view of what is most important to this industry and how they can uniquely deliver solutions to meet those needs. Customers find value in understanding industry trends and want to engage suppliers that understand their industry and business.
Put simply, outcome engineering is a way to put the features and functions of a solution into the context of what the customer hopes to achieve with their purchase. This is why Outcome Chains, Inc. has developed a software platform to enable outcome engineering through an integrated experience that guides both buyers and sellers through a consultative conversation to solve complex business problems. With outcomes being the driving force behind today’s technology purchases, it makes sense for suppliers to have a strategy in place for helping their customers realize the value their technology can bring to their business.
Learn About How Outcome Chains Facilitates Outcome Engineering at Technology Services World
Outcome Chains, Inc. will be exhibiting at the spring Technology Services World conference in San Diego, May 1-3. Be sure to visit our booth in the TSW | EXPO, booth #25, and see how we provide roadmaps to outcomes with our SaaS solution.
About the Author
Glenn Gramling is the vice president of Outcome Chains, Inc., a SaaS solution designed to facilitate better outcome-based collaboration between buyers and sellers. Glenn has over 20 years of experience in sales and marketing management, ranging from large high-technology firms to venture-funded startups.