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Why HOW we engage really matters

By David Orren

The big challenge often faced by CIOs and business leaders is the lack of peer group thinkers with whom they can easily and comfortably share their uncertainty.

CIOs face an evolving sea of interconnected challenges that are changing over time. Gone are the days when a business could spend 12 months dotting the I’s and crossing the T’s with an RFP on every initiative. Today’s digital market place forces leaders to make hard decisions between a bewildering array of ever-evolving and rapidly maturing, highly interconnected options that do not fit neatly into one or other time-phased box, nor vendors tool bag. This is made more complex by the challenge of planning for the client organization to successfully digest and absorb new solutions into the ever shape-shifting business structure of today.

The risk and cost of adjusting the client organization to engage with and accommodate new technologies is typically far in excess, of the vendor invoice.  CIOs and business leaders must constantly assess and redefine their landscape into discretely bounded priorities that can be more readily addressed, and solutions digested. Done well, A CIO’s work leads to predictably positive outcomes that will not bite back with the next market shift.  

Many technically competent vendors maintain vital technical skills, but they often lack the commercial experience needed to partner comfortably with the CIO and business leader. Without the experience needed to ‘peel the onion’, and co-develop a viable and compelling time phased plan that both sides can commit, technically capable vendors often feel obliged to sell valuable services at the lowest price. This is not good for the vendor, nor for the client whose capable vendor may now be at risk.

A client engagement framework that guides and supports a solutions team with an ‘agile’ approach to partnering and co-development in an effective, predictable and systematic way, is extremely valuable for both sides, and can be the cornerstone of a Solution Vendor’s success.

In our experience, most SME sized Tech Solution providers that do this well, are successful as a result. But this is often driven by key staff with deep experience. Few vendors have taken that experience and consciously developed a formal framework enabling them to replicate a consistent client experience with all clients an prospects, and across the customer engagement cycle from Marketing through Sales to Solution Development, Delivery, Support and Account Development.

All indications are that during 2018 more successful businesses will complete their Customer Journey map and move on to design a more integrated Client Engagement framework. Tech Solution providers that do this well will create additional value, helping them to differentiate and achieve competitive advantage in their customer segment.

To discuss how your company can create value through a more effective Customer Engagement strategy, contact David Orren at the TVBA Technology Business Growth Practice, on 0/+44 7914 223 691. 

By David Orren.

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