Tech advancements, informed buyers decide sales cycle

by Sharon Lobo    Aug 05, 2013

Tech buying

In the last couple of decades, technology has evolved in leaps and bounds. However, the sales models used by companies to bring their technology products to market have failed to keep up. One of the most consistent patterns in business is the failure of leading companies to stay on top of their industries when technologies or markets change. For instance, the emergence of the iPhone changed the dynamics of the smartphone market. Big players such as Nokia and Blackberry were so slow to keep pace with it, resulting in the erosion of their market share.

One of the biggest barriers to innovation in the traditional sales model is the lack of flexibility exhibited by companies to reinvent themselves. This is primarily due to companies not wanting to place quarterly revenues at risk and continue to protect and defend existing customers and deliver net new revenue.

However, technology advancements are challenging the status quo in many ways. According to Gartner, the market will split into three types of provider that approach the market in very different ways — some clinging on to old models of selling to protect their installed bases, some evolving their products to compete better and some taking a revolutionary approach with radical new products and business models.

The key to moving forward is to take a customer-centered approach and adopt sales models that support customers’ new buying processes, rather than fight against them.
-Tiffani Bova, VP & Distinguished Analyst, Gartner

It is important that businesses realize that the selling products to a customer is journey and doesn’t end with the deal, as Neeraj Dotel, MD, Compuware India says, “If what I am providing to the market is not resulting in a competitive business advantage to my customer then it is meaningless. Our journey doesn’t stop at a sale, we want to work with the customers to document the value they get out of it (the solution) and ROI.”

While there are numerous technology-related forces at work on sales models, the customer is also having a major impact on how providers take their products to market. Newly empowered and informed buyers are taking control of the sales cycle, which should be cause for concern for many sales leaders. Companies that fail to make changes now could find themselves in a worse.