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ryan@goodmangroupllc.com

How Online Assessments can Accelerate your Customer’s Journey

By | Uncategorized

In 2018, leading enterprise technology companies (software, value engineering, system integration) are investing to improve online engagement across all channels. If your company has a diverse portfolio of enterprise solution offerings that requires a more complex sales cycle, your competitors likely follow the same content marketing playbook with webinars, white papers, and articles.

When a customer lands on your website, how are you engaging them to discover their business needs and recommend correct solutions?

How to Stand out from Competition

To combat these trends and stand out from competition, enterprise software companies like SAP, Informatica, and Adobe have embraced online assessments as a tool to provide a deeper level of self discovery and demonstrate thought leadership in their respective markets.

Only 29% of people want to talk to a salesperson to learn more about a product, while 62% will consult a search engine. (HubSpot, 2016).

What is an Online Assessment?

An online assessment collects user input in a survey, performs analysis, and delivers recommendations in the form of a report or summary. There are 2 important components:

Capture Business Pains

1. Assessment Survey

An assessment survey contains a series of business questions with quantitative inputs (rankings, ratings, etc). The goal is to quantify the business criticality of your customers' challenges. Presumably these are business challenges that can be resolved through products and services. Online assessments should be highly focused on industry and/or line of business topics that matter to your customer.

Align Solutions to your Offerings

2. Assessment Report

An assessment report provides a summary of the customer's appraisal with industry insights, benchmarks, and calculated results that help customers prioritize and alignment their business challenges to proposed solution offerings.

TIP: Think of personalized assessment reports as a "Whitepaper 2.0." You can demonstrate your market thought leadership, share key figures, industry stats, and align your customer's business pains to solutions and industry benchmarks.

Why Customers Value Online Assessments

To create immediate value to your customer, online assessment should quantifying the impact and business criticality of addressing business challenges. The outcome of a successful online assessment is clear and concise recommendations for solving business challenges.

Business Focus

Align customer business pains with your offerings

Quantifiable Impact

Understand impact and business criticality

Better Web Experience

Push relevant, prioritized content to prospects.

Personalization

Suggest personalized recommendations based on line of business and/or industry.

What are potential outcomes of using Online Assessments?

Accelerate your Customer’s Journey

Streamline the “discovery” process and deliver highly qualified leads to your sales team.

Demonstrate thought leadership

Showcase your understanding of your customer’s industry and line of business challenges.

Establish Industry / Line of Business Benchmarks

Create benchmark data (based on your assessment usage growth)  so customers know how they compare to industry or line of business peers.

Feedback loop to your engineering / center of excellence

Track what features, products, and services are most /least impactful to customers. Systematically relay new business pains that need to be addressed.

Measure customer adoption over time

Prioritize the right solution offerings, and what impact those solutions have on your customer’s business through the entire lifecycle.

Create Strategic Partnerships with Customers

Leverage assessments for value engineering and center of excellence workshops. Help customers use assessments for strategic planning.

How do I get started?

Schedule a Free Consultation!

Contact us to discuss how you can utilize our Strategy Assessments playbook to surge ahead of your competitors.

Learn about our Assessment Toolkit

Learn how to use our solution assessment playbook and technology approach and deliver your assessment faster.

Coming Soon!

5 Web Tactics your Competitors are Using to Out-Maneuver You

By | Uncategorized

In an era of digital transformation, enterprise software companies are breaking down internal barriers between sales, marketing, product, and value engineering services. Data and analytics are key ingredients, but not enough in 2018 to separate you from competition. In this article, I introduce 5 transformational tactics that product, go-to-market, and marketing leaders can use as a gut check.

1. Storefront Push vs. Pull

A lot of enterprise software companies design their website as a storefront that is jam packed with with buzzwords and industry lingo (for SEM / SEO). Whitepapers, customer stories, and webinars provide some context to your customer’s challenges where you can demonstrate thought leadership. Pumping customers with content is cheap, easy, and efficient, but your competitors are also doing this. Leaders are leveraging their website to provide meaningful and personalized experiences, capable of profiling customers needs in a way that previously required human intervention.

Do you use your website to profile, personalize, and prioritize your solution collaterals based on a customer’s needs (not to be mistaken with persona)?

2. Engagement vs. Fit

As the complexity of your sales process increases so does the importance of building a relationship with your customer early in the process. Regardless of your engagement strategy, your success hinges on demonstrating understanding of your customer’s business pains and articulating the impact of your solution to ease those pains better than your competitors. Leaders can effectively distribute subject matter and domain expertise through direct and digital channels. Additionally, leaders can effectively profile and calculate a prospect’s fit as a potential customer to prioritize the right level level of engagement.

Do you have consistent processes and tools to demonstrate your domain expertise while collecting information from prospects to determine fit?

3. Features vs. Impact

Your enterprise software or value engineering service will help your some part of your customer’s business run better, faster, and/or more efficiently. Until you explain “WHY” this matters to a customer, what you are calling a “solution” is just a tool or service in the customer’s mind. Prescribing features and benefits without hypothesizing the impact is a bad habit and a tough one to break without pairing your domain expertise with an open and honest customer stakeholder. Leaders understand how their customer’s maturity, strategy (or lack thereof), and previous investments will impact the success of a new technology / value added service.

What is your process to align your solution to your customer’s industry/line of business challenges? How do you quantify and communicate impact to prospective customers consistently?

4. Transaction vs. Journey

A customer lifecycle can last years or even decades. A single sales opportunity can be a single cog in a complex customer relationship, and represents a period of time within a customer’s journey. Leaders quantify and record customer challenges and track success milestones over time.

To retain customers, how do you track adoption of your solution over time? Do you cultivate benchmarks so customers understand strategic value when it comes to new purchases and renewals?

5. Marketing Qualified vs. Sales Qualified

Many marketing organizations employ sophisticated tools to collect, interpret, and score leads based on their activity and engagement. However, this process typically resets through the relationship building process once a lead is “marketing qualified” and handed off to sales. Leaders who engage customers through digital channels can seamlessly handoff intelligence to sales professionals to accelerate the sales process.

How much intelligence about your customer’s specific business challenges does marketing provide to your sales organization?

Transition to a leadership position with Smart Discovery Assessments

Addressing these challenges is a daunting task, even for experienced sales and marketing leaders. Our “Playbook” to operationalize your solution strategy requires you to align and measuring your customer’s needs with your product / service strategic value. Book a 30 min consultation and we will show you how leading enterprises are winning with similar smart discovery assessments. 

Do you want to learn more about specific playbook use cases that leaders are using today? Feel free to reach out to me directly at ryan@goodmangroup.com or (800) 481-8352

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ARTICLE: How online assessments will accelerate your customer’s journey
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