Newsletter February 2024

Newsletter February 2024 Customer Centricity

Aligning Corporate and Field for Customer Centricity

Welcome to our TeamX™ newsletter. This month we’re drawing on the insights gleaned from two recent podcast episodes offering a view for building a customer-centric future.

The tech industry is a whirlwind of innovation and competition. Navigating the go-to-market requires a balance between customer needs and earnings. Alignment between corporate and field has never been more critical when “selling a platform”.

Corporate and field are two sides of the same coin which we investigate through our Get Amplified conversations with Paul Wiefels, co-founder of The Chasm Group, on the corporate strategy viewpoint, balanced by EMEA Sales Enablement Director Andy Wills’ view from the field execution perspective.

 

Newsletter February 2024 Corporate and field balance

Decoding the True Value of Platforms: More Than Just a Buzzword

During the (always insightful!) conversation with Paul Wiefels from the Chasm Group, we gained a valuable perspective on the often-misunderstood concept of platforms. Paul sheds light on the distinction between transaction platforms like Airbnb and innovation platforms like AWS. He emphasizes that true platform success hinges on utility and customer adoption, not simply on the label. This resonates deeply, urging tech leaders to prioritize customer value over industry jargon.

 

Get Amplified Podcast "Decoding the value of platforms and winning customers" with Paul Wiefels, Chasm Group

Discussing a typical vendor strategy of “sell the platform”, Paul provides us with this analogy,

If the customer is interested in lunch and only wants a sandwich right now, don’t try and feed them a nine-course banquet.”

Customer-Centricity: The Guiding Star

Customer needs must be the North Star for any tech platform. Paul uses Splunk’s journey as an example. They evolved from a single application to a comprehensive platform by aligning with customer aspirations and adapting organically. This underscores the importance of listening to customers and responding to their evolving needs.

Sales Transformation: From Me-Centric to Customer-Focused

The second podcast with Andy Wills, EMEA Sales Enablement Director at Dynatrace, emphasizes the shift to conversations that prioritize customer goals and challenges. By doing this, sales teams naturally become trusted advisors, tailoring their approach to each client’s unique situation.

Clarity and Simplicity: The Power of Articulation

Paul stresses the need for clarity and simplicity in platform communication. Companies should be able to articulate their offerings succinctly, focusing on practical applications rather than platform-centric jargon. Paul recalls the example of the Macintosh launch to illustrate the balance between innovation and practicality.

Organic Evolution: Building on a Strong Foundation

Splunk’s journey is once again a great example. They grew from a single application to a fully fledged platform by expanding their offerings in a cohesive and meaningful manner. This highlights the importance of building upon a strong foundation while remaining adaptable to what the customer needs.

Alignment: The Bridge Between Corporate and Field

A key takeaway from both podcasts is the critical need for alignment between corporate and field teams. Corporate leadership must provide clear vision and empower field teams to execute effectively. Field teams, in turn, must provide valuable customer insights to inform corporate strategy. This two-way communication and shared focus on customer success are essential for achieving sustainable growth.

Building a Powerhouse Sales Team: Cultivating Leaders

Building a Powerhouse Sales Team - Andy Wills

 

The Dynatrace leadership curriculum exemplifies this alignment principle. It goes beyond skill-building, instilling a leadership mindset that fosters collaboration and empowers individuals to become leaders themselves. This culture of mentorship and continuous development is crucial for building and sustaining high-performing sales teams.

Customer-Centricity: The Common Thread

Both podcasts, though focusing on different aspects of the tech industry, converge on a central theme: customer-centricity. Whether you’re building platforms, leading sales teams, or defining corporate strategy, putting the customer at the heart of your decisions is the key to success.

Key Takeaways

  • Platforms are not just a buzzword; their value lies in utility and customer adoption.
  • Sales conversations should focus on customer challenges and desired outcomes, not self-serving pitches.
  • Clear communication and a shared focus on customer success are vital for alignment between corporate and field teams.
  • Invest in leadership development to cultivate a culture of mentorship and continuous improvement.

By embracing these principles and fostering a collaborative, customer-centric approach, businesses can navigate the ever-evolving tech landscape and achieve sustainable success. So, put the customer at the centre, align your teams, and unlock the true power of platforms and sales in your tech journey.

Book Recommendation

If there’s one book to add to your reading list it has to be Andy Wills’ recommendation, The Five Dysfunctions of a Team by Patrick Lencioni. It is written as a fable making it memorable. You won’t want to put it down!

Five Dysfunctions of a Team

We hope this was useful. Please let us know if there is a topic you would like us to explore. We’d love to hear from you!


A bit about us

We help tech organisations execute at speed through the power of TeamX™. As a change management organisation, we help leaders build more engaged, strong, and united teams through a breakthrough business methodology. This is built by rallying behind a common purpose and supported by simplicity in execution – all underpinned by Patrick Lencioni’s Five Behaviors® model.

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