Tuesday, November 05, 2013

Selling and Buying Enterprise Mobility

One of my first jobs after I graduated from Portland State University was to work at Dale Carnegie and Associates.  I helped sell and teach all kinds of professional development classes on public speaking, management and sales.  I still remember one of the rules we taught in the Human Relations Approach to Sales class, "Customers don't want to buy your product or service, they want the results of your product or service."  I believe that rule applies equally well today to enterprise mobility platforms, mobile security and development tools.

What do you think are the results of enterprise mobility platforms that customers want to buy?  I will start the list and you can finish it:
  • Increased speed or tempo of operations to gain a competitive advantage
  • Efficient data collection so better and faster business decisions can be made
  • Quicker reporting of events and KPIs to a wider audience to provide full situational awareness and promote good decision making and issue resolution
  • Improved workforce productivity due to real-time data collection, artificial intelligence and reporting
  • Reduced expenses and waste due to inefficient resource allocation
  • Improved visibility to remote operations and projects so better data driven decisions can be made
  • More collaboration, faster and with more remote workers contributing to good decision making
  • Higher profits due to efficiency gains
  • etc.
It is useful to understand that if these results could be achieved without purchasing mobile platforms and tools they would be.  No one wants to purchase, develop, test, maintain and support these mobile solutions.   They are a lot of work and distract from your core business.  The reality is though in today's world, mobile platforms, mobile app development tools, app stores and mobile security solutions are a necessity.

Any discussion with a mobility platform and tool vendor should, at a minimum, start with identifying the business results your company wants.  Any feature or function the mobility vendor shares and demonstrates should be tied back to a business result on your list.  Don't let a mobility vendor discuss features that aren't tied back to a business result.  Although painful for the mobility vendor's sales team, holding the vendor to this exercise makes the presentation far more entertaining and valuable for you!

Last week I wrote an article titled Enterprise Mobility, Business Executives and Mobility Vendors.  In that article I reported that more CIOs and CEOs are getting involved in decisions about enterprise mobility.  Why?  I believe executives are seeing enterprise mobility as a catalyst for digital transformation.  It is one step, although a very important step, to transforming their companies to meet the demands of a digital market place.  A market place where the competitive differentiators are digital competencies.

Kevin Benedict, Head Analyst for Social, Mobile, Analytics and Cloud (SMAC) Cognizant
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***Full Disclosure: These are my personal opinions. No company is silly enough to claim them. I am a mobility and SMAC analyst, consultant and writer. I work with and have worked with many of the companies mentioned in my articles.