segunda-feira, fevereiro 22, 2021

Mudar de modelo de negócio

Num projecto em curso com uma empresa de informática tem-se repetido que o modelo de negócio está a mudar, da venda de software para a venda de assistência.

Recentemente usei com eles um esquema de Bob Moesta:
Quis alertar para as alterações de contexto em curso, e como elas podem despertar novos desafios para os seus clientes actuais ou potenciais. Quis que abrissem a mente para as oportunidades a construir.

Entretanto, leio na Harvard Business Review de Março de 2021 este artigo "How to Shift from Selling Products to Selling Services":

"In my classes, I teach that most sales strategy and management decisions revolve around three issues: how to sell what to whom. The shift from selling products to selling services requires leaders to rethink not just the what (services instead of products) but also the who (the types of customers the sales force pursues) and the how (the way salespeople engage with customers before and after the sale, the new skills necessary for the job, and how they are trained and compensated). That’s a tall order, and many tech firms have seen waves of sales force reorgs and downsizings as they struggle to fill it.


Although tech companies are the most prominent examples, the guidance applies to any organization making this leap. Daimler Trucks, for instance, is shifting from leasing vehicles to large companies, such as UPS, for set periods of time to charging them for miles driven. The prescriptions—which involve resegmenting the customer base, rethinking the sales organization’s structure, and changing the way salespeople interact with customers and targets on a day-to-day basis—enable companies to transform their sales forces to most effectively support the new strategy.


To effectively shift to selling a service, salespeople and their managers must rethink the metrics that identify a potential enterprise client. This is more difficult than it may seem. 


Rethinking customer segmentation focuses on the question: Who are the company’s target customers? Once they are identified, the sales organization must focus on how to sell to them. The traditional sales process typically involves generating leads, qualifying prospects, demonstrating products, and closing sales. Many salespeople have spent decades learning and implementing that routine. A consumption-based model requires a different process. “Closing the deal” becomes an interim step because the contract will generate substantial revenue only if the client subsequently uses the service at high volume. The industry’s euphemistic term for this is “customer success,” and it has begun to dominate the way companies think about selling. As Microsoft’s chief financial officer, Amy Hood, puts it, “Ultimately, in a consumption-based business, customer success is all that matters, because it builds on itself over time.”

Although salespeople still must be skilled at building relationships, the new approach requires them to have far more technical expertise.

To drive that success (that is, to increase customer usage), salespeople must stay engaged after the contract is signed. They become quasi consultants to their clients, helping them grow adept at using (and finding new ways to use) the metered technology. Although salespeople still must be skilled at building relationships, the new approach requires them to have far more technical expertise. Many companies, including Microsoft, have supplemented their sales teams’ technical prowess by creating “customer success teams” and “technical sales teams” to drive consultative work after a customer signs a contract. Companies have always provided after-sales service as a cost of doing business; these new functions illustrate how this unglamorous task has become a vital part of generating revenue.

The benefits of having highly skilled cloud engineers as part of the sales organization go beyond increasing revenue, however. One result of the shift from selling products to selling services is that the relationship with customers becomes both closer and more continuous. That gives sales teams deeper, ongoing insights into customers’ pain points, product features that might add value, and new ways to use products. This is valuable feedback that companies can use to spark innovation—a source of information that was rarely tapped in the old “see you in three years” model.


In developing a new offering, a company needs to first identify the potential customers’ pain point. Only then can it determine whether the customers’ pain is sufficient to make the company’s value proposition viable. These calculations are important, but they are not enough to create sustainable profit: The firm must also find the right sales strategy to effectively pair with the innovation to engage customers.

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