Selling New Services Concepts

Why are many service providers struggling to sell new technology in volume through traditional channels? If the provider’s sales team challenges the buyer with a new concept such as the Internet of Things and the buyer understands how it will change their business, why don’t they take action and buy it?

The answer is they can’t.

For new concepts and technologies, the only source of funding is at the C-suite level. Everyone else in the organization runs from a budget. The C-suite are the only parties that are able to generate a budget.

It’s not that you can’t sell to the other stakeholders, but you have to sell what they’re buying — what they’re asking for and what they have a budget for. That’s fine if you’re selling application maintenance or finance and accounting services — a function they already know they need and you’re selling it in the way they need to purchase it. But they’re not empowered to take action on new concepts.

Often in new areas such as the Internet of Things, the actions require cutting across traditional organization structures, and the business stakeholder you try to sell to doesn’t have the ability to do that. Therefore, if you sell it, you’ll be faced with only experiments and incremental activity; although they move in the direction of the new technology or new capability, the result is small and frustrating in that it rarely lives up to the potential of the new technology.

We see this in analytics where the potential for the digital revolution and analytics to transform supply chains and business models is huge. But each party in an organization only acts within its own domain and within its own budget.  So buyers are forced to look for opportunities to create the funding through savings, which limits the enterprise’s progress toward these exciting possibilities.