“Seismic” Events in IT Services


Who Knows What You Do? by Justin Crotty
September 15, 2009, 4:03 pm
Filed under: Ingram Micro, marketing | Tags: , ,

When you think of what it is your company does, who do you think could explain it well?  Here’s a newsflash: Probably not your employees.

I’ve been saying this for years – and sometimes sound like a broken record – but our challenges with marketing and selling our value in the IT channel really start with being able to explain a simple value proposition to our customers. 

Do this simple experiment.  Setup a video camera on a tripod in a conference room at your office.  Without warning, invite each of your employees into the room, one at a time, and ask them to give you the 15 second elevator pitch about what it is your company does.  Once you have captured each employee’s pitch, compare them.

What you will find will trouble you.

Now, it’s not that your employees are intentionally misrepresenting your company nor are they poor elevator pitchmen.  It is simply the wide variation of responses you receive that will define the problem your customers are having, or your prospects will have, when trying to understand what you do for them.

If your employees, who work inside your company every day, have such a disparate view of your company, what are they telling your customers?  Imagine the disparate messages your customers are receiving?

It falls to management to define your company’s value proposition and ensure each of your employees is able to understand and communicate it properly.  The simple exercise of defining your value proposition and solidifying the standard company elevator pitch will help both your customers, as well as your employees, understand what value you bring to them.  Ultimately, it may help you win new customers and shorten your sales cycles.

Nevertheless, you don’t have to tackle this alone. Ingram Micro has helped hundreds of solution providers tackle this very issue – with outstanding success.

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5 Comments so far
Leave a comment

Great post! I did your suggested experiment and you were exactly right. I definitely will be contacting Ingram Micro to help tackle this issue. Thanks so much!

Comment by Casey

It angers me that Ingram Micro can so easily generalize employees working for a company. Your experiment will not always turn up surprising results.

Comment by Tessa

Tessa – My comments are, obviously, generalizations. That means results will vary. It should also be noted that my opinions are mine alone and not necessarily representative of Ingram Micro.

Justin

Comment by Justin

Hi Justin,

I presume you are related to Ingram Micro, seeing the name of this blog. That being the case, can you tell me whether being incredibly rude and unhelpful is IM’s strategy (I have verified this in UK and Belgium so far), or just an unfortunate coincidence?

Regards,
Petar

Comment by Petar

Petar, I would say it’s a sad coincidence. I’ve used Ingram for quite some time. I was once a sales engineer for a VAR. I’ve not had that experience, perhaps that because everyone is nicer in Texas ;P

Comment by smucoxweb




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