I’ve been doing some work with a pal recently on Software Defined Networking and how that concept is “colliding” rather too rapidly into his technical product set.
It’s been a fascinating opportunity to review a product platform and how it needs to morph to fit the needs of customers as they anticipate a future filled with “software defined everything.”
As he’s selling to the big telcos, it’s quite easy to couch his business value in terms of a technical sell - and from there derive the RoI and IRR messages that marketing and finance need to hear in order to get on the bandwagon.
And as most telcos already have projects going on in SDN and NFV, it’s also relatively easy to jump on someone else’s bandwagon, so long as the wheels aren’t spinning too fast already.
So what’s next for SDN, then?
Seven years ago, I ran a design team on behalf of a telco customer, looking to identify how the Internet of Things (IoT) was going to transform its client’s business.
The design project was a success - despite the fact that much of the technology was nascent - e.g. beacons hadn’t been invented and we had to rely upon RFID. Supermarket shelves got stocked automatically and passing trade was advertised to, based upon previous buying patterns. The telco’s wholesale-only client found itself with a retail interface to consumer buying patterns which allowed it to influence buying behaviour directly and manage stock accordingly.
Amazingly, that telco still exists despite not having done terribly much in the IoT space ever since.
Some smart alek at your competitor decided to commoditise your biggest and best market.
They’ve taken one of their so-so competitive products and rolled its functions into another product line. Then they made the old version available to download for free.
You’re in a price war where they’ve made the first move. What to do?
Effective recruitment strategies are critical to the long term success and growth of your company, especially when it comes to strategic hires.
And as I’ve said before, anything that has the word strategy in it is all about being blunt and accepting about what’s real with your company and its current positioning, not believing in some aspirational goal as reality. Only then can you make strategic changes.
Recruitment strategy is the reason why Manchester United needs José Mourinho* more than the “special one” needs Man U. Without the magic of his name, they won’t sign the top players they need, because top players want European Champion's League opportunities, and Manchester U isn’t in that competition.
So let’s be blunt about your recruitment approach to strategic hires. It probably sucks.
OK, so the reps are out trying to confirm the compelling events that will close the year out well and the management is in the office, huddled in a room trying to figure out what went wrong with the margins this year.
Not that you’re bonused on margins of course.
As a sales manager, you’re aligned with your reps’ targets plus a few extra MBOs, like how many of them get on the ‘plane, and your "pipeline to target multipliers", and the like.
But the CFO is saying that the guys called and closed the “wrong type of customer”, and gave away too much discount in so doing.
Methodical ramblings after twenty-five years in Sales, Marketing and SalesOps.