In what could only be described as an energy-filled keynote, sales consultant Keenan took the stage on the first day at Vectors 2019, SkySwitch’s annual user conference. The event is an ideal opportunity for SkySwitch resellers to meet and hear from a variety of technology leaders, including SkySwitch execs and many of its hardware and software partners. The ultimate goal, of course, is to help SkySwitch’s resellers and MSPs learn about the latest innovation that will help them sell and deliver communications services to their business customers.
In that context, Keenan was a highly relevant speaker, and SkySwitch VP of Business Development Jayson Jones told attendees, ““What you are about to hear from Keenan is going to blow your mind.”
To the SkySwitch community of sales reps, he had this advice: “Nobody cares about you, your UCaaS, how fast you’re growing, who your executives are, if you’re on the Inc. Fastest Growing list, if you’re number one in your space, or how great your customer service is.”
He explained that what they are selling is not technology or solutions, but results. In order to do that, sales people have to truly understand their customers and what the underlying problems are that are keeping those customers from being as successful as they could be.
“All they care about is whether you can fix their problems,” Keenan said. “Every single person in this room buys based on whether we think a product is going to solve their problem.”
In order to differentiate themselves and the product or service they are hoping a customer will purchase, sales people have to understand the customer’s market, what the market’s problems are, and how to help solve those problems. That’s the result customers want, and it is knowledge of the problem(s), not a product or service, that can differentiate one sales person or team from another. Sales teams tend to focus on becoming experts on their own products when they should really become experts on their customers’ problems to become great partners to them.
But, it’s not enough to know what the problems are. In order to solve them, sales people have to understand the root causes of the problems.
By learning to become problem finders, sales people will build trust with customers as they help solve those problems. That’s what sales is really about – trust – not relationships, as many want to believe. People will go out and play golf with or have drinks with a sales rep they like, but they will buy from a sales person they don’t really like if they are able to solve a problem, according to Keenan.
“Selling is about influencing change,” he says. “That is your job in a nutshell.”
I spoke with many of SkySwitch’s partners during the day, and what they all have in common is they are trying to give the reseller community the tools to solve customers’ problems and to influence change in the way they are able to conduct business.
Adaptiv Networks, for instance, understands that, while SD-WAN is a great option for some businesses, not all businesses are ready for it, so it has worked with SkySwitch to develop a three-tiered approach to SD-WAN that will allow businesses to solve their connectivity problems and migrate to SD-WAN in time, as their needs grow.
“Our strategy is that the product has a value proposition in itself,” said Adaptiv CEO Bernard Breton. “Everyone need some form of router, so if you’re going to deploy something, deploy something that is SD-WAN ready.”
SkySwitch itself just announced a new SIP Trunking storefront that takes the complexity out of buying and managing SIP trunks for its partners and their customers.
“The simplicity for our resellers’ customers and prospective customers to purchase and manage SIP trunks entirely on their own results in an enhanced user experience,” explained SkySwitch CEO Eric Hernaez.
But, while the day was filled with new ways to solve problems facing businesses, it wasn’t all work and no play at Vectors. The evening brought the SkySwitch community from the conference venue to Hard Rock Live at Universal CityWalk in Orlando for a private concert by Julian Marley, son of reggae legend Bob Marley. He and his band didn’t disappoint, treating attendees to an energy-filled performance adding a modern twist to the reggae style for which his father was known – only appropriate for the level of energy SkySwitch’s partners all exhibited throughout the day.
Edited by Erik Linask