To a managers of intelligent buildings, the allure of being able to leverage centralized industrial automation control systems to spend more time running a well-orchestrated system is preferable to hunting and pecking to trouble shoot problems any day.
Along these lines, leveraging automation tools to ensure smoothly running facilities is a relatively straightforward sell to a building management professional. However, as much as line of business managers and operations professionals might love the idea of intelligent buildings, they rarely sign off on big ticket purchase orders. So, as building automation suppliers are looking to accelerate the buyer journey of their customers, tuning their sales messages to the ears of a variety of stakeholders is important. Taking things a step further, an effective engagement strategy for c-suite decision makers is a must.
No more technology for technology’s sake
Little will turn off a C-suite decision maker faster than a sales or marketing pitch that extols the virtue of a new technology for its own sake. To be sure, as concepts such as big data, analytics, machine learning and IoT make more things possible via technology, it is extremely important to bear in mind that executives are less concerned with what a technology can do as they are with how it will help improve their bottom line. To put it bluntly, if you cannot show a reasonable ROI that also bolsters the businesses perception outside the company – be it investors, customers, regulators, etc. – then you are committing a cardinal sin in the eyes of the c-suite; you are wasting their time.
Short, sweet and to the point
When it comes to selling technology to a high ranking executive, one key facet to keep in mind is that they are not always intimately familiar with the day-to-day operations of their own business. So, selling the value of a building management system on the basis of the minutiae of what it can help to automate on day-to-day basis might not be as effective as selling them on the value of how that same system will help them serve more customers, more efficiently, per day. Similarly, in today’s analytics and metrics driven world, quantitative proof points will resonate strongly with folks that oftentimes must view the health of their businesses not through interaction with customers and employees, but through spreadsheets and other reports.
Industry knowledge matters
Just as c-suite stakeholders will identify with sales methods that can demonstrate a shorter path to improved performance, they will also have their mandates that cause them to gravitate toward particular aspects of a solution. Here’s where role-based selling must also be matched with a strong knowledge of the industry you are trying to sell into. Take the healthcare industry for example. While there are numerous operational advantages to building automation in hospital setting, major shifts in the way healthcare is consumed and reimbursed is making the industry a much more marketing driven marketplace. To this end, structuring sales pitches around the value that industrial automation can bring from an external marketing perspective will resonate much more strongly with a healthcare executive than, say, it might with a manufacturing executive.
The good news is that with smart technology sitting at the heart of the Fourth Industrial Revolution, the concepts related to smart buildings, and automation in general, are something that no executive can afford to ignore.
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