In part 1, we described how customers are treating technology like a commodity and the resulting consequences for both the supplier and client.

In this part, we'll go a bit more into what technology providers can do to not only avoid the negative consequences but level up from a commodity supplier to a strategic partner with their clients.

It all starts from getting deep into understanding the client's business:

  1. WHY did the client decide to buy your solution?
  2. What benefits are they expecting? What problems are they trying to solve? Are there additional bonus benefits that can exceed expectations? E.g. Competitive advantage? Higher sales? Operational efficiency? Cost reduction?
  3. How can you help not only meet but EXCEED these expectations?
  4. What needs to be done on the client side in order to realize the benefits? E.g. Process change? Business model change? Organizational change?
  5. Which key stakeholders and decision makers need to be on-board to make the necessary changes? E.g. Head of Sales? VP of Marketing? CTO? CEO? CFO? COO?

The sooner these questions can be answered the easier it will be to exceed expectations.

As most tech providers only focus on implementing their own products and services, clients will notice the value created for their business, which wouldn't have otherwise been possible. When you focus on taking the client's business to the next level, don't be surprised when they suggest a strategic business partnership.