After many years of highly successful B2B selling to C-level executives, differentiated by my intense focus on my customer’s business outcomes and alignment of my solutions to their explicit metrics, I found that the industry was changing, and my approach was not enough to retain customers. I was starting to lose an occasional deal to smaller, more agile competitors who could offer a similar solution in incremental amounts, as a service. In most cases I could still justify the larger one-time purchase, because the customer wanted the solution for an extended period of time, and my monthly lease rates were comparable to the XaaS model. But something was still missing, and customers weren’t growing their purchases, and I wasn’t sure what the problem was.
Then, several years ago, I read JB Wood’s book “B4B”. I learned that the XaaS companies weren’t better at focusing on business outcomes and aligning their solutions. In fact, we had developed that into a science! We were far better than they were! No, what was happening was that the XaaS companies were doing it continuously, not just in the sales process, but in an ongoing manner, and even helping the customer adopt their solution, which created the opportunity for expanded sales. Unfortunately, my company only paid me for the landed sale, and not the ongoing activities.
Of course, years later we all know this model as LAER, and that’s what TSW is all about. I co-founded LIFTinnovate to help these traditional companies and their partners make the transition to the LAER model while keeping their customer facing teams motivated and their business profitable. We’ve adapted the model to help companies engage in “Adoption Selling” activities that lead directly to new revenue opportunities.
I’m excited to attend the TSW conference next week to hear what JB and the TSIA team have in store for us with their new insights, to learn from our peers that are leading this transformation, and to share our experiences.