Change for Growth

In my View Message from our Regional President | Author: Craig Yeateman
Posted Date: October, 2019

In 1709 Alexander Pope cautioned his readers that “fools rush in where angels fear to tread”, and “A little learning is a dangerous thing”. Where are fools rushing, and where are we are learning too little? How do we break out of the commodity product sweatshop?

Pyrite is a mineral composed of iron and sulphur – but does not serve as an important source of either of these elements as there are better sources of both. It has an interesting look about it – Pyrite looks like gold, and is commonly known as “fool’s gold”.

When we look for growth in our South African businesses, we need to know the difference between “profitable growth” and “unprofitable growth”. Four ways to separate the two are listed in the little chart below.



MARGINS

When we attack “our own” install base with cheaper prices for the same product we slash away the margin that sustains our industry. If you are in the business of selling products, trying to sell the identical product at a cheaper price is a race to the bottom. When salespeople do that they are destroying their own careers – because over time there is not enough margin left to sustain sales salaries and the product moves to digital sales channels. EXCEPTION: When the competition is over-charging. .

SPECIALISATION

When a salesperson is unspecialised such that they have no real expertise in the industry being sold to, then the salesperson brings no value to the relationship other than the product. If other people are also able to sell the product, in effect the salesperson has no discernible value over and above other salespeople. It is better for the salesperson to specialise. This can be done by studying (everything can be learned online) and by experience (selling to the same type of customer over and over again).

SOLUTIONS

When a salesperson only represents one product, then they have to visit many customers to make many sales. When a salesperson represents multiple products then they can make multiple sales at each customer visit. Which is more effective? Once a salesperson understands their customer’s needs, they can add value by integrating multiple products into a solution – rather than fighting for one piece of the solution.

SERVICES

When a salesperson sells multiple products to the customer, the customer will usually want help in getting those products to work together. That service offering goes beyond a “Revit Training Course” and moves toward “BIM implementation”. Firms that can combine products for specialist segments become known as the BIM implementation masters for that segment, and will command higher premiums on product and service sales. Those firms serve less customers, at higher values, in more meaningful work than simply discounting product.

As a market-making distributor, WorldsView is working hard to identify specialist segments that offer profitable growth to partners who are tired of the commodity product sweatshop. Please take a moment to get familiar with our field promotion offerings that include sales and technical training spanning multiple products to single customer segments. Please also take a good look at the Converged Workflow Experience being offered in November 2019 in Johannesburg – it’s a great event to immerse yourself in the opportunities offered by multiple products in converged customer workflows.

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