Technology is an enabler. It has to be treated as such and respected for what it can do to enable ways and means of doing things in scale, depth and precision.
However, all the technology in the world is of no use, unless it finds applicability.
Where does this applicability come from? From problems seen in daily life, whether in the personal or professional areas. Sometimes, its not just about addressing problems, but about improving what we do, how we do or experience, better.
In short, if you have a problem, find a solution, use technology to enable the solution, reach critical mass and spread the word; voila, you are in business.
Talking about spreading the word, that’s no mean task either. To find potential or paying customers by giving them a glimpse of the solution that they can leverage when ready, for a problem they currently experience is an achievement in itself.
Given that most of the sales agents may not have in-depth understanding of the technology involved in the solution, but they do need to have an intimate understanding of the problem and how its being solved, to go about their job successfully.
Another role is that of the customer relationship sustainer, also known as Account or Relationship Manager or as I like to call them, “Experience Managers”. It’s their job to manage the customer through the sale to delivery journey and later, the retention of that customer. It’s a different skillset relying heavily on personal charm, negotiation skills and again, an intimate understanding of the solution in place and how it’s executed.
Generally, organizations tend to have a certain tension at play between all these roles. Incumbents of each role seem to think of themselves as holding up the organization, but that’s truly from their vantage point. However, what is true is that until they come together and orchestrate in unison, no organization is successful. The geeks need to focus on product, the sales agents on traction and finally, the relationship folks on ensuring customers are getting what they seek and deserve.
Trust me, this tension is healthy. It keeps the organization on track throughout its journey, and the role incumbents on their toes. If not for this tension, the organization would have lost its purpose long ago.
Finally, no matter what the role, an organization is only as successful as its employees make it to be. At the end of the day, what matters is execution. And that is seen in the number of customers on your solution, the retention rate of existing customers and growth rate of new customers.
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