Ah, the request for proposal—or RFP, for short. Whether you love them or hate them, they’re still the preferred vendor screening tool of choice for technology buyers and purchasing department gatekeepers. After decades of practice, sales teams are highly adept at responding to RFPs that have asked the same set of standardized questions for years. Questions such as:
But all of this is about to change as customers begin to apply a completely different set of measures to the suppliers they evaluate. As more business and technical buyers begin to seek an outcomes-based relationship with their technology providers, you need to be ready to respond to questions such as:
Do we have your attention now?
In the new book launching on October 21, B4B: How Technology and Big Data Are Transforming Customer-Supplier Relationships, TSIA defines the new set of buyer expectations that tech companies will soon be facing as reflected in this question set full of foreign-sounding concepts.
Here’s what a technology infrastructure executive from a Fortune 50 financial company has to say about his changing expectations from his technology providers:
“B4B modernizes the customer-supplier partnership conversation for the age of the cloud. I want these options from my tech suppliers.”
And lest you think this isn’t a services problem, we strongly urge you to reconsider. A disproportionate amount of the transformation described in B4B is going to fall to the service organizations that will be the hub of activity for delivering business outcomes for customers. And this requires new ways of thinking, new internal processes, and new capabilities, just to name a few.
The consumption economy is here to stay, and it requires a fundamental rethinking of customer-supplier relationships and the rules for conducting business. Join us at Technology Services World (TSW) Service Transformations October 21-23 in Las Vegas, where we’ll show you how to be successful in the brave, new world that TSIA calls B4B—Business FOR Business.
When you stop to think about it, doing business FOR customers instead of TO customers makes all the sense in the world. Simple. Powerful. Full of promise and potential!
Post Date: October 10, 2013
John Ragsdale is the distinguished vice president of service technology research, for TSIA. His area of expertise is in creating strategies for improving the service operations and overall customer experience by leveraging innovative technology. Ragsdale drives TSIA's highly regarded technology research agenda, delivering insightful, thought-leadership research and analysis on the most pressing business issues facing services leaders to enable them to better plan and execute their service strategies. He is also author of the book, Lessons Unlearned, which chronicles his 25-year career inside the customer service industry.
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