As you may or may not know by now, AOTMP® is on a mission to re-imagine how buyers and sellers connect in the telecom, mobility, and IT management industry. Though it will be a very long journey, it is a journey we have to start. If we help even a handful of buyers or sellers over the course of 2022, we have started the process.

We have four initiatives as part of Phase One of the plan

  • The article we published in our May edition of AOTMP® Insights where vendors shared their thoughts with business buyers. You can check it out here.
  • This article that includes enterprise recommendations to vendors. What should vendors consider when selling to the enterprise / business buyer?
  • Our Industry Solution Showcase event on July 27-28 where buyers and sellers will come together in a different way. You can check it out here.
  • Creating a panel discussion later this year where buyers and sellers or businesses and vendors share their recommendations for each other with the audience.

 

As I stated in my May article, we get a continual flow of vendors asking how to better connect with business buyers in the sales process, as well as inquiries from enterprises asking how they can sort through the many different options available to see beyond the dog and pony shows and better understand what’s really behind the demos.

To that end, I reached out to 100 of our AOTMP® business / enterprise customers, members, and readers and asked what recommendations they would have for vendors. The response was much greater than I expected, so I chose answers that were a good representation of what I heard back.


 

Photo of Glenn Leatherwood

Glenn Leatherwood, IT Manager at Valmont

My recommendations to vendors are:

  • Spend 15 minutes and look at our website or read the 10-K so that you know a little bit about us.
  • Have an agenda and an ask.
  • Without costs, explain what the pricing levels are if we “appear” interested.
  • Explain the agreement/contract structure and have the template agreements ready if we are interested.
  • Understand what we are looking to see.
  • Show us a day-in-the-life for how the end user sees the solution and how the administrator sees the solution.
  • Don’t set up the demo while we’re on the call – respect our time.
  • Let us know how global multi-national corps use your solution – we’re not a small business.
  • Explain how your solution will fit into our portfolio
  • Know that you will NOT be the only solution in our world.
  • Don’t think you’ll kick out Microsoft, Oracle, or Google.
  • Be ready to outline what your solution is going to do for me.
  • Be ready to tell me why it is really better than what I have.
  • Be prepared for us to run a D&B/vendor analysis on you.  If you’re a small business of 4 people working in a garage in San Diego, don’t call on us, please.

 


 

Photo of Victor Chavez

Victor Chavez, Senior Telecom Manager at Viejas Casino & Resort

My recommendations to vendors are:

What I care about:

  • What is the benefit the company will have if we buy?
  • How long and disruptive will it be to deploy/implement?
  • Is there a warranty or guarantee?

 

What to do or not to do in a demo:

  • Keep it as simple as possible (general info and features).
  • Ask for questions or suggestions.
  • Do not push something that has already been declined.

 

What to emphasize when you are talking to me about your services, solutions or products:

  • What makes you different, better, unique?

 


 

Courtney Massey, IT Manager – Network and Software Contracts at Norfolk Southern

My recommendations to vendors are:

  • Show me the work output (examples of reports, etc.)
  • Don’t purport to tell me how to handle my company’s accounting (vendors telling us they can structure a deal to be capital or expense monies)
  • Include the MRC as well as separate columns for tax and surcharge (if appropriate for the type of service)
  • Focus on the return on investment for your customers. Value is most important to me—real, measurable, concrete value.

 


 

I hope those recommendations were helpful. I thought they certainly provided good points to think about if you are a buyer and especially if you are a seller.

But these recommendations are just a start to a much bigger industry initiative. Get involved and help move this initiative forward:

  • If you are on the business/enterprise side, register for free for our Industry Solutions Showcase event on July 27-28 that will bring buyers and sellers together in a different way. If you are a vendor, you can reserve a 30-minute demo session to spotlight your solution at the event. You can check it out here.
  • Watch for more information to come on our panel discussion later this year … we will be looking for vendors and enterprises to participate in one to three panel discussions.
  • Contribute ideas. Make suggestions and recommendations.
  • Talk to your vendors. Talk to your customers. Ask the same questions. How can both sides improve the buyer / seller process?
  • Watch for other programs and ways to get involved and support the initiative. There will be many opportunities. We’re just getting started.

 

There will be more to come, and in the meantime, please reach out if you have comments, thoughts, or recommendations on how we can move this initiative forward. We are all in this together, and we can move the needle.

Photo of Tim Lybrook
Tim is Founder & CEO of AOTMP®

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