It’s easy to understand the value of adoption from the customer’s perspective, at least on the surface. But there’s a lot more to it than meets the eye. To connect the dots between adoption and value realization as sellers, we must first recognize the drivers behind every purchase, and the outcomes our customers are seeking to achieve—whether it’s increased productivity, reduced risk, greater brand loyalty or something entirely unique to their business.
Introducing VALUE Framework: Prepare for Customer Loyalty to Take off
Effective adoption for the customer should be measured by their definition of success—not just by how many times they’ve logged into the solution. Product usage is one thing, but value realization is the ultimate goal. When you truly understand the experience the customer has and how that action translates into their ability to achieve their desired business outcomes, that’s what moves the needle.
The Business Case for Adoption
For partners, the business case for adoption is clear. It drives business growth by ensuring the best customer experience possible. It increases partner revenue and wallet share, improves customer retention, paves the way to expand opportunities, and much more.
That’s powerful. And that’s why the end game for all of us as sellers is no longer just about closing sales on new products or engaging in technology refresh, but about ensuring value for the customer over time. If we as sellers work to simplify the customer’s journey and help them achieve value, we’ll earn their loyalty, reduce churn and increase renewal rates.
The Power of Consistent Engagement
Whether we’re talking about hardware, software or services, there is a fundamental process for driving successful adoption. It begins with gaining insights into the customer experience and helping them achieve their business outcomes through consistent, process-driven engagements, along with real-time data, analytics and automation. Heath scores are also critical as they provide a way to quickly identify which customers may have adoption barriers, while allowing us to constantly monitor usage to ensure a positive customer journey.
Through a consistent method of engagement, sellers can gain a deeper under-standing of the customer’s adoption trajectory—including what’s working and what’s not—to ensure long-term adoption within the account. When you see where the gaps exist, the steps for overcoming those adoption barriers with additional services, software or enablement motions become clear.
Doing all of the right things to accelerate adoption and value realization also allows us to simplify how we renew a customer, and enables us to make the renewal frictionless—because value and trust have been established. Now you the partner are able to continue building the customer’s success over time, while also tapping into additional opportunities to fuel their own business growth.
The 5-Step VALUE Framework
How can we make the renewal a non-event—an easy decision for the customer? Cisco has developed this five-step value process for creating long-term customer success:
- Validate: Establish what’s important to the customer and how they define success. Everyone should have a clear understanding of roles, expectations and responsibilities. Engage the customer and understand why they purchased the solution. Know who made the purchase decision, their key KPIs and what they are hoping to accomplish as a result of the purchase.
- Enable awareness: Customers only realize value when they effectively use the solutions they’ve purchased. Specifically, they need to know how the features and functions of the technology will help them accomplish their goals.
- Leverage the learnings: The perceived value of a solution differs based on each person’s role within the business. It is important to address the needs of each person if adoption is to be fully realized. Identify key people who may need additional training or content, such as white papers, online self-help or a one-on-one technical conversation to achieve value realization.
- Feature Utilization: Demonstrate the correlation between the solution and the customer’s definition of success. Monitoring health scores and product usage regularly makes it easier to identify areas of improvement and align product capabilities with customer goals. Map out a journey toward achieving the customer’s KPIs, and help them articulate back to their management in their own words w
hat success looks like.
- Embed processes: Make a point to demonstrate the value of implementing key solution features into the customer’s internal processes. This ensures successful adoption and creates growth opportunities.
We hope you’ll make use of our VALUE Framework to stand up your own adoption practice and help your customers achieve success faster. As you do so, you’ll be able to accelerate your own success and grow your business faster, too.
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I can relate to point 2 above Jeff. We used to produce software solutions and until we did follow ups we didnt realize how many customers were not fully utitlising there software.
Jeff, it’s precisely the situation in any endeavor that seeks to align with the needs and enablement of our internal and external customers. I am a fan of the VALUE framework you’ve put forth. It IS all about that essential demonstration of a monetary value a particular service brings. If you can show a dollar amount, it becomes real to your customer. Great read!
Great post Jeff, Cisco’s market has changed! Cloud and xAAS has moved the fulcrum of risk. budgets have moved from IT to LOB leaders and our customers are now only willing to pay for outcomes. If we don’t connect features to outcomes and push our customers to turn them on our customers will not resubscribe. Adoption is no longer a “nice to have” it is an imperative.
When we recognize our customers’ drivers AND desired outcomes, we are essentially formulating a front to end framework of understanding. No customer wants to buy the equivalent of a business Bowflex, only to have the product stand around gathering dust and serving as the occasional clothes hanger. Its up to us to be the trainer(s), checking in on progress and making sure our customers get to where they needed to go, so that optimal health results.
It´s key when driving changes we start by driving those changes from inside to outside of our living systems. We all at Cisco must start accelerating those changes so we can prove our partners and customers our digital experience and service satisfactions starts from ourselves internally and then we can start moving along the journey. We all at Cisco MUST continue driving little changes in the way we work, collaborate and feel passionate about what we are doing so we can predict with our own actions how we care about our customers and partners to help us grow and driving success. This is just starting so get ready for your turn to step in and start driving changes around you….
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