What SPs Need to Know About Customer Engagement for the Large Enterprise Buyer

Contributors: D.P. Venkatesh

Large enterprises are a complex beast. Merely mapping the buying process as well as the customer journey is not only complicated, but also varies across different vertical segments and is consistently multi-faceted and longer in duration than SMB and midmarket enterprises.

In the previous two blog posts, I highlighted the importance of omni-channel customer engagement – both offline and digital. While it is easy to assume that the large enterprise customer engagement model has to be completely offline (sales people, customer support, onsite engagement), the digital component plays an increasingly critical in the large enterprise segment.

According to Forrester, 74% of B2B buyers do their research on products and services online (digital engagement) before contacting or meeting with a sales person (offline engagement).

Three Ways SPs Can Optimize for the Large Enterprise Segment

In order to take advantage of the cloud calling and UCaaS opportunity in the large enterprise segment, Service Providers need to do the following three things:

1.    Focus on the Completeness of Your Solution

How does your cloud calling solution integrate and extend to other parts of the business? Today’s large enterprises are looking for integration capabilities and have a strong desire to extend any point solution into other parts of the business. To the extent that they can, large enterprise buyers favor a “full stack” solution – calling, messaging, meetings, and even contact center in a single suite. Additionally, large enterprises are looking for each integration (or rather the ability to play nice with others) when choosing a solution.

2.    Emphasize How You Adapt to Different Vertical Segments

Regardless of what market segment you are targeting, knowing your customer is key in order to make your offer as compelling as possible. For large enterprises, consider emphasizing the vertical segment and the specific needs within a particular segment.

For example, security is a priority for federal, state, and local governments. Healthcare organizations are under intense pressure to maintain privacy and comply with regulations. The ability to support an omni-channel experience – mobile, web, kiosks, and brick and mortar locations – is key for the retail segment. As a final example, financial institutions have stringent requirements for data integrity, storage, and protection.

It is important to weave both into the positioning and messaging as well as in the service creation of the various offers how the SP offering addresses these unique requirements of each vertical segment.

3.    Highlight the Evolution of the Offering & How It Supports the Business Roadmap

When it comes to cloud calling and UCaaS solutions, it’s not a “buy once and be done with it” type of transaction. Instead, it’s a continuous evolution of the product and its capabilities. Strategize how you can integrate your product and offer roadmap into the enterprise business roadmap and growth plans.

Since large enterprise buying decisions are complex and involve multiple parties, it is important to show the TSO and ROI of the solution and map it to specific business outcomes. Large enterprises are under pressure to stop buying the next shiny new object and are looking for solutions that truly drive business outcomes and productivity gains in a tangible, measurable manner.

In Conclusion

In conclusion, I’m interested in hearing your feedback on my four part customer engagement blog series as I tried to address each segment and its key success areas:

 


Want to learn more? Cisco recently launched a new program, the Digital Accelerator for Service Providers, to help Service Providers improve customer engagement along each part of the customer journey.



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