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Customer delight through customer insight!

Kaustubh Patwardhan, Director I Southeast Asia and Hong Kong, Ashnik
Singapore, 14 Jan 2014

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Going by an example often sited, “People don’t buy a drill for the ability to drive a drill. They buy a drill to create a hole. And there is a dream behind drilling that hole.” So an insight into their dream, purpose and beyond is what matters. Likewise at Ashnik, our Sales, Pre-sales and Marketing folks constantly try to abandon the traditional playbook approach of “Solution Selling” and are focusing on “Insight Selling”.

An insight turns into an idea which in turn becomes a solution that is value-driven. This selling strategy rests on disruptive ideas by the Sales and Pre-sales teams that will make customers aware of unknown or dormant needs. Very recently, when we were invited to present to one of the big customers in Retail sector in Singapore for their database solution, our team concentrated its efforts on showcasing the value, highlighting both the tangible and intangible benefits, and unearthing the dormant business needs that were not a part of the initial database solution. And what do we see next? The customer was not only pleased with Ashnik, in fact was truly delighted; and for Ashnik, we built a long term Enterprise relationship with the customer coupled with a prospect of more business from them, going ahead.

Traditionally, solution selling – consisting of complex combinations of products and services is based on the premise that salespeople should lead with open-ended questions designed to understand the recognized customer needs. The core focus of that strategy was to shift the mind-set of the buyer from the “gain the best price” to one that recognizes the “value” of the solution. But now, most of the times, owing to increasingly sophisticated procurement teams armed with loads of data, companies can readily define solutions for themselves.

In this environment, our team believes that changing the sales strategy from “Solution selling” to “Insight selling” holds the key. In other words, we place more emphasis on customers’ potential to change than their potential to buy. One consequence of this orientation is that when our Sales or Pre-Sales are invited for presentations by customers, we treat these requests very differently. Instead of considering it as the best sign of a promising opportunity, we use such occasions to reframe the discussion and turn a customer with clearly defined requirements into one with emerging needs and bring best industry practices to customers. By using this approach, we pursue – customer delight, which means exceeding the usual meeting-customer-requirements-and-preferences.

To put it simply, customer delight is best achieved through customer insight. And that way, we indeed stick to our promise of business transformation for our customers.

– Kaustubh Patwardhan, Director I Southeast Asia and Hong Kong, Ashnik


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