We very much see that continuing.
One other thing that has been interesting for us to observe is this whole trend towards the decision makers being spread throughout an organisation. A whole lot of the conversations we are having are with marketing, CMO type roles, as opposed to the traditional CIO roles. This is about the world focussing on the customer experience and wanting the customer to be highly engaged with the businesses.
That has been good for us. We have recently signed a partnership agreement with Sitecore. We are taking that solution to market with respect to not only re-enabling but also enabling the customer experience. That fits very nicely with our whole focus around the retail sector as well.
We are focused on leveraging what we have done in the last 12 months and taking forward a focus on enablement through the cloud of those particular sectors like public sector, agriculture and retail.
Q: The decision-making process becoming more disparate at the client end - does that lengthen your sales cycle or make it more difficult? What changes have you made to adapt?
SB: There are two parts to the way our sales processes and approach has had to change. One is who the buyer is specifically. The second thing is what they are buying.
The whole area of mobility is an interesting one to give you an example. What we are finding is that clients want to see value in the solution much earlier. However, they also see this as a continuous evolution of the solution, so our engagement model is quite different now. It is about forming a long-term relationship with the client to deliver almost chunked up value through a longer period of time, but where the client is able to consume the solution at a much earlier point in their lifecycle.
That in itself means you are selling something different, and therefore the conversation you are having with those clients is different. Since we are able to step in in a smaller way, we actually think it is decreasing the sales time.
As for the consultative sell, we often think about it being design led and customer experience focused as opposed to being necessarily strategy led. In most cases what we are seeing are organisations wanting to stretch their tech arm to be much closer to the customer and in doing that. Once they understand what the business use case it is a simple case of identifying what is the way in which it would function with our clients and how we can enable them.
We are lucky to have a very strong UX and CX team. Often we will leave those projects with that team. You go through that classic design wire framing before we even look to the technology because the technology is becoming a lot simpler. The concept of responsive design, working across any device, all of those things are almost out of the box enabled, which means that really the focus for us is how it can deliver value to the client.
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