Self betrayal or how to look at the Competition

It is publicly well known that I am a strong supporter of SAP HANA. That said I have been working on SAP HANA now for 2 years and I have seen the “little girl” grow up in record time. In a few days we will see the Service Pack 6 of SAP HANA and it will be packed with very interesting new features and functions. It still amazes me to see how fast development at SAP puts out new versions. Whilst for some time Oracle, IBM and Microsoft had been looking down to HANA and smile this has changed quite dramatically in the last couple of weeks. All of a sudden there are very emotional discussions on what a product is and what not. a very good example of this is to me the Post Setting the Record Straight – SAP HANA vs IBM DB2 BLU. If you have some time I recommend you to read through it. Really interesting!

I remember quite often the history teacher I have had in my High School year in the US. His class started with a phrase “History repeats itself because nobody listens the first time, I hope you listen the first time so you do not have to repeat history”. What does this have to do with the title and the blog I am referencing? Well actually quite a bit.

Business highly simplified another sort of battle. In order for a business to growth it needs to take part of the budget from somebody else. In battles the “propaganda” (I know it is a nasty word but…) is very important. Most of the times it is intended to motivate the troops with propaganda which tells them their victories and how bad the other side is doing.

Applied to Business again the information the sellers get about the competition is handled quite similar in most cases. I would dare to call it “self Betrayal”, since most that is being transmitted to the field is
“the product of abc is crap, they do not know what they are doing, they are not selling” etc. Applied to the Blog above:
if SAP HANA would not be selling, why all the fuss ??? Why is everybody so anxious about telling what it does not do instead of focusing on what they do and do better ??? This was really funny for me to see that all are pointing to lacking functionalities? Oracle has posted a whitepaper on their web  Analysis of SAP HANA High Availability Capabilities  . It is actually quite well researched and well written. Just a pity that the version it is referring to is going to be “old” in a couple of days.

Again there is a comparison of a product in which it is intended to make clear that one product is worse because it does not have certain features and functions but if the information is obsolete… what value does it give to the troops? None! They go with false illusions and false information to the customer. This will not only strengthen the competitor but as well reduce the credibility since most of the information can be contrasted in question of a few clicks.

It is highly important to not demotivate your troops with information (information is the weapon of the modern sales soldier) which is not true. Information is power and should be used as such. But there are too many example in which intended false information has backfired on those who used it. The examples of it can be found on any aspect of life.

IMHO:

  • Make sure that you are honest to your troops and thus to your customers. They will appreciate it and your chances of winning will be much higher.
  • Created bonds with 3rd parties and live them
  • Motivate by showing real value that customers perceive as such as well. This might mean that you will need to listen to your field a lot more than you might be doing today.
  • Never go with a knife to a gun fight, neither send your team to do so. They will get hurt bitterly and this will again reflect on your results!

Competing is fun. Probably the only other thing that motivates a seller more is his commission check but to win against the competition is PriceLess! Make sure that you know what you do best and why this should be important to the customer.

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About cnitschke

This blog is purely personal and reflects only my personal opinion. None of the content can be related in any way to my employer or former employers.
This entry was posted in Inspiration, Management, Motivation, Sales and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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