Posted by Trey Johnson on 31 July 2020
In the second of our new series on sales opportunities for ZAP partners, ZAP's VP Americas Trey Johnson digs deep on upselling existing customers. This week, when Macklemore & Ryan Lewis gave us Thrift Shop they talked about the merits of making old new again. This blog delivers a similar tune but one that's far easier for ERP resellers to dance to, especially partners selling/delivering Microsoft Dynamics, Sage, SAP Business One, Syspro and mid-market ERP/CRM solutions...
(Read the previous post in this partner blog series here: "6 Reasons To Become a ZAP Sales Partner: #3 Build Out a BI Practice")
Here at ZAP, as data and analytics software people, our lyrics tend to be about your customers and your success. We like to deliver partner messages with the perfect pitch. As such, we know you have just two ways to deliver value (and receive revenue) from your existing customers. You can either expand their existing deployment or you can support them through an upgrade, with software and services financial outcomes.
Since you are an excellent ERP partner and likely worked exceptionally hard to deliver the best deployment for your customer, you have earned the right to be the one to foster their continuous improvement and achieve success alongside them as you lead their upgrade.
However, if you have not really helped them fully in their current deployment; the upgrade might end your journey abruptly.
Most of you with customers on legacy mid-market ERP products, know your customers spending sensibility and capability often match their desire to get every ounce of value out of their ERP investment. In our experience, many partners are looking for but do not always find the opportunity to fully capitalize on selectively marrying NEWER technologies with their customers’ legacy ERP products.
One exceptional way to unlock the purse strings and put some value back into the legacy ERP is to leverage a product like ZAP Data Hub. Doing so allows you to combine multiple sources of data (beyond the ERP) and to open the door to analytics in a technology most suitable to the customer, like those offered by ZAP as part of the Microsoft AppSource Marketplace. It is this combination which pulls data management and Power BI-based analytics into the perspective of doing great things to liven up the ERP (and the other data).
So, your ERP show-and-tell takes several hours. Do you have several hours of the CEO, CFO, or other senior stakeholders time? Most likely not. Well, “Play to Win” and put the data, analytics, and outcomes on display for those decision-makers in the first 30 minutes. They are not going to hang around all day and you can be absolutely certain that others will be showing data management and analytics EARLY and OFTEN throughout the day.
You might still save analytics for late in the implementation but the ONLY thing a key stakeholder cares about is the ability to get the outcomes from the ERP to make the decisions they need. In the case of a tie, it is going to be the analytics and availability of data that win.
If this were not the case, ERPs would not have integrated stories with their own Analytics or third-party BI products. Of course, we have data and analytics for MANY mid-market ERPs and we are grateful for the same ethos as Bela Karolyi’s words, “No competition, no progress.” Competition has catapulted Data and Analytics to the foreground of the ERP competition.
If you help your customer get the value out of the data, some interesting things happen….
Better than the bargain found in the Thrift Shop, you have now created, with Data and Analytics, a very real opportunity to drive additional revenue conversations regardless of your customer’s chosen next course of action.
More important, of the three courses of action above, each leads to a better conversation about the FUTURE and one which includes you as a provider of their next ERP.
You have highly skilled customer success and sales staff who are excellent at working with customers BUT customers can see REALLY quickly if a partner is less than authentic in the way their progress is supported.
It is easy to fall into the trap of being misinterpreted as a shill for your ERP vendor; especially once staff are promoting certain capabilities are ONLY available with a move to the latest release. Sometimes this MAY be true, but if staff do not lead with and solve for what customers can do NOW (like use ZAP Data Hub against their legacy ERP) and how that current investment preserves their data for later, staff might be considered a “Poser” – like that fifty dollar t-shirt!
And if I learned anything from the song which inspired this blog, nobody likes a “Poser” not even a well-dressed one.
(Want to continue reading? Check out the next post in this partner blog series here: "6 Reasons To Become a ZAP Sales Partner: #5 Where New ERP Upgrades Begin")
Trey is Chief Evangelist and leader of ZAP’s Americas business with a background of 25 years working with SQL Server and Microsoft Data Platform technologies. His other roles include being an industry speaker, published author, Board Member of the PASS organization, member of Microsoft’s Advisory Councils and community enthusiast for the last two decades.
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