In this post we'll learn more about our Business Development Manager, Laura de la Court, as she shares her insight into the SaaS industry.
The most important thing that I have at my disposal as a Deployment Consultant is trust.
And it is how we build and maintain that trust with our partners and clients that makes us different.
While many companies don’t differentiate between partner clients, and end user clients, we have found that the two client profiles need vastly different skills to build trust and allow for software deployments to be successful in the end user client companies, and avoid churn for our partners.
It can be thought of as the difference between what we know and what we show.
We are humans, working together with other humans, to make their relationship with technology better. We understand that you cannot automate relationships or trust, and that is where the TiP difference lies.
How do we build this trust?
To build trust and relationship with our SaaS Partners, a Deployment Consultant at TiP has a deep focus on knowledge of their product and market. This is why when we are onboarding a Deployment Consultant into TiP, and as we introduce them to new partner platforms, we are incredibly technically robust in our approach. We have a high standard of technical knowledge that each Consultant is expected to achieve before being allowed to consult with clients in that partner platform.
This approach allows us to express platform technicalities to clients with ease and fluidity. This knowledge is not framed as a technical lesson though. It is expressed in our ability to know and understand the client and their processes; know the software; and get the two to talk. We are the human API. And this is where TiP Deployments really differentiate themselves from the rest of the market.
How do we structure a software deployment?
A number of clients come in to a deployment already knowing the software well (some have been using extended demo versions for months). What they lack is the knowledge of WHY they are using the software and how it practically helps them in day-to-day work. Most users who we work with on a Deployment, are not the ones who actually made the decision to purchase the software, so it falls on us to show them how it benefits their work life and make the change as simple and sustainable as possible.
Our differentiator: The human touch
Many of us know it to be true, that if we don’t see a benefit to our lives in using a tool, we won’t use it. Most of us know various software tools inside and out because we have been forced to use them in school/ university etc. (we have great technical knowledge), but we don’t use them because we don’t see a true benefit for our lives (human aspect of change and technology). What our clients need is the human touch to help them understand how the technical function helps their lives and processes within their companies, not a series of “how-to” demonstrations that they could find online.
For our deployments to be successful, we as Deployment Consultants need to engender ourselves to the end user clients, and ingratiate ourselves into their, and their companies, lives on each and every connect call that we have. We go into companies from day 1 expecting trust, because we are asking about a lot of stuff about their company they are uncomfortable talking about. And on every call we prove ourselves trustworthy to the client.
Working with clients for optimal results
No one wants to point out the flaws in their systems to a complete stranger. But we need them to, because that is how the deployment creates success in the company. We dig deep into the company process to make the changes necessary to create an optimal work experience for everyone. At the end of the day, that is all that end user clients are looking for: a way to get through the day with less stress.
Building trust with end user clients requires the wisdom to know what aspect of our knowledge to share with them. Their trust requires a set of soft skills that speak to where the client is at, instead of dealing with them as just another cog in the system. We understand that each client is different, and that they need very specific answers to questions. They are looking for the BEST way to accomplish a task, not every way. As consultants we have enough knowledge of the software the client has purchased, and the industry the client works in, to give them the best practice for their use case.
I have a go-to question on EVERY kick-off call: “what is your fear for this deployment”. So far, not one client has questioned whether they will be technically proficient at the end.
Everyone (without exception) is worried about user buy in
The clients know that they have purchased a good product and that the technical aspects can be learnt. They also know that the difficult part is getting the rest of the team on board with the change to the software. How do they get the humans inside the platform and latched on?
As a Human Acceleration Agency, we make sure that we don’t simply focus on the software, and technical approach, not taking into account the client and where they are at. Instead we work to ensure that all users understand the benefit of the platform for their daily lives, and are comfortable to run forward with it in their companies. At the end of our deployments we strive to have achieved a different way of working for our clients, and reduced churn for our partners.
What do you think about the combination of “soft” and technical skills in a software deployment? Share your thoughts in the comments below.
Interested in learning more about our approach to software deployments and our Human Acceleration Agency? Contact us to set up a call, and follow us on Twitter, Linkedin and Facebook for more updates.