Date

Jul 31, 2023

Topic(s)

Strategic Leadership

Introduction

While onboarding the first three members of our new National Account Acquisition team (Bryan Bickerstaff, Matt Aghedo, and Jessica Kumar), we talked about our biggest differentiators. Why would someone choose to work with Envision in a world full of cookie-cutter technology consultants?

Our CEO, Todd Knapp, ticked through the promises that virtually every company makes. INNOVATIVE THINKING! EASY TO WORK WITH! HIGHLY TRAINED STAFF! AWARD WINNING CULTURE!

But after the client is onboarded, the service becomes generic in many places. The computer infrastructure is managed, not optimized. Quarterly Business Reviews happen, but it’s just a recitation of the basic facts. Security features are turned on, but that’s the entire extent of the “advanced cybersecurity package.”

Todd highlighted our ability to deliver on the promises: cohesive strategy, demonstrable ROI, and meaningful, innovative change. That, paired with a focus on business strategy (not just well-architected IT) is why we retain clients at rates 3x the industry average.

The “glue” in our multi-disciplinary team is Sales. Our Account Executives act as a bridge between our clients and our brilliant CxO leaders, engineers, and designers. They absorb the client’s history, needs, and goals. Then they facilitate the client’s technology journey, no matter where they started or how far they want to go.

Because buy-in is crucially important, they act as trusted advisors for key stakeholders. We place a special emphasis on answering questions and explaining recommendations in an accessible, easy-to-understand way.

Watch out for Red Flags

If you’re seeking a lasting relationship with a quality partner, your initial meetings with Sales can be very telling. Watch out for hints that suggest a vendor isn’t adequately invested in your success.

Great salespeople demonstrate:

  • Dedicated focus – they take good notes and repeat back key points to get confirmation. They’re respectful of your time and keep things polite and professional
  • Superb listening skills – they learn from you and adjust their recommendations to accommodate your needs as best they can
  • A high level of product knowledge – they know the platforms and best practices. When they don’t know something, they’re quick to self-educate and follow up with you
  • Superlative diagnosis skills – they listen for areas of need and then map those needs to scalable, affordable solutions
  • Unquestionably ethical behavior – they are extremely transparent about the pros and cons of each solution so that you can make an informed decision.

Added Value

Well before onboarding, we knew we were checking all of the relevant boxes with Bryan, Matt, and Jessica. Looking at their resumes, certifications, and professional accomplishments, it was clear that all three are sales leaders, not just contributors.

But getting back to the earlier point about differentiation…the decision to choose one partner over another comes down to added value. Not just from a corporate partner, but on an individual level as well.

In our case, these are the things that wowed us:

  • With Bryan, it was his storytelling that drew us to him. His ability to draw on personal and professional experience is second-to-none.
  • With Matt, we love his motor. He’s constantly finding efficiencies in everything he does and his approach inspires confidence in people.
  • With Jessica, it was clear that her dedication to mentorship has shaped her. That extraordinary patience and kindness matter when it comes to forging business relationships.

Added value takes many forms and shapes, but you know it when you see it. When you’re deciding whether or not a consulting company is a good fit, ask yourself where the added value is. If you see it, if you believe in it, then chances are better that the relationship will thrive and you’ll go further, faster.

Wrapping Up

If you’re considering a relationship with a technology-focused business consultancy, think of us as a resource. We’re here to help you weigh the options and find someone you can trust long-term. Even if you don’t need a partner company now, reach out to us! We’d love you to be part of our community because a rising tide lifts all ships.