5 Ways to Sell SAP S/4 HANA

简介: 5 Ways to Sell SAP S/4 HANA http://www.linkedin.com/pulse/5-ways-sell-sap-s4-hana-magendar-rajasekaran?trkInfo=VSRP...

5 Ways to Sell SAP S/4 HANA

http://www.linkedin.com/pulse/5-ways-sell-sap-s4-hana-magendar-rajasekaran?trkInfo=VSRPsearchId%3A4691742691473051678544%2CVSRPtargetId%3A6167536669546377216%2CVSRPcmpt%3Aprimary&trk=vsrp_influencer_content_res_name

 

'Should SAP customers move to Suite on HANA or S/4HANA? If so, why?'

I was sipping tea with a bunch of IT honchos at a SAP event last week when one of them asked this primordial question.

After listening to them for a while, I tried to butt into the conversation when one of my good friends interjected.

Hey, you are a sales guy. What do you know about SAP? In particular S/4HANA?

That's when I had to tell him about my decade old indulgence with SAP stack, partners and the eco-system. This included consulting, selling and implementation experiences across multiple continents, industries and businesses. All the way from 3.0F onwards. 

Selling SAP licenses and follow through services used to be pretty straight forward in a siloed IT environment. Things got lot tougher down the road when innovations like cloud and mobility kicked in.

Now it's lot more tougher since customers have umpteen choices and are under different kind of overwhelm. Digital disruption!

I truly empathise with SAP field sales force who have to go through a massive persuasion and selling effort every 6-7 years when the world changes from one theme to another.

This time around the challenge is to convince customers to choose SAP - lock, stock and barrel - one more time!

That is to throw away underlying database, migrate to SAP S/4HANA and hook up a bunch of applications - Concur, Ariba, SuccessFactors, Hybris, FieldGlass - and carry on until the next upgrade cycle.

Run Simple.

Good slogan but not that convincing yet.

At this juncture, it is quite apt to reflect on Bill McDermott (SAP CEO) speech at SAPPHIRE 2016. He acknowledged that SAP got a wake up call from customers and had to scramble for fresh messaging that would better align SAPs stated trajectory with customer value.

"Everything has to start with empathy for the customer (the end user)".

In fact, Bill had the heads of Ariba, Concur, Hybris and SuccessFactors on stage - all stating how much SAP has done already in regards of empathy. 

There in lies the truth and the difficulty - SAP aligning to customer value amidst digital disruption.

Before jumping to conclusions let's explore what is bothering customers these days. To test it out try answering these questions on behalf of the C-Suite of your top customers:

How is digital disruption going to affect my industry and my company? What is of value to my customers? How can I include my customers in developing inputs to my business strategy?  How can we be relevant to our customers and their customers? Are we going to be Uber-ed or Yahoo-ed soon? How can I stay ahead of the competition in this type of cut-throat business environment? How do we understand what our customers really want and shape internal business processes to deliver on those needs? Customer-driven, agile business models and IT services are increasingly complicated. How can I handle the overwhelm? My IT costs are going up in these uncertain times? How do I manage it? There is plenty of technology available? What is the best IT strategy that will allow me to adapt and be nimble?

SAP sales teams have to answer each of these questions convincingly if they have to move their installed base to S/4HANA.

The answers should help customers justify the value of single stack SAP and 22% annual maintenance fee that goes to fund R&D. 

 

If I were a SAP Sales guy selling S/4 HANA this is what I will do

Empathise with the customer (including the investments they have made in SAP) and find ways to defend their business both in the short and long term. 

 

1. Focus on Customer business and industry:

More than selling S/4HANA, Concur, Hybris and SuccessFactors licenses I will be more concerned about my customer business - their revenue streams, profit pools, industry challenges, business model, operational model, business strategy and how their current IT strategy helps piece things together.

If you are not doing this, you are simply a product or service pusher. You don't add much value.

There is no real customer empathy.

 

2. Have 3 reasons how SAP can help customers cross the chasm 

Any industry will have innovators, early adopters, early majority, late majority and laggards. I will help my customer understand where they stand in the value curve and how it will play out in the context of impending digital disruption.

This time around it is about working outside in. That is to work from customer experiences backwards. 

 

Find out how you can help your customer anticipate and plan for disruptive trends in their industry. It is not about technology anymore.

It is about innovative business models and delivering superior customer experiences.  

 

3. Simplify messaging around SAP HANA

I tried going to a single place and follow a coherent path that adequately explains what S/4 HANA delivers. This is what I found:

1. Central Page on SAP.com as Launchpad: http://go.sap.com/product/enterprise-management/s4hana-erp.html

2. flipbook link your path to s4 http://www.saps4hanahub.com/i/675945-choosing-your-path-to-sap-s-4hana/0?m4=

3. Business Scenario Recommendations see sample report

4. Link to Innovation discovery review S4 innovations in detail

     link to http://go.sap.com/services/transition-to-s4hana.html (bottom of page: very detailed info regarding transition

 link to Wieland Schreiner blog on SCN

5. Solution explorer: https://solutionexplorer.sap.com/solexp/ui/vlm/is_s4hana_onpremise/vlm/is_s4hana_onpremise-ind-is_s4hana_onpremise.

For heavens sake, you got to message right.

Let's MESSAGE SIMPLE.

 

4. Tell a great story

I am still not sure why SAP or its partners have not mastered the art of story telling?

The story is not about HANA, upgrades and the litany of features. Storytelling is about the value your audience derives from listening to you, using your product, working on your technology, bringing in sales, investing in you and your vision.

Bill McDermott's customer empathy statement should be switched to human mode. 

If google can tell a great story, I am sure SAP can too. 

 

5. Finally, craft an excellent value proposition

Here is current HANA value proposition:

"One Platform, One Copy of data, Less Integration, More Innovation" .

I am not sure if this aligns to customer's sense of current value. Let's get the current reality into perspective.

"Digital is now the life blood of businesses. Clients are looking for solutions that will allow them to defend their businesses (from digital disruptors) while innovating to create new areas of growth. To do this businesses should make fundamental changes to customer experiences, operations and business models".

This impacts the front office, the middle office and the back office of organisations.

As a Sales person, my pitch will be around how S/4HANA can help companies achieve this.

 

In summary:

As digital disruption overwhelms most of the industry value chains, SAP sales teams, and their partners should pitch in a way they clearly communicate client value.

1. Focus on customer business and the industry landscape. Understand the disruptive forces and what are the options available to customers to re-invent themselves

2. Have 3 well defined messages as to how SAP can help customers (digital immigrants) cross the chasm

3. Message Simple.

4. Tell a great story. Empathy starts when technology connects with human beings.

5. Finally, craft an excellent value proposition.

Happy selling folks.

 

About Agility Nexus

Agility Nexus is a Sales and Business Consulting and Coaching company serving business leaders in Technology Industry to accelerate revenue generation. We consult, coach, train and solve problems at the intersection of marketing and sales. We blend various strategies including Emotional Intelligence to help sellers better connect, engage with customers and offer great customer experience.

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