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"ChangeBEAT helped us become a world-class development organisation." Panasonic 

Articles and papers

Recent studies from IDC and Forrester show that technology companies waste vast sums of money on marketing communications and sales enablement initiatives that actually worsen sales productivity.

 
There are several reasons for this vastly expensive failure. The root cause is that people forget that the customer’s experience of value must be at the heart of everything a company does. 


To sell more, and more productively, technology companies must become truly customer centric. They must consistently identify, articulate, communicate and deliver what customers want – value on a plate

Sometimes the most important thing about your business plan is that you need a brand new one, fast! In this short paper we provide you with a way to produce a plan that will pass muster in less than a week and still have time to put a cherry on top.

The perfect storm is hitting the technology industry. Your customers hoard their cash and your sales teams report lengthening sales cycles and projects now “on hold”. How long before some of your sales team think there is nothing they can do? How long before despondency sets in, morale plummets and revenues slump? Our five-point plan will help you rally your team, steel their resolve and get them talking the language that your customers want to hear.

According to a survey of 14,000 UK companies by the University of Sheffield, only 10-20% of technology investments are considered a success. ChangeBEAT calls this "the elephant in the room", an inconvenient truth that looms heavy during every IT project negotiation because customers just aren't convinced that their technology investments will deliver the expected business benefits. With new ideas in benefit and change management, ChangeBEAT demonstrates how to successfully "out the elephant".

The head of the sales function must be a leader, but cannot rely on being a good leader alone. They must combine leadership with hands-on management to drive the team to consistent high performance keeping the team focused on day-to-day pipeline generation and closure rates. This article takes a deeper look at the unique pressures and challenges that face these individuals and discusses how the successful ones can motivate and inspire an entire organisation.

Despite the common view that business planning is an annual chore of marginal value, all the great successes in the IT and technology business have boiled down to someone spotting a niche, making a plan and following it through. In this paper Ian Henley and Ian Popplestone of ChangeBEAT argue that all businesses should have a business plan, but that the nature of the plan will differ substantially depending on the circumstances.

Most money spent on training is wasted because the initial training request often masks an underlying problem. This white paper discusses the best way for the IT executive, corporate training manager or training provider to evaluate requests for training in order to ensure they result in business benefits

The Beast prowls in any organisation that needs to change. It is emboldened by anxiety, fear and cynicism. When it feeds, it consumes profits, puts the organisation in danger and lays waste to executive careers. This ChangeBEAT paper looks at two change programmes, one where the Beast broke free and ran amok, and another where it was tamed and brought to heel.

In today's maturing IT markets, customers want to know that their suppliers have the tools and methods to deliver projects to them successfully. A key element of successful project delivery is the project management methodology. PMI, PRINCE and generic methodologies have a place, but can be overly burdensome and don't meet all the specific needs of the very commercial world of IT. This paper provides a strategy for adopting best practice methodologies, improving project profitability and increasing customer satisfaction.

Formerly successful IT product companies know that maturing IT markets mean they must provide solutions to their customers' needs. The question is "How should IT solutions be made attractive to buyers?" This paper considers the serious challenges faced by the solutions provider who wants to create a successful IT solutions portfolio.

Is the IT industry suffering from advancing old age, or just the mother and father of all hangovers after the Y2K scam and the dot com bust? In this paper, Ian Henley from ChangeBEAT looks again at the "mature industry" argument and concludes that the industry's fate is in its own hand

Distinguished industry analysts have proclaimed that the IT industry is maturing and future growth levels will be similar to the Gross Domestic Product. This forecast has grave consequences for the industry, but is it right? Ian Henley argues that the industry is nowhere near its potential, and happy days can return again. But there is a catch!

Once in a blue moon, an IT company produces a truly unique product that makes money for its customers. When this rare event occurs, the sun burns hot and a "tornado" market ensues. Demand for the unique product is overwhelming but, as sure as every tornado blows out, you can count on capitalism, sooner or later, to come up with an alternative to the unique product. This is a time of great danger for the company.

Published in Sales Director magazine
Every Sales Director dreams of a Max Kwotabusta. Max effortlessly opens doors, develops the customer's pain, produces the perfect proposal, involves the delivery people and negotiates fantastic deals. Now, welcome to the real world.

Published in Sales Force magazine
The IT software and services industry is under fire in the courts where a number of judegments have recently been made with profound implications. The law is being changed to establish that software and services companies have a duty to "get it right" and that lapses from exemplary professional standards will be heavily punished. Whilst this may cause the IT executive to sleep less soundly, it is time for the industry to grow up. 

Published in Sales Director magazine
A business's future success depends crucially on its ability to forecast. Yet surely it's rather unreasonable to expect anyone to know precisely what will happen tomorrow, never mind next month or next year? Includes the "steps to successful sales forecasting".

Published in IS Opportunities magazine
"Will this Prospect buy from me?" is the question that the top performing sales professional can answer with uncanny accuracy. But how do they know? 

Published in IS Opportunities magazine
"Will this Prospect buy from me?" is the fundamental qualification question. But before you can make a sound decision as to whether or not the prospect is qualified, you first need to understand the Buying Cycle and why engaging early can have its rewards as well as its risks. 

Seeing yourself through the buyer's eyes is one of the secrets of successful qualification and selling. If you understand the way in which you are being seen by the buyer, you will be able accurately to assess whether you are in a position from which you can win. 

The first of the key qualification questions is "Will the prospect spend?" Inexperienced sellers think this is merely a matter of establishing if the prospect has a budget and taking it from there. 

A dilemma frequently faces the directors responsible for market strategy of IT services companies. Received wisdom advocates vertical market strategy as best practice, and very often the approach has big advantages. However, in some instances it may be unwise, undesirable or even impossible to comply with received wisdom and "go vertical". So, when should the IT services company pursue a market strategy which is not vertically aligned?

Our articles and white papers are for technology company executives