It’s no secret that today’s digital landscape is evolving quickly. Across sectors, we are seeing transformative strategies, new ways of thinking, and a push to support citizens and end users across the enterprise. Despite that, one thing has remained constant: buyers are afraid to engage vendors.

Digitally savvy Chief Technology Officers, Chief Digital Officers, and other digital leaders are looking at ways to gain more value from their vendors to build trust and include them as an integral part of their digital evolution. In an article published on LinkedIn: What Corporate Buyers Fear the Most (and how Sales Reps can help), a Vice President of Strategic Sourcing opened up about the importance of easing buyers’ concerns based on buying products that support their goals. Essentially, ensuring vendors are providing real value.

When business strategy meets tech strategy…

Value goes beyond a simple product purchase. To successfully gain the trust of a buyer, vendors must improve the lives of end users and customers by providing simple, reliable, and connected services while anticipating changing user needs. If we dive deeper into that, it ties into supporting an organization's business needs, goals, and processes with technology that meets stakeholder needs now and as their business evolves over the coming years.

A primary example is a mobile-first solution. Mobile devices have taken over, and demographics clearly indicate that mobile growth will continue to explode. Statistically, mobile user base growth is up 10.4% annually, and in 2022 there are 6.6 billion smartphone subscriptions with an expected 7.7 billion subscriptions by 2027. Digital strategies must be optimized for mobile, from payment methods, replacing keys, and integrating with enterprise work solutions to how rural communities use mobile devices to access important services.

Uplifting a strategy with a mobile-first solution can make an organization's day-to-day business process seamless while also supporting its customer or user needs through understanding and expertise. This is the type of value vendors need to deliver to their buyers, especially at the early discovery stage.

The right tech supports the business, not the channels

The multi-channel considerations for today's digital needs are vast. The strategies that vendors bring to the table for discussion need to include mobile devices, wearables, desktops, 5G, Wi-fi, Bluetooth, and be adaptable with open-source processes as solutions evolve into next-generation technologies.

One trend being seen more often is a software development Toolkit being made available from vendors. These are born out of a clear problem - organizations within government and the private sector are challenged to create single-page applications in accelerated production. Issues that occur in a real-world environment are challenges like security and privacy compliance and the need to be faster and lower cost, as a few examples.

A service development toolkit offers the ability to build-in accessibility guardrails. These guardrails are sometimes called Rules as Code, the set up of parameters within digital development solutions that allow developers to run “what if” scenarios for variations within the technical limits, legislation, regulation, standards, and policy defined by their administrators. These guardrails can be applied to digital services without needing a person to interpret them. Automated or semi-automated digital services can be built to deliver a result and explain how the rules were applied to achieve it, and all inputs and evidence for that result could be available to stakeholders openly and transparently.

Delivering a tool to offer consistency as an organization's digital needs evolve and grow offers incredible value to customers. Supporting standardizing technologies that ensure scalability, sustainability, and stability.

A few tips for vendors

The term “deliver value” can have many different meanings. If we look at the detail outlined in this post, we see four clear ways for vendors to deliver value regularly:

  1. Become a trusted advisor - Build trust as an integral part of your customer's digital evolution.
  2. Make a difference - improve the lives of end users or customers.
  3. Offer reliability and scalability - Simple, reliable, & connected services.
  4. Increase ROI – Support buyers with solutions that offer both financial and operational value and hard dollar savings.

The Harvard Business Review said it perfectly; “firms often get caught up in thinking about doing a digital transformation initiative rather than thinking concretely about how they will create and then capture value with digital.”

At the end of the day, a vendor and the organization need each other and should be able to co-exist in a collaborative process that delivers value to all involved. It comes down to an old-fashioned process that has been around since the dawn of commerce, building deeper relationships matters, and it always will.

Image Credit: Zoey Li / Midjourney

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