On November 28, 2014, we had the opportunity to have an interactive session with Digvijay Chauhan. He is a former CTO of AskMe Corporation. Digvijay shared insights, tips, and suggestions on creating a win-win strategy for customers.
A quick background about Digvijay:
Digvijay holds MS in Computer Science from Seattle University. He has worked at Microsoft from 1993 to 1999. There, he built and led engineering teams, which enabled Microsoft to penetrate and win major market share in strategic enterprise software market segments such as digital. Post Microsoft, he co-founded AskMe Corporation. it is a web-based expertise sharing company that he later sold in 2007. After AskMe’s sellout, Digvijay started SeeYourImpact, a non-profit organization that helps non-profits scale fundraising and increase donor engagement, supercharging their champions, volunteers, and committed advocates through the power of data analytics and social media insights to guide champions in targeting, activating and engaging their communities.
Digvijay touched the following topics during this session:
- Learning many skills – He said that the workforce requires deep skills in many areas in this changing world. For example, someone who is a programmer should not only know about coding but also know sales and marketing. And those who handle sales or marketing functions should also have skills related to coding. According to him, they should have expert-level skills in all those fields. They would fail, but should not lose self-confidence. They should build on the good foundation of our old culture and work unattached to results.
- Relationship-based sales – According to him, good salespeople build relationships with clients rather than transactional relationships. They never give the impression to clients that they don’t care or don’t give the client enough importance. They are always transparent about everything. They talk about non-work issues with clients and are not only aware of important dates such as anniversaries and birthdays but also important facts such as which schools the clients’ children go to. They also know of the sporting preferences of their clients, such as which teams or players they support.
- Overcoming cultural differences – Digvijay explained that offshore teams have to understand the clients’ culture. They make an effort towards knowing how clients provide feedback and how they communicate to change their processes. He said that in case there are cultural differences and clients act aggressive, you should respond with polite and peaceful answers.
- Project estimation tips for high-level requirements – According to Digvijay, when salespeople ask for the features that the client would like in the product, they should try to get a detailed scope. That is because if it is high level, the business requirements may vary later when work actually begins on the project and lead to a change in scope. So, the salespeople should ask the client for details upfront in the beginning and, if those are not available, tell them that the cost provided might vary by 15%-20% later.
- Best practices for contracts – He emphasized that contracts should provide value to both service providers and clients. He also stressed upon salespeople being honest with customers under all circumstances and sharing all terms with clients upfront.
Do you also want to share your thoughts or examples of how you helped to create a win-win strategy for your customers? If yes, do let us know and we will be happy to listen and embrace.