Source: Alcatel-Lucent SMB
By far the most frequent question I get from sales people in our channel is: “Do you have any information that will assist me in competing with competitor X?” It has always been my policy to avoid talking about any specific competitors and certainly never disparage a competitor to a potential customer. So, how do you answer the inevitable question: “Why should I select your solution over your competitor’s?”
Instead of whipping out battle cards and attacking the competitors, why not try something that actually differentiates the Alcatel-Lucent solution without even mentioning the competition?
How about saying, “Well, we actually had to ask ourselves the same question when we were selecting the vendor we wanted to go to market with. We continually re-evaluate the options as we are approached by numerous vendors asking us to add their products to our portfolio. So, the best way to answer your question is to tell you why we chose Alcatel-Lucent.
- Complete portfolio of converged end-to-end solutions. We found that Alcatel-Lucent has one of the most in depth product lines to support small to medium businesses. The portfolio consists of leading edge telephony solutions, enterprise grade network infrastructure products as well as a broad range of applications addressing today’s communication trends.
- Their clear vision of where communications technology is heading. Their vision is based on what they call the Personal Cloud. Alcatel-Lucent believes that the Personal Computer will no longer be the centerpiece of an individual’s life and that we are entering the new PC era – the Personal Cloud era. The Personal Cloud is an individual’s collection of applications, services and web destinations that they want access to at any time, regardless of the device they are currently using. It’s all about changing communications to conversations that are multi-party, multi-device and multi-media.
- Alcatel-Lucent is focused on addressing the major communication trends that businesses are looking to take advantage of. These include:
- How the proliferation of smartphones and tablets has changed the way that we work, socialise and communicate.
- How social media has changed the way that people collaborate, interact and how we market our goods and services. There is a real drive to employ social media in the work place in a productive manner.
- Bring Your Own Device, or BYOD, is about deploying strategies that allow use of an employee’s own device in the work environment. This can be as comprehensive as creating network policies to determine who can use what device, for what purpose and at what time. Or it can be as simple as loading applications onto their devices to make them an extension of the company communications system.
- After many years of discussing video and video conferencing, today’s networks make it a reality. But video has evolved beyond video conferencing – today it’s all about video content. This is about having a collection of training, marketing or even simple video collaboration without using public services such as YouTube.
Alcatel-Lucent isn’t just talking about the Personal Cloud or today’s communication trends – they are addressing them. All of the evolutions in their portfolio are focused on three key technologies – making it mobile, visual and social. This is best aligned with our own vision and strategy and how it best positions us to assist our customers in satisfying their customers, assisting their employees to become more productive and working to reduce communication costs.”
You will have far more credibility with the customer if you avoid the urge to bad mouth your competition and instead simply present your strategy to help prospective customers solve their communication issues.