On November 28, 2014, we had the opportunity to have an interactive session with Digvijay Chauhan, former CTO of AskMe Corporation. Digvijay shared insights, tips and suggestions on creating win-win Strategy for customers.
A quick background about Digvijay:
Digvijay holds MS in Computer Science from Seattle University and has worked at Microsoft from 1993 to 1999 where 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, a web based expertise sharing company which he later sold in 2007. After AskMe’s sellout, Digvijay started SeeYourImpact, a non-profit organization which helps non-profits massively 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 following topics during this session:
- Learning multiple skills – He said that the workforce requires deep skills in multiple areas in this changing world. For example, someone who is primarily a programmer should not just know coding, but also, say, sales and marketing and those who handle the 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 initially, 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 sales people 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 and make an effort towards comprehending how clients provide feedback and how they communicate so that they can modify their processes accordingly. 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 sales people 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 sales people 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 sales people being honest with customers under all circumstances and sharing all terms with clients upfront.
Do you also want to share your thoughts or examples on how you helped creating a win-win strategy for your customers? If yes, do let us know and we will be happy to listen and embrace.