We interviewed David Ribalta, Commercial and Marketing Director at Adam, to learn first-hand his perspective on how to manage a customer-focused sales team and how to carry out a digital transformation of commercial activity.
How do you approach your work as Sales and Marketing Director?
My approach has always been to build a new way of understanding business relationships based on empathy and putting the customer first. If we focus on offering solutions to customers’ problems, instead of focusing on reaching quotas or quarterly objectives, we will be able to build solid, deep and lasting relationships.
Not being able to hold face-to-face meetings after the impact of COVID-19 is only a superficial change. The deeper impact is in the way we relate to customers. Client acquisition now depends a great deal on digital channels, meaning more useful information must be provided at the top of the sales funnel, as well as at all other phases along the way.
We must adapt our commercial processes to this new reality, but we were already in a good starting position due to our focus on customer needs.
How has Adam’s way of building commercial relationships changed?
The services that we sell at Adam are more complicated to explain than to teach, because we deal with subjective issues, such as the security or continuity of a business. If you can’t teach it, we have to make a very large pedagogical effort in order to explain it.
In recent months, we have accelerated the digitization of services to make things easier. For example, our monitoring services, which allow us to reduce visits to the data center and the implementation of a new DCIM software that offers us a complete and real-time view of everything that happens in our data centers.
We have also implemented new and better control panels for our IaaS services to make it easier for our clients to manage their services autonomously.
At the team management level, we have realized the need to communicate more, and better, with our customers in a more proactive way. We have also optimized team time and, most importantly, taken advantage of marketing to feed the commerce team’s sales funnel, given the impossibility of holding business meetings.
Is empathy more necessary than ever to build a good customer experience?
It is a key factor. Although we are B2B, with all that entails in complex purchase and decision processes, in the end, it is always a person who is buying from us.
The uncertainty of the present moment and personal concerns make empathy a basic skill for building relationships that allow us to connect in a real and deep way with our clients.
Why is the relationship with clients a distinguishing aspect of Adam’s business model?
At Adam, the entire company is focused on our customers’ needs; how to detect, understand, interpret and solve them. Not only their current needs, which may arise in a business conversation, but also the potential needs that may arise in the future, based on what we know of their business plans. For example, if they are implementing a growth plan, we take it into account when guiding the client to the solutions that will best suit their goals.
Another distinguishing aspect is that this idea is transversal across every team in the company. It is not something exclusive to the commercial department, but rather every team, starting with the customer support service, operates in the same way.
This allows us to help you make strategic decisions for your infrastructure, and is a perspective that our clients value a great deal. This personalized and transparent treatment is what differentiates us from a hyperscale data center.
What steps can a commercial team take to make their own digital transformation?
In my opinion, the first thing is to understand that digital transformation is not so much about the implementation of technology, but about adapting to an environment in which interactions are mostly digital.
This has a series of consequences in technology, but, most importantly, at an organizational and relational level too.
What you have to do is work on the sales strategy to adapt it to this environment keeping these three objectives in mind:
- Act on each point of contact with the client, detecting their needs and offering the content they need at all times. Like this, we deepen the relationship with the client with empathy and establish their trust.
- Ensure that each person on the sales team has accurate information at the right time. This has to do with a digital company culture that recognizes the importance of data and works to add value to it, always with the customer’s needs in mind.
- Talent management capable of prioritizing in-depth knowledge of the service/product and the ability to generate and nurture personalized conversations and interactions. It is crucial to understand that the market is not about sales, but rather conversations, always focusing on the needs of the client.