I recently had an opportunity to read a new book on the topic of Installed Base selling by Remi Gicquel and Paul Andre Lambert. “Using Installed Base Selling to Maximize Revenue: A Step-by-Step Approach to Achieving Long-Term Profitable Growth”. And it is one of the few books on the topic by practitioners, with both authors having practiced their craft at Hewlett Packard Enterprises (HPE). The book had several important messages for professionals involved in profitable growth, none more so than their chapter titled “Practical Considerations” because it makes this entire Installed Base selling theory real.
Sometimes common sense is not common. In that vein, the authors remind us that Installed Base selling has to be part of the Sales DNA to succeed, and specifically, that having a strong winning aspiration is a pre-requisite to implementing any installed base selling initiative at an OEM. If that is done right, then outcomes are clearly defined and everyone knows the goals, KPIs and success metrics.
The notion of installed base sounds really simple, but Remi and Paul Andre point out that having an outside-in, the customer-focused view is critical to building up the right Installed Base source of truth. Because then you focus on what really matters to your customer, not your internal processes. With this focus, well-defined use cases can be developed which leads to an end-to-end business and data architecture that seamlessly orchestrates customer-related activities.
The foundational building block of this strategy requires an investment in a data platform that integrates ALL relevant customer information into a single source of truth, one that has data quality built into the solution with purpose-built analytics to drive recommendations to salespeople. This is not an undertaking for the faint of heart, as without good vision and experience, it could easily be a multi-million, multiyear sinkhole – with attendant lost credibility.
Finally – often overlooked, but should not be forgotten – sales enablement. Proactively equipping sales and service people with value propositions, scripts, and offers is paramount for success.
Drive upsell within the Installed Base for global B2B manufacturers