Why Your Target Client’s Changing Workforce MattersJune 07, 2021 | By Wayne O'Neill
Nothing is static in client engagement. If you didn’t receive that wake-up call before the pandemic, then you certainly heard it loud and clear over the past year-plus.
The old days of linear thinking about engaging one particular decision-maker in an organization and trying to sell your solution to this one person are gone. Decisions are made differently, especially post-pandemic when organizations are re-thinking budgets, priorities, objectives, and strategies.
Guess what else has changed along with this? The people who are guiding or influencing the decision-making process. New leaders have emerged. New executives have been brought in to guide the company in a new direction. The one person you called up to present a solution to solve their recurring problem may have a completely different role in the decision-making process. Now, what are you going to do?
Here’s what you can do. First, break your linear thinking — you’re starting a new race. Then, start thinking bigger about how to craft solutions that align with your target client’s new strategy, new business and political issues, and their changing workforce. This will position you for revenue growth in a changing business climate.
Align With the Changing Workforce to Support Revenue Growth
One of the most significant changes that occurred during the pandemic was the emergence of new leaders.
When organizations were shaken to their core, it wasn’t as much about the org chart, degrees, or political maneuvering. Those things still mattered, but what became primary was seeing who had solutions. Who had ideas that could help the company navigate the choppy waters of the pandemic? Who was ready to help the organization chart a new course?
These emerging leaders are the ones who will remain in positions of influence in the “new normal” we’re living in. Their voice is going to continue to grow louder as the organization follows this new path and as these leaders gather people around them to support the new direction.
If you have primarily focused on selling to one particular role in your target client’s organization, then it’s time to develop some new connections. You don’t even have to start by pursuing the new leaders. You’ll get to them eventually. Start by identifying individuals in the organization who can lead you in the right direction and help you understand the new lay of the land.
You have to understand how your target client’s workforce has changed since the pandemic. And, you’re not going to find the answers on the surface of an RFP. The RFP isn’t going to spell this out for you. You have to dig beneath the surface to understand this key business and political issue of the evolving workforce.
Pursue Multiple Paths of Connection to Understand Changes
Now is the time to grow your connections at multiple levels and roles within the client organization to build a more robust account relationship. You can no longer depend on that one person to support the client relationship. That person can still be part of your client engagement, but you need to connect with many more additional players in the mix.
Each player — whether it’s a gatekeeper, influencer, or decision-maker — can offer you a unique perspective on key changes within the client organization.
- Whose voice has grown louder post-pandemic? Conversely, whose voice is not as prominent?
- Which leaders are winding down as they near retirement? Which leaders are being groomed to replace these individuals?
- How have the politics of internal decision-making changed since the pandemic?
- What changes in the industry have affected who has more say in decision-making?
- Who is assembling a team to support the organization’s change in direction or strategy?
- How are decisions being made given the new landscape?
Gather intelligence from your current connections. Pursue additional connections that can offer you more insight. Use LinkedIn or other social platforms to continue to build your network. There is no right way to gather this intelligence; there are multiple opportunities to leverage each of these options to get you the information you need to better align with your target client’s changing workforce.
As you gather client intelligence, keep in mind this important truth. There are many components of the changing workforce and things happening inside your client organization and their industry that affect the decision-making process.
Don’t get too locked into one way of thinking as you assess what’s changed. The change is often multi-layered, constantly evolving, and more complicated than just one component. Take the time to understand the complexity and appreciate the nuance. A healthy respect for your client’s change will position you to better align with their change when crafting a solution.
Present the Solution at The Right Decision-Making Level
As we identified before, perhaps your previous approach to presenting a solution was very straightforward. You approached one particular person or role and presented a solution that they were interested in. You knew how to talk to them, how to address their pain points, and how to make them feel comfortable with your solution.
It’s a different game now. This requires a different approach and presentation style. One of the key reasons to gather all of that client intelligence is to also understand how new leaders think.
- What makes them tick?
- What do they care about?
- Who are they politically aligned with?
- What industry issues are keeping them up at night in the “new normal?”
Uncovering the answers to these questions will enable you deliver your solution in the right way, with the right message, and with emphasis on the things they care about.
If you walk into a presentation emphasizing that you can solve Issue X when key leaders really care about Issue Y, then you’ve missed the mark. You’ll lose the opportunity. You don’t want all of that hard work to go to waste. So, take the final step of adapting your presentation to align with the issue — or issues — that decision-makers and influencers in your client organization care about. You’ll be better positioned to win project scope and achieve revenue growth.
Find Support Aligning With the Changing Workforce
At RESET, we can help you take the appropriate steps in this new era of client engagement. We can provide coaching at each step on the journey to winning more project scope.
- Need help identifying new leaders in your target client’s organization?
- Need help understanding the organization’s new business and political issues?
- Need to develop some new connections in your industry?
- Need help processing the complexity of how decisions are now being made?
- Need support developing a new presentation approach?
We’re here to help. Talk to us today about tapping into our proven methodology, The Connection Process, that will help you leverage current and new connections to understand how your client’s changing workforce affects your pursuit of project scope.
Contact us today to get started with a coaching session. During our engagement, we’ll show you the path to achieve sustainable revenue growth by winning more pieces of project scope. Let’s get started!