[NOTE: Because of our strict NDAs protecting our clients, these cases do not include identity indicia. We never post a client situation that can strictly identify them or could adversely affect them.]
Critical and Complex Situation
At a Point of Sale (“POS”) manufacturer and seller, growth, revenue and market share were collapsing.
The circumstances facing this client were many, critical and complex, creating a situation that seemed insurmountable.
While we did find multiple issues leading to the situation our client was in, the immediate requirement was to stop the hemorrhaging of revenue and market share. Longer term issues would operate in the background while we addressed the immediate survival of the company.
To be expeditious (a key component of our work), we began with the clients’ customers and prospects.
Using our unique methods for getting to the heart of the matter quickly, it became clear there was a disconnect between products, the sales force, and customers.
That disconnect was product complexity. It existed in both the selling process as well as the training necessary for employees in high-turnaround industries like retail and hospitality.
And complexity is something our client’s customers do not have time for in their work.
On the sales front, our client’s prospects did not feel our client’s sales force could answer detailed questions about the systems’ features and operations.
And the client’s prospects were so overloaded and confused by the products and attempts at internal training, they drove up our client’s support costs tremendously.
As a result, sales weren’t made and current customers left in droves. In both cases, customers migrated to low-cost, low-functionality and ultra-low complexity systems.
That severely ate away at our client’s market share.
Not much could be changed quickly on our client’s systems, and retraining their sales force to address complexity issues would be both expensive and slow.
How We Addressed This Critical Situation
At Collin Group, Inc., we take advantage of simple, quick-to-produce and deploy technology tools when possible to help address critical situations.
Since our client’s sales force found demonstrating and selling the POS systems too complex, we developed and implemented self-demonstration apps for the POS devices, leveraging the hardware and computing capabilities already built into the system.
Purely a software augmentation, the POS systems could then walk through all of their front end and back end functionality, including physical activities like opening the drawer and printing.
The demo utilized the display built into the POS unit, which was not originally intended for anything but use by a cashier or server and diagnostics when something went wrong.
Vast improvements were made possible for both sales and customer usage. Updates pushed out to the sales force and customers were presented via easy to grasp interactive demonstrations.
The updates could announce what was new and changed, and how it affected usage and operations.
In this case, an extremely complex system became one of the easiest to demonstrate, sell, and use. And internal issues were easier to address when revenue and market issues were stablizing.
There are always challenges to be faced. When we address an existential concern quickly and allow senior management to address longer-term issues, we all succeed.