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CRN: The New Emphasis on Selling Value, Once Again

Feb 24, 2000, 21:07 (0 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Tim Sullivan)

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"While the mantra of "sell solutions, not products" has been oft repeated by sales gurus during the past 30 years, it seems that in today's light-speed technology marketplace, a renewed focus on providing value has become critical to VAR success. The VAR re-emphasis on selling value to customers arises out of three rapidly emerging business trends:
1. The quickening pace of technology innovation
2. The dramatic shrinking of product life cycles
3. The rising customer demand for integrated whole solutions."

"First, the widespread acceptance of open architecture solutions means that a supplier's odds of 'locking in' customers with a proprietary technology are now extremely remote, and becoming quite rare. Even powerful Microsoft Corp. feels threatened by upstarts like the Linux phenomenon these days. Common standard technology platforms, most pervasively exemplified by the Internet itself, have leveled the playing field, at least a little bit, for most technology innovators. With fewer market restrictions, the pace of technology development is increasing dramatically."

"Second, now more than half of corporate profits in the United States are generated from new products, and this proportion is expected to increase during the next few years. According to industry research, the number of new products introduced into the market has risen by 21 percent during the past five years, and most executives anticipate that this rapid pace will continue to accelerate. As a result, the average product life cycle of high technology offerings, once measured during many years, now has shrunk to months--and in the most extreme examples, such as some Internet utility software products, the total life cycle is just a few weeks."

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