Adding value to your Microsoft Dynamics NAV business is essential to long-term growth and profitability. Added value strengthens your competitive advantage and helps to differentiate your business from competitors.
How do you add value and what form should it take? The added value you must be relevant to your customers. It must go beyond their expectations and offer them benefits that they can’t obtain from any other supplier.
Added value raises customers’ expectations
Value is about building positive customer experiences. Here’s one example. Cloud subscription and delivery systems have made it easier to deliver recognizable value to customers by offering them access to the latest technologies without paying for upgrades.
Before cloud models, software companies typically released new versions of their products every 18 months. Customers would then purchase the new version, usually through an upgrade license. But, with the increasing adoption of cloud subscription models, customers now get many of these upgrades free as part of their monthly fee.
That, in turn, raises customer expectations and increases the pressure on software companies to deliver frequent upgrades to keep demonstrating value. However, frequent upgrades require additional development resources that may be beyond your current capacity.
So, you have to balance the cost of delivering that value and the potential gains in customer loyalty. Outsourcing development to a specialist provider can help Microsoft Dynamics partners’ companies accelerate their upgrade program and help deliver greater value to customers when the latest version of Microsoft Dynamics NAV is released.
Understand customers’ needs
When you’re planning new developments, it’s essential to understand customers’ needs to ensure the latest version of Dynamics NAV represents value.
Consultation can help you to realize expectations and requirements for your services and products before starting. Customer satisfaction survey regarding your recent project will give you suggestions on what must be improved and how to manage development process in the future.
Added value creates long-term revenue streams
Recurring revenue is key to maintaining profitability and survival in the software business. During the recent global recession, companies that had high levels of recurring revenue fared better. Satisfied customers who recognize value are key to that process.
Recurring revenue doesn’t come from software licenses or subscriptions alone. A recent webinar featuring research firm IDC highlighted the importance of creating multiple touch points before and after software delivery. By offering professional services such as consultancy, implementation, user training and support, software companies can add value to the software and build strong, long-term customers relationships that generate high levels of recurring revenue.
Consultancy, for example, ensures that Microsoft Dynamics NAV meets the customer’s exact business, technical and operational need. Training and implementation ensure a successful deployment and help the customer quickly make productive use of Dynamics NAV.
Support ensures the customer continues to obtain value from Dynamics NAV and achieves a high return on their investment. All of these services increase customer satisfaction and loyalty with a level of value that goes beyond the software itself.
Understand the decision-making process
Recurring revenue from existing customers gives a real boost to a software business, but how do you kick-start the relationship with new prospects? What are they looking for in a software provider and how do they go about selecting a vendor? What are the main considerations in their decision-making process? Who is in charge of these considerations in your customers’ and prospects’ companies?
Microsoft Dynamics partners operate in a competitive market, so it’s essential to demonstrate value and quality from the outset. You are trying to create a brand that builds confidence.
Customers and prospects want to understand your competencies. What are the strengths of your team, what experience do they have in the customer’s sector and what innovations or breakthroughs have they been responsible for?
Strong partners are part of your brand
Prospects also evaluate your ecosystem – who are your partners and what are their strengths? A strong ecosystem demonstrates that your company can deliver holistic solutions based on best-of–breed technologies and development processes. That’s where an experienced development partner can add value to your own capabilities.
A development partner can also help you deliver software releases faster, in line with your customers’ needs or schedules. And, outsourcing partners can help you reduce costs compared with developing products in-house.
If your partner is recognized as a leader in their field, this adds further credibility to your brand. All of these factors help strengthen your competitive position when you are pitching for new business or negotiating contract renewals.
Communicate your brand strengths
While it’s important to present your capabilities in meetings with prospects, remember that some of the decision-making has already taken place. Research indicates that Internet research before a sales pitch plays a key role in business decision-making.
Your prospects will be reviewing your profile and credentials on your website, assessing the quality of your blog and thought leadership pieces, and evaluating the depth and quality of your partnership ecosystem. Make sure that the information on your website, in your proposals and in your marketing communications reflects the brand image you want to convey to prospects and customers.
Create sustainable value
When the contract is signed, your priority is to create sustainable value. You need to maintain and enhance the skills of your own team so they can initiate change and get the best results from other partner company. Quality is vital, so be sure to work with an outsourcing partner that offers comprehensive testing as well as quality-driven development procedures.
Working with quality partners can create good opportunities for knowledge transfer, giving your in-house team the ability to recognize and new business opportunities and turn them into successful development projects.
Build satisfied customers for life
Offering customer added value through your products, your training and the support builds customer satisfaction. Satisfied customers stay loyal and that’s a great recipe for retaining customers for life.