Blockchain Skills – Get enabled in Blockchain or get left behind. Tech Sales Teams included.
Companies are getting stuck, competition is fierce and financial engineering never stops. One of the areas that I am very well versed is around technical sales of hardware, software and professional services.
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I am seeing not only an increase in the demand for blockchain knowledge from “outling” roles not directly involved in internal blockchain specifications(Pre sales engineers, Account Executives, Managers, etc)but also directly involved roles. (Developers, Database Admins, Software engineers, etc). Blockchain knowledge is clearly growing and your competitors are likely getting enabled.
According to LinkedIn, “Blockchain” is the #1 job skill for the year 2020.
I agree that there is a lot of hype out there and that in reality enterprise blockchains from a wide vertical have not casted wide nets of success yet.
I also believe that blockchain may not be a “Clear and Present Danger” but I would wrecken in some industries it is more likely a“Future Threat”.
One of the more famous “lack of vision” of potential disruption was from Palm CEO Ed Colligan
“We’ve learned and struggled for a few years here figuring out how to make a decent phone … PC guys are not going to just figure this out,” said then-Palm CEO Ed Colligan in 2006, after news that Apple was developing a phone. “They’re not going to just walk in.”
We need to understand that even if your working for a VAR, Reseller, Big Five consulting company or a software/hardware vendor that does not sell or service anything blockchain(Right now) that blockchain is actually leaving the “early adopter” phase.
Working as a pre-sales engineer for several vendors and partners in the past I can attest that companies want to enable they teams in new technologies. I can also safely say that most enterprises I have sold to are always looking for ways to create process efficiency and introduce more cost savings at a minimum.
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I would recommend that being a trusted adviser (Pre Sales Engineer, Solutions Consultant, etc)to your customers one should establish a good understand of at least the following thoughts around blockchain and your customer base.
This would be true even if your not selling anything blockchain as an sales organization. That is right, go learn something that your not selling. History, is lined with victims of complacency.
Why? Your customers are at least discussing it(Remember, “Your customers are likely discussing this at least around the cooler or even in the boardroom”) and you being their“trusted adviser” having some knowledge in blockchain can engage in competent high level discussions around the topic. In the sales driven world “face time” is golden even if its not directly closing a deal immediately.
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The End Result: This provides your sales teams not only an opportunity to learn more about your customer but also gain some competitive insight as well as where they may being going in the future.
Top Ten Focus areas for discovery you should be learning
- What is a blockchain?
- Why is a blockchain disruptive?
- What is the difference between a blockchain and Bitcoin?
- What industries and verticals are being disrupted(And do I manage accounts that are in those verticals).
- What are the major blockchain deployments
- What customers under my portfolio of Account management could be considering blockchain down the road. (1 Year, 2 years, etc)
- What type of applications do my customers have that could migrated to a blockchain platform?
- Is it possible my customer is engaging a blockchain solutions based organization?
- What are possible hardware and software add ons?
- Could blockchain be disruptive to my business?
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Pre Order my book on Amazon! Architecting Enterprise Blockchain Solutions from Wiley Sybex.
Here is an excerpt from my book “Architecting Enterprise Blockchains”
If your a consulting firm why not host a “Blockchain Discovery Workshop”
Blockchain Readiness Assessment Workshops
A blockchain readiness assessment workshop is focused on understanding where the customer is in the “adoption” of blockchain technologies. Generally, a Readiness Assessment is also known as a “Blockchain Workshop”. A workshop is exactly what you would expect to facilitate as a vendor, VAR, integrator or services firm. Whiteboarding is a requirement when it comes to assessments and establishing requirements.
Generally, you would want to work with the customer to establish use case for the organization, establish requirements, educate and provide a summary report with actual use cases that may be applied later.Join our mailing list and get 4 Free courses!
During a workshop you want to establish generally at least the following
- Potential opportunities in blockchain by engaging with stakeholders to narrow down the use case the blockchain initiative will address.
- Identify and document the scale of the use case or use cases. Some organizations may not be ready for blockchain as an individual unit or department. The would be more likely to benefit working as a consortium where sharing the benefits and costs could provide value.
- Document the stakeholder’s functional requirements (blockchain should accomplish)
- Document the stakeholder’s non-functional requirements. (Quality requirements)
- Determine customers perceived risks for blockchain implementations
- Document any compliance requirements such as GDPR
- Identify any performance requirement such as Transactions per Second (TPS)
- Diagram workflows for the proposed applications.
Keep a workshop scheduled for no more than a day is what I recommend. Short, educational, productive and enough to establish your the trusted adviser.
Blockchains when deployed will replace hardware, software, services and even people. A permissioned blockchain will also introduce new hardware and software, services and people.
The reality is that as company earnings get more desperate, the executives get more creative. You as the front line for your organization driving revenue need to be considering your business for the next few years and how much could be disrupted by blockchain. You also should consider how you can grow your business because of blockchain.
Get enabled, analyze your customer base and become the trusted adviser. The blockchain market is small and there is no better time to get enabled than now.
Joe Holbrook, The Cloud Tech Guy.