Tech Trends: A Download from DLL Tech Solutions 

Aug 3, 2021


DLL’s Tech Solutions Global Business Unit President, Rick Trobman, reflects on new ways to meet partner and customer expectations in the digital work environment.

In what felt like the blink of an eye, the very foundation for how we develop, build and maintain business relationships disappeared. Meeting customers and prospects at their offices, or in restaurants and bars, was simply how business got done. Since March of 2020, almost every company has been forced to reevaluate their customer-facing meeting strategy and ask, “How do we continue to create, nourish and grow relationships in a virtual environment?”

When our global leadership team dug into this, we saw both an urgent need and a clear opportunity. A sales leader’s primary responsibility is to ensure that their teams have the products, tools and skills that best serve the needs of their customers. As the COVID-19 pandemic unfolded and the immediate disruption to customer engagements became evident, we realized the need to provide our sales teams with new ways to work as well as new tools and skills. Our sales teams needed support to make the shift to selling confidently and effectively in a virtual environment. The big question was: how can we create the right atmosphere to have meaningful conversations with our partners and their customers? Amidst pandemic lockdowns, “Zoom fatigue” and 100% remote work, answering this question required some highly creative thinking.

The big question was: how can we create the right atmosphere to have meaningful conversations with our partners and their customers?"

One way that our Tech Solutions team found success was through a bracket-style sales competition. This initiative transcended geographies, as over 115 sales members from 30 countries were competing for fame, glory and a chance to win a gold medal. Our account managers held roleplay-style, virtual sales calls with DLL volunteers from around the globe. Using fictional personas, account managers were given a customer problem statement and a goal as to how they could help the customer meet their objectives. Volunteers were also given personas on their character, along with business challenges and opportunities for the account manager to address. Each call was observed by a sales leader who, in conjunction with the buyer, provided feedback to the account manager on their strengths, areas of improvement and ultimately rated them on their performance. In addition, each of the virtual sales calls were recorded, thus providing sales reps and their managers a treasure trove of information regarding strengths, areas for improvement and significant opportunities for coaching, learning and skill development.

By taking this approach, we were able to help the sales community practice and improve listening, selling and customer problem solving skills and to provide training and support to maximize their efficiency – all while strengthening community through a little friendly competition. We found this exercise to be incredibly beneficial in providing better support for our partners. As a provider of partner-delivered customer payment solutions, our success is driven by a vendor partner’s sales reps having the trust and confidence in their DLL account manager. It is critical that our sales reps demonstrate their ability to have meaningful discussions with customers about the objectives that a payment solution can support. We are a sell-through model, so being able to improve our commercial skills in turn helps our partners sell more technology. Truly a win/win!

Deepening relationships with partners and customers requires continuous work and innovation. We remain committed to being a relationship business no matter the circumstances.