Reduce Customer Perception of Risk: Animated EDI 850 PO Inbound With BPEL

What makes a solution real for potential customers?  How do your reduce a customer's perception of risk associated with your proposal?

When you are asking a customer to make a change, even with a solid business case, it is sometimes helpful to be able to walk the customer through a solution

The example shown to the left animates a B2B integration platform which enables STP (straight thru processing) of EDI 850 purchase orders, and shows the step-by-step transformation from public document to a document that can be understood by the customer's ERP system.  (Business process-based solutions are especially amenable to being demonstrated by animation.)

Over time, it is possible to build up a library of animation templates that can be easily and quickly customized to show any customer scenario.  You'd be amazed at how hours of conversation can be captured in an animation lasting a few minutes. 

If you show the full screen animation, you'll also notice the simple notes around "POC Case No. 1 Agenda".  There is a very specific Objective (in this case successful insertion of the PO into the ERP system).  And there are two Checklist items to watch ("mappings" and "transformations").  You can use simple things such as the Agenda, Objectives and the Checklist to help guide your sales discussion

Here are a couple of comments:

(1) From a cost of sales perspective, these animations are relatively inexpensive and can be made using common office software, even though the results are quite professional.

(2) From a customer perception of risk perspective, these animations show how a solution is complete and correct.  And each step can be examined in detail if necessary.

The result of this exercise for a properly qualified customer is that the customer should have a much more concrete sense of the reality of your solution!  And concrete can translate into a "maybe I can move forward because this is real" mindset.  You still might need a POC, but a well-managed integration POC should lead to new business most of the time.

There is no right solution for selling complex, pioneering technology, but a library of sales tools can be helpful in various unique customer circumstances.  Sales tools never remove the need for proper strategic sales development in the executive suite.  They are just another "arrow in your quiver".

Good selling!

P.S.  Here are three more B2B schematics (not currently animated) which will give you more ideas on using graphics to convey powerful ideas (click Page Down for new material):

Build Business With BPEL -- Four Scenarios