Shawn Ostheimer Speaks on How to Grow a Business and Adapt in the Digital Era during Panel at Sage Summit Atlanta
VANCOUVER, BC, June 06, 2017 – Sage Summit Atlanta was a huge success in the international Sage Summit Tour, which has hit Australia, U.K., Singapore and South Africa so far this year before heading to Canada next month. Known for being an inspiring conference that evokes thought leadership, Sage Summit gives businesses the opportunity to preview new technology, meet leaders in the industry and hear from experts. Shawn Ostheimer, President and founder of The Answer Company, and Andrew Nunez of SWK sat down in a panel hosted by Allan Adler, Managing Partner of Digital Bridge Partners, to discuss how the digital era has transformed their businesses and their dynamic with customers.
The Answer Company has been in business for over 25 years, and has doubled in size in the last 3 years alone. Ostheimer was transparent about the hurdles that his team faces given the necessity for constant change and adaptation in the industry but despite that, his company still continues to grow and stand at the forefront of the industry with new products, approaches and ideas. He didn’t try to sugar coat the facts, and it was clear that the audience appreciated his honesty.
In the last ten to fifteen years there have been significant changes in technology, with a particular emphasis on the introduction of iPhone and cloud into the market. Ostheimer describes that the breadth of information available has allowed businesses looking for software to arrive more educated in terms of what they want and what’s available. He describes, “Buyers are coming in more sophisticated…they’re no longer just evaluating software. They’re evaluating if they can have the kind of relationship with you that they want. They’re evaluating whether you have the expertise and the knowledge to be able to do that.”
Buyers have a tendency to educate themselves through multiple sources before they have contact with a partner in person, whether it’s the company website or social media. You might think that having a more knowledgeable buyer would make sales easier, but “digital doesn’t all of a sudden mean selling is easy”, explains Ostheimer, “it’s not [easier], it’s just different”.
Just as technology has changed, so have the offerings and services provided by Sage Partners; partners are consistently evolving to meet increasing demands and expectations of their clients. With the ever-growing prevalence of cloud, hybrid and on-premise private cloud solutions, Ostheimer discusses how The Answer Company has adapted & expanded to include Managed Services, giving clients additional IT support and enhanced security surrounding their systems.
A defining factor in The Answer Company’s ability to differentiate themselves as a leading Sage partner is their process, which focuses on working with clients to understand their business and pain points as opposed to just listening to what they think they need. Ostheimer emphasizes that, “the true art is in identifying what customers really need…part of our process and part of that journey is to help fundamentally uncover the pain, so that we can then describe what the solution to that pain is going to be”.
Beyond their process, Ostheimer is firm that his loyal and dedicated team are truly what makes the company successful. The consultants that implement a solution for clients are the same consultants that are giving support ten years down the line. “People buy from people,” he explains, “they want to build that relationship, they want to know that they are going to have somebody that they can really have as that trusted advisor and that’s really hard if you’re constantly dealing with someone new. It’s fundamentally impossible.”
Technology has revolutionized the industry and is keeping everyone on their toes, enabling buyers to be more knowledgeable and pushing partners to show their expertise. That said, it’s clear that tech isn’t replacing people or making things easier, but is actually making relationships more important.
This press release is also available Business Morning News.