Working with competitors in the digital services market: the rules to follow from Vchasno

According to Gartner, 60% of companies that use digital services are dissatisfied with their choice. Therefore, every company that offers software solutions should be prepared for the fact that its customers will sooner or later look for alternatives.

Can you work with competitors’ clients to mutual benefit? Vchasno believes you can. Read on for tips on how to make it happen.

We don’t compete, we work together to solve the client’s problems

Vchasno is an ecosystem of digital services for businesses. Our global objective is to streamline document processing and demonstrate that digital document workflow is a more efficient alternative to the traditional paper-based method. And if a client finds that using a few different services makes their work better, we’re all for it!

We try to avoid using the word “competitors” and say “business colleagues” instead. Because we do compete at certain stages, but we cooperate globally to speed up the development of the digital document market.

As an illustration, our Vchasno.ODE electronic document workflow system permits users to digitally sign documents using not only Vchasno.KEP electronic signatures, but also keys from other providers. Furthermore, Vchasno.TTN electronic consignment notes: can be transferred between providers, with a single consignment note created in one service being received and signed in another. This cooperation has led to an increasing number of companies joining the electronic document workflow.

Understand the customer’s needs before offering a product

When we start working with a client who is already utilizing digital services, we analyze which of the client’s tasks our product can address. At Vchasno, we adhere to a strict policy: we do not sell our product if it doesn’t solve the client’s problem.

Furthermore, we frequently integrate our product with other platforms. Sales managers often have a negative attitude towards competitors’ products. However, experience has shown that if you take a broader look at the client’s needs, you can identify opportunities for all parties. The client may choose another provider, but by combining services, they will achieve a better result. And they will undoubtedly appreciate it.

One example of such cooperation is our project with Nova Poshta. Initially, the company had its own electronic document workflow provider. However, this was a fee-based service that failed to cover 50% of Nova Poshta’s customers.

We proposed a business model where all electronic documents were free for Nova Poshta customers. This allowed the company to transfer 95% of its customers to electronic document workflow. We assisted Nova Poshta in digitalizing its customers, and they in turn assisted us in scaling our market presence.

Read also: Nova Poshta’s wins: the results of using electronic document workflow over a year

We view the use of our services by our competitors as an achievement. Our market competitors face the same challenges in their work as many of our other clients. That is why our competitors use Vchasno’s services to cover their own electronic document needs.

Optimize what is perceived to be obvious

When Vchasno was developing its sales strategy a few years ago, the electronic document workflow market was dominated by a single major player. We concluded that following a similar business model would not result in success. Therefore, it was necessary to introduce a novel approach.

At that time, electronic document workflow was primarily utilized by accountants. We therefore developed a range of products to address the needs of other departments within companies. These included electronic contracting for lawyers and senior managers, HR ODE for HR managers, and so on. This enabled us to identify customers who were already using other accounting software and to expand the use of electronic document workflow within companies.

We strive to optimize what is already deemed obvious. This is the guiding principle we adhere to in our collaboration with customers, as well as in the development of our products.

For instance, when working with electronic documents, a significant number of our clients experienced difficulty signing them. This was due to a range of issues, including losing their electronic signature keys, forgetting passwords, and so forth.

We developed Vchasno.KEP, a cloud-based electronic signature solution, to address these issues . The solution allows customers to sign documents in a mobile application using Face ID.

Rules of fair competition: tips for sales managers

It has become a widely accepted principle that modern customers do not simply purchase products, but rather select them. Vchasno presents its values from the outset of communication with customers. In order to move from competition to cooperation, we advise sales managers to adhere to the following principles:

It is unprofessional to disparage competitors. No product can be considered perfect; even world-renowned products fail to meet 100% of customer needs.

It is not advisable to discuss your competitive advantages directly with potential clients. It is common for clients to request that managers explain the benefits of their product at the outset of a business relationship. Please refrain from doing so. The digital services market is undergoing rapid development, with companies continually enhancing their products and introducing new solutions. If you lack the necessary information, you may appear unprofessional to the client.

Instead of listing the benefits, ask the client to describe their problems. Together with them, determine which product will best address their needs.

Prioritize being useful to your customers and then sell. Modern clients are so well informed that they no longer require the services of a manager. Prior to making a purchase, customers conduct thorough research and only then contact the sales manager. Do not assume that you will be able to reveal something new to the client.

A sales manager’s primary role is that of a consultant. It is therefore important to gain as much information as possible about the client’s business and needs in advance, and to be able to advise on how you can be of service to them.

Strive to enhance the value of your competitive advantages. At Vchasno, our products are not merely programs for electronic document workflow. They also include comprehensive service and support. It is the responsibility of the sales manager to ensure that this is made clear to the client from the first meeting.

After the meeting, the client always comes to a decision—the manager should be aware of this pattern. Once the meeting is over, send the client case studies of successful projects or other useful materials.

It is important to maintain communication with the client even after the deal is closed. Many managers believe that once a customer has purchased a product, they will become a lifelong customer. However, this is not always the case.

To retain customers over the long term, it is essential to ensure that your product consistently delivers the desired result. It is important to agree with the customer on the desired outcome and to discuss this with them on a monthly basis. This enables you to ascertain their satisfaction with the service and boost customer loyalty.

Even if the company has chosen another product after negotiations, it does not necessarily mean that the customer is lost. Monitor the results of a digital service introduction and provide expert opinion to your client. This will be appreciated later on.

Join Vchasno sales team!

We are actively growing, so we are looking for specialists.
You will have to do the most amazing things, help customers and sometimes hear them say Wow!
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