The year 2018 was a milestone, with the blockchain technology emerging from the shadows of cryptocurrencies. The new year promises a lot of positive momentum, with the enterprises adopting blockchain. As the blockchain juggernaut advances, buyers are expecting the vendors to demonstrate all-around capabilities. The new year will be a defining one — for both the buyers and the vendors — in establishing their blockchain story.
In the race to the finish, vendors must equip themselves with top-notch blockchain skills. To prepare for the future, vendors need to develop all-around blockchain skills within the organization, starting with the five critical areas.
Underpinned by the strong focus on relationship building, the expectations from the executive leadership teams are constantly increasing. Buyers are critically evaluating the strength of the relationship based on the clarity of the vision, strategic outlook and the preparedness of the executive teams to steer the ship in unchartered territory. “We are evaluating blockchain technology” is no longer a sufficient and satisfactory response, when buyers are looking for strong partners.
To stay ahead of the competition and retain the edge with customers, vendor organizations’ training programs should acquaint their executive leaders with the know-how of the blockchain technology.
Marketing and sales
Marketing, the vital carrier of an organization’s message, would immensely benefit with an increased understanding of the blockchain technology. Curating the marketing content and materials for blockchain is easier said than done. Marketing doesn’t stop with inserting blockchain into the content and peppering it with high-sounding keywords. A marketing team with a thorough understanding of the blockchain technology will evoke the core purpose and the benefits of the solution. This would help the vendor organization stand differentiated in the increasingly crowding marketplace.
Sales, the most loved and hated function within an organization, is a critical make-or-break point for positioning the blockchain solutions with the buyer. Given the nascence, vendors have additional opportunities to co-create solutions with the buyers. A knowledgeable sales team aided by the strong background of the blockchain technology, its application and benefits, will have the latitude to explore new areas with the buyers.
Consulting is a great entry-level strategy for the vendors into the buyer’s blockchain initiatives. From management to technology consulting, organization maturity to roadmap development, and pilot to the product — blockchain consulting can take many avatars. Being the first execution touch-point, a strong consulting can potentially open doors for more opportunities, in addition to positioning vendor’s blockchain solutions.
It is, therefore, imperative for vendors, aspiring to get into blockchain space, to enable their consulting teams with the blockchain skills.
Pilot and delivery
Establishing strong credentials through the initial touchpoints like sales and consulting, will enable the vendor organizations to quickly transition the opportunity into a pilot and full-fledged delivery. Given the elevated level of interests in blockchain, the rapid transition into a pilot/delivery, tend to surprise the unprepared vendors. At a minimum, it would help vendors to have a key team — comprising of product management, engineering, and professional services skills — to be trained and ready for the blockchain initiatives.
Services and support
While post-delivery support and services may not be on the immediate agenda, it would aid the vendor’s arsenal to have trained staff readily available to take over, on completion of the implementation phase. In addition to serving as an additional revenue generating stream, blockchain-ready services and support teams will help complete the entire project lifecycle picture for the buyer.
The race for acquiring blockchain talent within organizations is heating up. Being an emerging technology, there aren’t enough supply of blockchain skills in the market, to fill the growing demand. This shouldn’t deter organizations from venturing into space. A well-planned skill development program should help tide the looming skill crisis. It’s time for execution now.
This article was first published at Entrepreneur.com