The role of sales has undergone much transition, largely driven by changes in consumer demands and technology advances.
Increasingly, consumers want to be aligned with companies that have a sustainable purpose. It’s this need which has sparked the evolution of values based selling.
I was recently asked how I came to advise accountants when I’d never been a practising accountant. It got me thinking. I’m now into my fourth year at Xero. My main role is to support our accounting and bookkeeping partners with their move to Xero and the cloud.
I’ve noticed that accountants and bookkeepers don’t need help with their technical skills. What they do need is someone to challenge their old ways of thinking. They need someone who is human and can understand their business and the challenges they face. They need data and insight into the industry so they can stay competitive.
As account managers, we can provide awesome value to our partners around the world through data and industry insight. We’re passionate about our mission to help the small business economy thrive.
Xero is a truly inspiring place to work. It’s a workplace where people actually live the values we hold. Those values are what influences our sales process. They’re not just words on a wall somewhere, they’re a decision framework which we utilize every day
Our first value is #Human. This reflects the passion, the energy and the purpose that we bring to work with us every day. We are real people. We truly want to make a difference to the global economy. We do that by delivering what our partners’ need: first-class support, education, tools, and advice.
Our second value is #Beautiful. This brings us back to building beautiful software and delivering beautiful experiences.
What do we mean by beautiful experiences? We mean making every interaction with our partners and customers engaging and inspiring. We aren’t perfect and we’ll never please everyone. But we deliver as many beautiful experiences as we can. This is through our product, our teams and our interactions with you at Xero events, over the phone and in meetings.
Our third value is #Challenge. The Xero account management teams have access to a huge amount of data on what’s changing in the accounting and bookkeeping industry.
We each work with hundreds of firms in our respective locations around the world. This gives us a unique perspective and valuable insight into what is driving change. We see what is and isn’t working, what things our partners need to focus on, and what education will speed up your development.
We have software and algorithms to help us work out what’s happening. But the real understanding comes from interacting with partners, their stories and feedback.
Their experience reveals common patterns and trends which we can share with partners everywhere.
Traditional sales models focus on extracting as much from customers and partners as possible. But our sales teams strive to create as much value as we can. We train, support, advise and challenge the accountants we work with to think differently.
Traditional thinking is not going to keep a firm profitable and competitive in this new world. It’s our job to challenge the traditional norms and challenge our partners to try new things. We also challenge our own colleagues and superiors about the way we do things.
The next value is #Champion. Here at Xero we champion small business. We are leading an industry and with that comes a huge amount of responsibility.
We’re creating a huge opportunity for accountants and bookkeepers to thrive and grow.
The recent Xerocon event in Australia was attended by 1500 accounting professionals. They turned up to learn about the industry and the massive ecosystem that is growing around Xero.
We also had more than 85 add-on partners there. Each offers tools and services which complement and work with Xero. It was wonderful to see partners engaging with each other, sharing ideas, and helping each other solve common problems.
But it can be difficult to navigate change, select the appropriate people to work with, and create business processes that will cause minimal disruption. There are many partners and a never-ending supply of information to sort through.
This is where your account manager can be one of your most valuable assets. We can be a true business partner and help you sift through the noise. We can give you clear direction on the rights steps for your firm to take, the right people to work with, and generally guide you in the right direction.
Our final value is #Ownership. I love this value because it keeps everyone accountable. I love the industry, the people, the visionaries and the part Xero plays in it.
Inside Xero, we take ownership of our individual roles. We also take ownership as a company to help change the industry. But it’s up to everyone, including our partners, to take ownership of their situation as well.
As the saying goes ‘you can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make it drink’. Accountants and bookkeepers need to own the responsibility to instigate change. When that happens, you’ll get all the support you need from Xero and your account manager.
Helping partners become modern, connected advisors gets us up in the morning and gives us purpose.
If you want to bring about change, the first connection you need to make is with your account manager at Xero. This way you’ll help your small business clients thrive and become a truly connected advisor.
We’re here to help, to challenge, to offer insights and advice, and to deliver beautiful experiences to you and your clients.