Analogies to the automotive industry in IT are as old as IT itself. Many CxOs have used cars to visualize complex technology topics or issues. SAP CEO Christian Klein is no exception: to illustrate what digital transformation is capable of, he chose the example of Porsche’s car selling process.
SAP’s software offers unique opportunities to renew and optimize processes. Christian Klein decided that the best way to showcase the software’s capability would be to explain the order, production and delivery process of a fictional car.
His presentation did not only center around the process, but also around the wishes and needs of the fictional customer. The best selling experience only becomes possible by using – you guessed it – SAP software. While Christian Klein mentioned the software’s superiority, he didn’t use too many technical terms or product names. His keynote was stringent and comprehensive, showing SAP’s newly whetted appetite for innovation.
Why even write about it, then, if it was such an all-around success? It wasn’t in front of a live audience, filled with thousands of prospective and existing customers alike, some of them maybe having thought about getting a car recently. It was in front of a virtual audience, the majority of which are existing SAP customers.
Know your audience, Christian Klein!
Every last one of them probably knows how a sales process works, how it could work better, and what they would have to optimize to make digital transformation possible. There are countless virtual and practical examples, and most SAP customers know about their company’s shortcomings and options. They usually don’t need coaching in their own field. Car salespeople know about their options, and the sales process in e.g. the pharmaceuticals industry is completely different.
What all SAP customers need, however, is a stable ERP platform, a comprehensive S/4 Hana roadmap, and reliable tools – all three of which Christian Klein only briefly touched upon in his keynote.
Know your audience! It’s highly doubtful that SAP customers watched Christian Klein’s Sapphire keynote to learn how a sales process works. They expect tools to help them build up know-how and skills. SAP is supposed to help make companies more efficient and successful, not sell them a car.