March 16, 2010
Founder and President, TechniCon
Tony is helping to drive the trend toward “mass customization” of products over the Web. Some of the world's foremost manufacturers have embraced his technology to sell millions of products online, yet customized for specific customer needs. What Dell did for made-to-order PCs, Tony wants to do for the commerce of all complex products.
What He Sells
TechniCon sells Web-based catalog and configuration tools for manufacturers and distributors of complex products, like cars, furniture and electronics. Customers such as Acuity Brands, Lutron and Teknion use the technology to let their customers, sales staff and design engineers easily assemble and customize products in a virtual environment. From product and parts catalogs to quote and order creation, TechniCon helps customers increase sales, streamline their sales processes and eliminate order errors.
His first sales challenge is geography. The Oakland-based company’s clients tend to be large manufacturers in the industrial mid-west and east coast, making continuous travel cost prohibitive.
The second challenge is relationship building. Nearly 100 percent of new customer leads stem from inbound Internet marketing campaigns, where there’s no pre-existing relationship or familiarity from which to base the engagement. Prospects tend to be senior sales or marketing executives within large companies, where relationships mean everything. And with the sales cycles typically taking 6 to 18 months, building a strong relationship is both a considerable investment and a sustained effort for TechniCon. “We need to qualify each other. If we’re going to make that kind of investment in a customer, we need to make sure we’re a good fit first,” said Tony.
How Glance Helps
Glance enables Tony’s sales team to engage prospects and begin the qualification process instantly. The fast and lightweight screen sharing tool allows sales reps to give a quick intro to the company’s history and expertise. And once the two parties mutually decide to move forward, the reps can accurately demonstrate online how TechniCon’s solution can serve their e-commerce needs.
Glance has helped Tony’s sales team win more business by establishing instant credibility with prospects, thanks to its simplicity and reliability. “You only get one shot to make a good first impression,” he said. “I’ve used WebEx, GoToMeeting and other presentation tools with disastrous results. They’re just too complex and crash-prone to facilitate open and direct conversation. Glance is like a dial tone. It’s always there. It always works. And it doesn’t get in the way. It’s been absolutely flawless,” he said.
Glance has also helped the company realize big savings in travel expenses. The long lead times and many relationship-building steps required by his clientele has been streamlined with Glance. “There are a lot of product engineering and data questions that need to be answered up front. With Glance, we can do a number of Web-based demonstrations and answer many questions before we get on a plane to close a deal. Our customers like it because they can see how our company operates and how our solution works without any effort on their part,” Tony said.
Founded in 1987, TechniCon is a leading provider of e-commerce solutions for complex products. Combining over a decade of experience developing product specification and sales automation software with leading-edge Internet and visualization technology, TechniCon has developed interactive sales and configuration systems for a wide range of manufacturers, including Acuity Brands, Cooper Industries, and SMC. TechniCon (www.TechniCon.com) is headquartered in Emeryville, CA with additional offices in St. Louis, MO.
Glance is a simple, quick-connecting screen-sharing tool designed to help sales pros maximize every conversation within all steps of the sales cycle; prospect, demo, close and support. The Arlington, Mass.-based company’s technology is used by thousands of companies worldwide. For more information, or to sign up for a free, 7-day trial, visit www.glance.net or call 1-888-945-2623.