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New Enterprise Engagement Referral Platform Tests New B2B Sales Model

MaritzCX, a leader in customer experience analytics and advisory services, co-founds the new Enterprise Engagement Advisory Network “Needs Referral” service launching Sept. 5. The goals: 1) to help educate, engage, and reward the growing number of consultants and agencies bringing complex, integrated engagement solutions to their clients and 2) to test a new crowd-sourced business referral platform for complex business-to-business solution selling in an increasingly inter-connected, networked gig economy. 


MaritzCX, Salt Lake City, Utah, is founding sponsor of the Enterprise Engagement Alliance’s new EEXAdvisors.com portal going live Sept. 5, 2019. The portal is an online marketplace version of the CEO’s Enterprise Engagement Toolkit to support the emerging Engagement Solution Provider (ESP) and Advisory marketplace. The new online information and referral service is designed to educate, engage, and reward the growing number of engagement agencies, consultants and independent advisors playing a key role in enterprise engagement decision-making and is open to all engagement solution providers and practitioners.
 
“Consultants and advisors are part of every large deal in our space, and now we want to give them a piece of the action. Other vendors would cut them out entirely, but we are the first to reward in real dollars by paying commissions on business, just like we would an in-house sales rep,” says Mike Sinoway, MaritzCX CEO. “This lets us innovate a new way to sell by breaking free from the traditional model of only paying commissions to full time, in-house sales people. We invite all EEA Advisory members to use the portal to send MaritzCX referrals in the customer, employee or patient experience space.”

The portal is designed to organize all of these opportunities for advisors in a single community, so that they can become informed about the entire field and then find the best solutions for their clients, according to Bruce Bolger, President of the Enterprise Engagement Alliance, which is producing the portal. “There is an old saying, ‘Nothing happens if no one sells. We believe that by creating a marketplace from which agencies, consultants, and advisors can profit, we can accelerate growth for the field of Enterprise Engagement and ISO human capital standards. EEXAdvisors.com is designed to make it easier for organizations to better align their engagement solutions by providing their trusted advisors a systematic, easy-to-read overview and analysis of the growing number and types of Engagement Solution Providers in this emerging field as well as a directory of leading companies in each category; general information about the type of solutions they provide, and specifically how they can help these trusted advisors address their clients’ needs.” Explains Bolger, “Our goal is to create a marketplace of ESPs, both literally and figuratively, who can help organizations apply a strategic and systematic approach to profiting in a sustainable way from human capital.” Participating solution providers will have an opportunity, he adds, to display key information about their services, benefits, business models, and referral programs in an easily searchable format, "so that agencies, consultants and advisors can help identify how they can best help their clients following a discovery process that identified needs."

The free EEXAdvisors.com service enables participating solution providers both to market their services to other engagement solution providers whose clients might require their services and to gain access to complementary services their own clients might need. Organizational practitioners also can use the service anonymously and for free to find solutions from the growing number of participating companies. There are already over 100 companies listed in about a dozen categories of engagement.
 

Testing a Crowd-Sourcing Solution for Complex Sales

Sinoway believes “The emerging field of Enterprise Engagement provides an opportunity to test a unique new sales model based more on crowd-sourcing and social media. Technology allows companies to evolve beyond the old full-time or independent sales rep model. Key word advertising was supposed to transform B2B marketing, but it has not because selling complex services such as customer experience analytics is not like selling headphones. In businesses like ours, customers often don’t know precisely what they are looking for or what solutions are available. Increasingly, people are seeking solutions through expert referrals, and the Enterprise Engagement Advisory Network EEXAdvisors.com platform is an opportunity to test this model over time by creating an informed community and easily accessible information support tools.”

Effective Sept. 5, 2019, the EEA’s current CEO’s Enterprise Engagement Toolkit online directory will move to a database-driven platform at EEXAdvisors.com specifically designed for the engagement marketplace, with expanded Company Profiles for ESPs participating in the referral program. The profiles will include about 300 to 400 words on each participating solution provider with images or video links and information that includes: Company’s formation date; key products and services; unique selling benefits; types of organizations served; skills/knowledge/information required to assist clients/qualifiers; questions to ask in the discovery process; tools and support provided to solution providers or “need” referrers; the business model; contact information; meta-tagging for search engine optimization; and an e-mail form to manage confidential outreach of someone with a “need” to a participating solution provider. The platform will be similar to the BrandMediaCoalition.com Brand Media Guide that helps brands, gift cards, and travel destinations educate the corporate marketplace on how to use their brands as a media in gifting, event, and reward programs.

EEA is not involved with the payments and receives no portion of them. 
 

A New Need for Alignment and Integration

According to Dr. Ron McKinley, co-founder of the International Center for Enterprise Engagement, which manages the Enterprise Engagement and ISO 10018 Certification program, and who until recently was head of human resources for the University of Texas Medical Center with over 14,000 employees in multiple locations, “This new service is designed to address the growing demand for a more strategic and systematic approach to engaging all stakeholders that requires greater integration and alignment of current tactics already employed to engage people. Organizations need strategic and tactical solution providers who know how to work together so that their solutions help other tactical solutions achieve better results, rather than compete for resources. The old ‘sales’ approach doesn’t work anymore in complex organization decisions; it’s about informing people to help them make better decisions that make solutions work more efficiently together, rather than pitting one solution against the other.”

Elaborates Sinoway, “The traditional business development process based on the old buying framework of identifying the need, finding the solutions, and narrowing down the vendors has become asymmetrical in the 21st-century world of B2B marketing. The current sales process actually reduces the credibility of the sales force, because the pressure is on to sell, even if it’s not the perfect solution for the client, and clients know this. Today, the best sales people are objective advisors that help clients make tangible sense of the intangible elements that go into any aspect of engagement.”

Sinoway believes his company is seeing more opportunities coming from independent consultants or agencies because “Complex business needs require investigation and relationship-building processes by people who often have to learn as they go. Besides customer experience analytics, CX solutions involve leadership and coaching, assessment and feedback, external and internal communications in every media, learning, collaboration and innovation, rewards and recognition, you name it. No one company or expert can supply all these solutions, and yet organizations increasingly need these tactics to talk to one another. If they don’t align their activities, they won’t get the desired return-on-investment or improvement in customer or employee experience.”
 

Could Other Complex Fields Benefit From the Same Model?

While Sinoway admits this new “needs” referral model is early-stage, he believes the engagement space provides a unique test for a more networked customer-focused approach to business development supported by social media and platforms such as EEXAdvisors.com and that other fields with similar characteristics could potentially benefit from a similar model. “Almost any industry with high-volume, complex sales; unpredictable buying patterns, and team decision-making lend themselves to the concept of creating an educated marketplace of experts who understand the different tactics, when a need is apparent, how to connect the dots, and with a means of making money from that value they provide.” In many respects, he concludes, “There already is a vast informal lead referral system in many fields in which people make connections and help their colleagues with useful information. Given that so many are now part of the ‘gig’ economy, why not make it easier for people to monetize this assistance?” 

For Information
Bruce Bolger
Enterprise Engagement Alliance 
914-591-7600, ext. 230
 

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Live Education: Enterprise Engagement in ActionTake advantage of scheduled monthly live webinar preparation courses for the Certified Engagement Practitioner designation consisting of three one-hour classes and of quarterly Advanced Engagement Practitioner courses consisting of three one-hour webinar classes. The AEP course is for individuals or teams seeking preparation ISO 10018 professional certification status. ICEE periodically runs regional one-day workshops on ISO 10018 Quality People Management principles and certification.

Resources: The Brand Media Coalition, the only guide to the story-telling power of brands and where to source them for business, event, promotional gifting, and rewards and recognition. 2019 Enterprise Engagement Solution Provider Directory. The only directory of engagement solution providers covering all types of agencies and tactics as well as insights on how to select them.
 
Communities: The  Enterprise Engagement Alliance and Advocate and the  Brand Media Coalition free resource centers offering access to the latest research, news, and case studies; discounts, promotions, referrals, and commissions, when appropriate to third-party solution providers from participating coalition solution provider members.
 
A CEO's Guide to Engagement Across the Enterprise cover
In Print: 
Written specifically to provide CEOs and their leadership teams a concise overview of the framework, economics, and implementation process of a CEO-led strategic and systematic approach to achieving success through people.  (123 pages, $15.99)

Enterprise Engagement: The Roadmap 5th Edition
The first and most comprehensive book on Enterprise Engagement and the new ISO 9001 and ISO 10018 quality people management standards. Includes 36 chapters detailing how to better integrate and align engagement efforts across the enterprise. (312 pages, $36.) 

Online:  
•  10-minute short course: click here for a 10-minute introduction to Enterprise
•  Engagement and ISO standards on Coggno.com.
•  5-minute Audiopedia summary of the Enterprise Engagement field.

Services: 
•  The International Center for Enterprise Engagement at TheICEE.org, offering: ISO 10018 certification for employers, solution providers, and Enterprise Engagement technology platforms; Human Resources and Human Capital audits for organizations seeking to benchmark their practices and related Advisory services for the hospitality field.ISO 10018 Cerfified. Quality People Management
•  The Engagement Agency at EngagementAgency.net, offering: complete support services for employers, solution providers, and technology firms seeking to profit from formal engagement practices for themselves or their clients, including Brand and Capability audits for solution providers to make sure their products and services are up to date.
•  C-Suite Advisory Service—Education of boards, investors, and C-suite executives on the economics, framework, and implementation processes of Enterprise Engagement. 
•  Speakers Bureau—Select the right speaker on any aspect of engagement for your next event.
•  Mergers and Acquisitions. The Engagement Agency’s Mergers and Acquisition group is aware of multiple companies seeking to purchase firms in the engagement field. Contact Michael Mazer in confidence if your company is potentially for sale at 303-320-3777.

Enterprise Engagement Benchmark Tools: The Enterprise Engagement Alliance offers three tools to help organizations profit from Engagement. Click here to access the tools.
•  ROI of Engagement Calculator. Use this tool to determine the potential return-on-investment of an engagement strategy. 
•  EE Benchmark Indicator. Confidentially benchmark your organization’s Enterprise Engagement practices against organizations and best practices. 
•  Compare Your Company’s Level of Engagement. Quickly compare your organization’s level of engagement to those of others based on the same criteria as the EEA’s Engaged Company Stock Index.
•  Gauge Your Personal Level of Engagement. This survey, donated by Horsepower, enables individuals to gauge their own personal levels of engagement.

For more information, contact Bruce Bolger at Bolger@TheEEA.org, 914-591-7600, ext. 230.

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