ICONDA Solutions

Consulting, Training and Workshops for Customer-Facing Teams
 

How’s Your Customer-Facing Team Getting On?

Customer-Facing Teams include Sales, Marketing and Applications Engineers, of course, but also Product Engineers and Developers in many organisations. Whether customer support is their primary task or not, they face complex challenges. For example, how do they …

  • Get the attention of customers who are overwhelmed with information and other distractions?
  • Satisfy customers who are hoping for an out-of-the-box experience, even for the most sophisticated technology?
  • Simultaneously do a great job with customers while attending to a myriad other tasks ?

ICONDA offers Hands-On Consulting and Learning & Development Solutions …

Hands-On Consulting Solutions

We put our Technical Sales, Marketing and Applications expertise at your disposal, working either under your management or on a project basis. This is a good option if you need immediate help to deploy products and services.

You benefit from our experience in Hardware and Software technology together with the communication skills underpinning ICONDA’s Learning & Development Solutions.

Learning & Development Solutions

We provide Training and Workshops to boost the performance and wellbeing of your Customer-Facing teams, combining traditional and web-based techniques. These solutions are underpinned by a set of powerful tools, purpose-built for Customer-Facing situations.

This tool-based approach is built around the ICON9 system, the Process Communication Model and the Five-Minute Coach tools. By tailoring these complementary tools and methods to your situation, we enable your team to quickly integrate them into their professional lives.

Our Latest Post

The Customer-Facing Few

October 12, 2018

Consider what it takes to build an aircraft carrier and put it out to sea. Tens of thousands of contractors crossing multiple disciplines, organisations, states and countries are involved. Another ten thousand or so do the actual construction. About five thousand sailors then sail it out of port. Finally, a handful of pilots take to the sky.

And so the ultimate success of seventy to eighty thousand people depends on these few pilots – the only ones to actually make contact with the targets of the mission.

Your R&D, your production staff, your suppliers, your executives and their staff built this amazing product. But your customer-facing salespeople and engineers are the carrier pilots. They have a delicate task upon which everyone else’s future depends.

And so they can never be too well trained – never too well prepared.

 

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Team Building and Training as One Activity

Nowadays, classroom-based professional training is all about learning activities – labs, simulations, role plays, serious games, and so on. Over the past ten years, I would say, there has been a major shift away from subject matter lectures towards experimentation and coaching (the business of acquiring information and theory tends to be done online wherever possible). As well as a place for experimentation, classroom training also provides great opportunities for team building. Of...

Teledyne Dalsa Warding Off the Hurry Monster

The Hurry Monster (not to be confused with the Worry Monster – a cuddly toy – and the Panic Monster – a superb invention of Tim Urban’s) frightens us into rushing tasks that we would otherwise perform brilliantly. And he can have a disastrous effect on Customer Communication. He’s looming in the background of the above group photo, taken after a training on Excellence in Customer Communication at Teledyne Dalsa in Krailling, Germany, last month. Martin Grzymek’s, Teledyne Dalsa’s Director of...

Energy Control & Pre-Match Planning – the Axcelis example

Axcelis knows how to manage high energy with precision – its core business is the supply of ion implanters to the semiconductor industry. The company provides vital machines for the manufacturing process behind modern electronics. Axcelis certainly contributed to building the device with which you are reading these words! The training program that we’ve launched together aims to harness a different kind of energy – the human kind – and apply it with precision to the challenging task of...

Preparing for Customer Intimacy with Communication Training

KORTIQ knows that its Product Development Team – now busy creating advanced Convolutional Neural Network (CNN) solutions – is critical to winning customers and building long-term commercial relationships. It’s strong technical culture is an asset that it can be proud of and must exploit. Exposing this culture and the people who embody it is key to a business stratagem known as Customer Intimacy. To enable it, we launched a training program – Excellence in Customer Communication - at KORTIQ’s...

Metacommunication: the importance of talking about talking

Just as metadata means data about data, metacommunication is communication about communication[1]. When I complain about the media’s tendency to awfulize and terribilize, I am metacommunicating. Instead of explaining what I mean with long sentences and examples, I use a couple of simple, expressive words[2]. Metacommunication is important because communication is important. And just as you can’t get better at football if you don’t understand the abstract concepts of attack and defense, it’s...

Leadership and Resisting Other People’s Problems (3 of 3)

In a couple of recent posts, I suggested a magic spell to help you avoid taking on other people's problems: "And what would you like to have happen?". Assume that you've mastered this formula and have used it on a colleague who is now standing (spellbound) in front of you; how do you move them from their frozen state into one of action? In other words, now that they realise that you're not going to solve their problem for them, how do you help them decide what to do next? It's simple: you...

Leadership and Resisting Other People’s Problems II

As explained in a previous post, “And what would you like to have happen?” is a magic spell, taken from Clean Language and the Five-Minute Coach, that helps you inspire others to find their own solutions. When you cast the spell on someone, their desired outcome magically appears and they rush off to work out an action plan. Sometimes. Alas, as any Hogwarts student will tell you, magic spells only work if you know how to use them. When this particular one goes wrong, it’s a monkey that...

Leadership and Resisting Other People’s Problems

« Harry, do you know how this spreadsheet’s meant to work? ». It seems like a harmless question, but it’s really the beginning of a dangerous spell. Innocent in the ways of the Dark World, Harry responds, « Sure, what’s up? », then proceeds to spend the rest of the afternoon fixing someone else’s problem. But Harry’s no fool and quickly learns from his mistake. The next day, when he hears, « Hey, Harry, I reckon there’s a bug in your Excel script », he replies, « Really? And what would you...

Leading Your Technical Sales Support Leaders

If you are running some kind of technical sales support team – a field applications organisation, a sales engineering group or maybe an R&D team that does direct customer support – then one of your major concerns is probably to ensure that your engineers are able to respond to customers’ technical needs. My guess is that if you, your reports or even your customers were asked to describe their image of this team, the word ‘expert’ would quickly surface. However, through my work with...

Technical Sales Support Outside the Comfort Zone

I recently had a conversation with a Customer–Facing Engineer about what to do when a customer expects answers about topics outside of one's area of expertise (I use the generic term, "Customer-Facing Engineer" – CFE – because this case is relevant to any engineer, whether their main role is customer support or not. In fact, this CFE was a Field Applications Engineer). To find useful ways of coping with the dilemma of being in a position of technical authority but not having all the answers –...

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