For our first TINShed of 2017, Anna Curzon, Chief Partner Officer of Xero, and Kate Reid, General Manager of Orion Health, spoke about Robust Sales & Marketing Strategies as a Driver of Growth. A few key themes emerged from the conversation that speak to the global success of both companies.
“Relationships are key and we have worked very hard to stop being the transactional vendor that delivers stuff and start to actually partner up to share risk and share success.”Kate Reid, Orion Health
After having created a product that successfully addresses the problems that their target markets have identified, both Xero and Orion Health have focused on being integral to the success stories of their clients and partners. Kate said, “I think New Zealanders are very good at strategic selling, but we probably underestimate the importance of building those really deep, strategic partnerships with our customers. If you don’t understand the problem that they’re trying to solve, you won’t be able to deliver against them. Relationships are key and we have worked very hard to stop being the transactional vendor that delivers stuff and start to actually partner up to share risk and share success.” Anna relates how Xero has built its brand identity through the stories its partners tell, “We are very focused on the EQ and the IQ — the EQ being the story telling, not about us but our partners and our customers — we do a lot of videos to tell their stories and to celebrate them. We also invest heavily in the IQ which is the very scientific nature of SEO and SEM, and invest heavily in Google […] It’s quite an interesting thing when you’re actually handing your brand to a community of partners and allowing them to tell stories about you and themselves […] it’s very much about the virility that we get through our amazing network because we know we can’t do this alone.”
“So while we started off creating beautiful software to help small business thrive, now we’re focusing on how we re-wire the small business economy globally because we know what a tremendous impact that will have.”Anna Curzon, Xero
Listening to Kate & Anna speak, both Orion Health and Xero approach their sales & marketing strategies in a top down way: first to ascertain what goal they want to achieve and then to figure out the most strategic way to get there. Kate said, “Our vision is to revolutionise global healthcare and make sure that every single individual gets the perfect care for them […] In the US we have to act differently because we are up against some of the world’s biggest healthcare technology companies they are aggressive, very well known and their brand identity is very well understood. As a New Zealand business coming through, we have to cut through the noise, and offer something different to change the game.” In the same way, Xero aims to revolutionise the global small business community, through the conduit of its accounting software. “For us at Xero it’s about creating more than just an accounting platform, it’s about building a business platform, in order to allow small businesses to connect to the finance, the partners, the tools and the advice they need to succeed […] So while we started off creating beautiful software to help small business thrive, now we’re focusing on how we re-wire the small business economy globally because we know what a tremendous impact that will have,” said Anna. Despite the vast differences in their products and markets, the similarities between Orion Health & Xero’s approach to sales & marketing strategies were striking.
Click through to the TIN100 YouTube channel, or watch the videos above to hear more from Anna and Kate.
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