Tag: IT

Secrets to Selling Technology

Lori Cornmesser Sales VP

High-tech sales often comprises both intangible and complex sales. Many solutions are invisible as they run in the background and most people do not know that they even exist.

Stating that someone is associated within the high-tech sector or industry is an ambiguous statement in this time, as most organizations use technology for all most all business operations. Everything from engineering solutions, cars, phones, and legal services use technology as vital part of their work. You may not consider yourself to directly be “in technology”, but if you are in sales, you ay be selling solutions that involve technological services or programs at some point in time.

There are different types of people involved in the procurement of high-tech solutions and systems. If you were selling Customer Relations management software to a client, certain buyers may be involved in the decision making process to evaluate the necessity. Such positions include: The CEO, Finance/accounting, sales staff, VP of Sales, training department, and the IT department.

It is important to know how to explain the product to each position and level in terms that will appeal most to them in terms of how they will directly use and benefit from said high-tech solution. Communication is key as always, but it is important to do your homework in regards to knowing who you will be speaking with.

Most sales team members are comfortable communicating with one or two of these types of groups. The best salespeople have a strategy to address the needs of each type of group, which is unique and directly applicable to each buyer. Remember, you are selling to multiple buyers and creative communication is imperative as everyone must see the upside of the product.

Having an understanding of the market and niche is absolutely critical. Learning about any unique circumstances, competition, and business processes of the target marked is very important. This research and preparation better equips salespeople to address all the needs of the market as a whole.

It is also important to know all the applications and limitations of your product or solution. This requires spending time with the engineers to get the ins and outs of exactly what your product can offer. Being prepared to answer tough questions in a positive, constructive way is crucial to success.

Other things to think about are problem solving, consulting, and project planning skills. You are your own manager and team member; many large high-tech sales deal will need many people on their teams to help close a sale. Once the deal has been made, a need to continue monitoring the interaction is needed to ensure that the promises made are being carried out. This is the secret to being a great salesperson: it is not a one-stop shop. You are creating a conversation; an invitation for the buyers to return as a client or as a friend. Networking is a solid best practice within high-tech product sales.

The Future of IT Sales

Lori Cornmesser, IT Sales, Corporate

 

At a recent Micro Cloud Summit conference, Gartner’s analyst Tiffani Boca discussed a special Gartner report titled, “The Future of IT Sales.” Based on multiple surveys of IT buyers at large organizations, several key features were pointed out about what it will take to close cloud services deals in the future.

Focusing on benefits is a key shift in selling as one moves the discussion away tom features. While this sounds cliche, or something from Sals 101, this advice is often pushed aside. Maybe the fact that service features are asker to come up with than benefits make it easier to discuss. Features are attributes f the produce and service, while benefits reflect the impacts of that produce or service, directly related to the customer. This does require a bit more thought. In the future, buyers will be much more focused on the benefits and successful cloud selling will mean talking up the benefits.

A second important aspect of cloud selling is building trust and communicating differentiation by using customer case studies. Unlike selling hardware, cloud services are not as commoditized and have real differences in quality of service, levels of serve, and features. Gartner found that by using customer case studies, communication differentiation and creating trust has been revolutionized as high effective way to sell the product. Make sure existing customers are delighted and then trumpet that success to your prospects and other customers.

Keep in mind the decision maker. Vars are used to selling to IT management, however the future of IT sales is not necessarily in the IT/IS department. While IT may be called in to vet solutions, it has shown that the decision is increasingly being driven by line management. In this case the implications are that you need to speak the language of the functional business lines. In the future, be prepared to speak the specific language of vertical markets and function business units.

Resellers need to move to cloud via evolutionary steps. Sales people need to become more consultative in their approach. Sales management needs to envelop knew compensation programs for their sales representatives. marketing needs to revamp materials for cloud serves as accounting needs to implement recurring billing models. Operations needs to develop first line support capabilities and finally, top management needs to fully support these essential shifts within each department. It is important to remember that these changes cannot happen overnight. There is one very important caveat: Much like the dinosaurs, failure to evolve to quickly adapt to a changing ecosystem will leave many resellers extinct. The time is now to start the move to the future of IT sales.