Information technology sales leads can be difficult to convert to sales, but in "Key Strategies for Technical Sales" an interview with Babette Ten Haken, the author of Do You Mean Business? sheds light on the challenge of landing technology sales.
Babette identifies one of the biggest challenges facing salespeople as they try to land technology sales leads as an innate fear of technology professionals. Dealing with technology professionals often requires salespeople to stretch themselves and step outside of their comfort zone. Sticking to safe, repeat or standard, customers allows salespeople to use their comfortable sales methods and, "because they 'play it safe,' they leave lots of sales dollars on the table.
To overcome this fear and stretch your sales methods, "think about the typical sales call a normal salesperson has with an engineer – and how data-driven it is. If you use corporate messaging, you’re in trouble. Instead, you need to be speaking from knowledge you’ve gained from your own research on industry and technical trends, your prospective company’s position in the competitive marketplace.
And you can’t sling the lingo without really understanding what it means. If so, engineers see right through that in a heartbeat and start questioning your knowledge. Now to be fair, they do this with each other as well. They second-guess and constantly professionally validate the technical positions they support. Why? It makes their technical solutions more robust."
Becoming comfortable and knowledgeable will go a long way to not only easing a salespersons fears, but also to making them more effective in technology sales. The level of knowledge and comfort required to land information technology sales leads can be time consuming and costly to foster in-house. If you are at a place where you are looking to branch into technology sales, you may want to consider partnering with a sales consulting firm. This partnership gives you access to sales experts who have had proven sucess.
To read the full interview with Babette Ten Haken, click here.