By Neil Smith
Is selling technology based products and services really a challenge or is it just a blockage in the mind of sales rep? Selling anything that is not well known will always be a challenge but we feel some of the difficulties faced by reps in technology sales are their own doing. Following are a few reasons why technology sales seems to be difficult and how the selling process supports that myth!
Lack of product knowledge – when a sales rep calls a decision maker it takes around 20 to 30 sec for the decision maker to decide if they are in need of the product that the rep is offering. This is possible when the sales rep has thorough knowledge of his product or service. Prospects ward off the call when the sales rep mumbles about the product without any clarity. A successful sales professional takes around 2 hours to prepare an effective prospecting offer which will ideally be of 45 words
Hurrying through the process – most sales reps have a tendency to push the prospect for an appointment during the first call as soon as they find out that the prospect has a need for the product or service offered by them. But most of the prospects won’t be sales ready in the first call itself. The best way to handle the situation is to call each prospect every 3 to 4 weeks and not spend more than 45 seconds on each call until they are sales ready. In fact forcing a prospect leads to a negative impression and costs you the sale around 14% of the time
Tailored approach – if the sales rep approaches the line managers who are influencers but not decision makers then his approach should be tailored based on the end user and not the decision maker. Some prospects want to know what a product or service can do for them, they want to know whether the feature fits their requirement or not. Instead of highlighting what it can do for them, most of the sales reps just try to educate prospects about product features
Establishing rapport – it’s not a good approach to deal with prospects just on the basis of presentations, logical reasons, supporting documents, specifications and economic facts or figures. Prospects have their own panel, which includes engineers and senior level management who have their own point of view. Thus they deal with sales reps that they completely trust and respect. Only a few salespeople know how to establish rapport with the prospect during the first 30 mins of a meeting and carry forward it further
Weaker closures – most salespeople are under the impression that with enough product knowledge, a prospect can logically decide that their product or service is adding value and worth buying. The best sales reps close a sale after the prospect has effectively closed himself. They build upon the dozens of mutual agreements along the sales process. The sum of these is the final closed sale.
Technology sales reps often have strong product knowledge and are weak in terms of the sales process. Thus technology sales seem to be difficult. A technology sale becomes easy when the sales process is understood and implemented effectively.
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