With technology advancing every day, digital transformation is rightfully on everyone’s mind. It’s certainly an exciting time, especially if you’re selling these technology solutions to businesses who need them. To succeed as a salesperson today, you’ll need to have a deep understanding of the technology you’re offering and the impact it will make. You also need to be able to connect this technology with your customer’s needs in a relevant way. While new, shiny technology may be great to admire from afar, people will only pay for something that can provide value and help them solve a problem.
Technology Sales, unlike traditional sales, is solution driven. This means that you need to tailor-make a technical solution to each customer. Since no two businesses are alike, each project you work on will be unique. Your job is to identify the most impactful solution for your customer, and at the right price point. The technical solution you propose could be any unique combination of hardware (such as servers, storage, networks), software (such as operating systems, programming languages, commercial off-the-shelf products) and services (such as applications, analytics, Cloud services).
As technology solutions become increasingly complex and involve multiple integration points, you should be working with an ecosystem of partners to support your solution. Partner ecosystems could be specific solution partners, COTS vendors, hardware partners, and so on. When they come together, a partner ecosystem will help in creating powerful, relevant solutions for your customers. So as much as you invest time into your clients, you should also be focusing on deepening relationships with your partners. At the end of the day, you’ll be consulting closely with them on solutions that you propose to your customers.
Before you even approach a potential customer, ask yourself if they’re the right fit for the technology you’re able to offer. I’d recommend consulting with your teams to create a Qualification Checklist if you don’t have one already. This simple tool will make sure your company is investing time, effort, and focus on the right deals with the right clients.
A Qualification Checklist would cover three broad categories: your company’s ability to deliver, ability to win, and willingness to pursue the deal. Here are some factors you should look out for.
Willingness to Pursue:
Ability to Win:
Ability to Deliver:
Go through this checklist in detail and make sure that your potential client is a good fit for your company and the solutions you’re able to offer.
Bear in mind that there are other factors that play a role in the dynamics of the deal, and can impact your sales approach or strategy. Nowadays, clients expect service providers to be quite flexible and innovative with financial models for projects. This is to ensure that business case is met and you are providing the right value for what they are paying. A revenue share model is a good example of different financial models that your client might expect.
This ties to another expectation that your potential client may have: Is the service provider putting the “skin in the game”? They want you to truly commit to the project outcomes. Are you able to assure your client that you can commit to timelines, meet Service Level Agreements, ensure high quality of deliverables?
As a service provider, you should make innovation theme central to the solution you provide to your client. Your client will expect you to drive innovation at scale and speed. They want to know that you understand their business and how technology can make things better. Take a consultative approach and drive the initiative to make a strong impression.
In the digital age you’ll find that increasingly, non-traditional players are emerging as competition. While they don’t have the size or scale of a traditional service provider, they’re usually able to deliver at lower prices and a faster pace. This could be a serious threat. Are you able to make your company’s value proposition clear to your clients, while positioning yourself competitively with these non-traditional players? Factor this into your sales approach.
Once you’ve found the right clients and understand the overall sales approach you’ll need to apply, it’s time to put together a winning deal.
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