In 2021, technology is one of the most dynamic and fast-growing sectors in the sales landscape. Tech sales require a unique skill set, but all of the fundamentals of sales still apply, with slight adjustments. You will need to show you are well-versed in technical concepts and use hard data, but you need to strike a balance between getting too bogged down in factual details and focusing on the bigger picture.
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Without further ado, here are 9 tips to succeed in the fast-paced world of tech sales.
Research is critical before any sales call or meeting, but this is particularly true for tech sales.
It is essential to brush up on the industry and the specific sector your prospect is working in and to be well versed in the language and concepts, and new developments in the business. It is also vital to have a thorough understanding of your prospect’s company, the problems they are facing, and their competition. You should also conduct some research about your specific contact, their place in the company, and the structure of the organization as a whole. This can help you request the necessary introductions and get in touch with the decision-makers or higher-ups at the company.
Though tech people are usually pretty detail-oriented and focused on concrete facts, you want to avoid the pitfalls of just listing out all your product’s features and benefits. This can quickly become monotonous and boring and tends to water down your central message. You want to focus on one essential benefit your product has that your prospects will remember, rather than an endless list of minor perks that they will quickly forget. Draw their attention to the unique ways your product solves their major pain point or problem instead of getting carried away talking about how great your product is.
This is one of the main discrepancies between sales in tech and in other industries. As a general rule, the more technical the sale and the prospect, the more you want to focus on data and hard facts rather than appeals to emotions. You always want to be precise and avoid vagueness in sales, however in some settings you want to avoid getting too bogged down in data points, as this can bore your prospects.
In tech sales, this is usually not a danger, as prospects are used to dealing in hard facts and will respond better to this type of argument. You should use data points to differentiate your product from the competition and to establish credibility for your product. There is often an added level of rigor when it comes to dealing with tech professionals. So be sure not to sound ‘salesy’, vague, or unprofessional.
This point is related to the last one - people who work in tech like to work with salespeople who understand the industry and have a general level of technical understanding. It’s a good idea to become proficient with terms in their industry and be able to speak their language. If you can demonstrate that you know about the issues they are dealing with and the technology they work with, you will develop a level of trust and credibility that will be sure to give you an edge over your competitors.
In tech sales, you are likely to find yourself in a competitive scenario. If so, you should address the competition early on and try to differentiate your product. Remember that a competitive sales situation is usually a good sign, as your prospect probably wouldn’t bring a rival into the conversation unless they were seriously thinking about choosing your product or service.
here are a variety of ways you can deal with competitors, such as bringing out their weaknesses and establishing credibility through testimonials and reviews. One important consideration is not getting bogged down in detailed comparisons about individual features, as this can lead to a potentially endless back-and-forth about every single feature. Instead try to position your project as entirely different, as a paradigm shift that addresses your customer’s problems in a way that competitors do not.
Learn more about how to deal with competitive sales situations here.
Storytelling is one of the oldest and most powerful forms of human communication, and its efficacy in sales has been proven time and again. Tech sales are no exception, and you should try to build a narrative around the product that your prospect feels connected to. Make them feel they are embarking on a journey that ends with satisfaction with your product.
Without persistence, none of the other qualities a salesperson needs are going to be of any use. Most prospects say no at least four times before saying yes, and tech professionals are no exception. Follow up, follow up to your follow-ups, and be polite but persistent. Timing is a very important factor to take into account for your follow-ups. Use your company’s historical sales data to determine what length of time before a follow-up gets the most results.
The world of tech sales is a fast-paced and competitive arena. To be successful, you need to know your product inside and out and do what it takes to win the business. You’ll be more successful by researching the best way to approach them, understanding their needs and wants, speaking in a language they understand, and addressing any competition. At the end of the day, tech sales is still sales, and the fundamentals like storytelling, focusing on value and pain points, and above all persistence, are as essential in tech as in any other sales endeavor.
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