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Secrets to Selling Technology

Secrets to Selling Technology

Shane Gibson

One sector that often comprises both intangible and complex sales is the high-tech sector. Many of the solutions are literally invisible—they run in the background and the majority of people are oblivious that they even exist.

Saying that someone is in the high-tech sector or industry is somewhat ambiguous in this era, as most organizations harness technology to make their businesses run. Everything from engineering solutions, to cars, cell phones, and legal services use technology as part of their offerings to the marketplace. So even if you do not consider yourself to be “in technology,” you will most likely be selling solutions that involve technology now or in the future.

Communicating the Benefits of Technology to Different Types of Buyers

We have to realize that there are often many types of people that are involved in the procurement of high tech solutions. For instance, if you were selling Customer Relations Management software implementation to a client, the following buyers may be involved in the decision making and evaluation process:

• The CEO
• Finance/Accounting
• The sales staff who will use the software
• The VP of Sales
• The training department that will insure use and implementation
• The IT department or team who will have integrate and support it once it is installed

Each of the buyers or contributors will need to have the solution communicated differently:

• The CEO will most likely want to know the big picture, the bottom-line and how the return on investment will be measured. They will not want to get bogged down in details and specifics and should not be asked questions related to those specifics.
• Finance and accounting will be concerned about capital costs, warrantees, process management, risk and on-going fees.
• The sales staff will want to know how to use it, how it will impact their ability to do their job, and the amount of control others will have over them.
• The VP of Sales and the training department will want to know about measurement, implementation, tracking tools, and how it will impact their ability to support the sales team.
• The IT department will want to know specifics on programming, quality assurance issues, debugging, scalability, programming language security, and a myriad of other technical issues.

Most people are comfortable communicating with one or two of these types of stakeholder groups. Great salespeople in this sector have a strategy to address the needs of each of these groups, and they communicate the benefits in a way that is unique and applicable to each buyer type.

In addition to this, there are several other important attributes relating to great high-tech sales professionals as follows:

Knowing the Market

Understanding our target market and niche is critical. We need to understand the unique circumstances, competitive environment, and business processes of our target market. In doing this research and preparation, we are better equipped to address the needs of our target market and identify what core business challenges our technology can address.