One-minute Read by Thomas B. Cross – CEO TECHtionary.com.
Salespeople hate most everything except taking customer orders. Forms, training, meetings, proposals, cold calling, management and the list goes on and on. It is really hard to know whether salespeople are born or grown but I have seen both, trained both and managed hundreds of others.
Yet, when you interview salespeople you know in seconds whether they will succeed or not. However, personality, guile, charm and more are required in today’s upmarket larger business marketplace.
Customers have been burned so many times when they were small or worked at different places, they don’t believe any “snake oil” salespeople pitch at them. Even the 30% less insurance ads are gone in favor of just savings, whatever that means.
Pitching a larger business entails a lot more than savings and yet salespeople still go for the “low hanging fruit” or rather the fruit on the ground. Selling even a small 10+ person business much less 100+ person business requires serious work including often multiple customer presentations, a great proposal and more.
Of course, the proposal can mostly be “boilerplate” but it still requires that a salesperson give a presentation to a group of people, not just the CEO or owner. Decision-making is increasingly a “team sport” because it’s not just the solution you are pitching, it generally requires integration with existing customer IT systems.
IT is not just a server and laptops, its WiFi, web services, CRM, cloud, backup, compliance, user apps, custom applications, mobile apps as well as some payment systems, back-office integration and more. Often what the UC pitch ignores is the impact of voice, video, collaboration, conferencing, analytics and more on a customer’s infrastructure.
Indeed, I have seen the “demo” which often doesn’t really reflect peak IT usage, time-of-day or day-of-week loading where faults and failures can and often do happen. Without digressing further, putting together a complete customer proposal/quote requires thinking through all the “got-yas” and anticipating worst-case scenario when the business gets hit by a tornado or other disaster and needs to operate remotely.
This is where talking about the awful things that can happen, it’s actually a good thing to do. Here are just some of the Top-10 Tips, you will have to come to the pre-conference workshop Selling UP Market UP Margin Technology to SMB & Enterprise Certification at ITEXPO/MSPEXPO to see all of them:
6) Timetable – all the details and name-names
7) Management background – contact directory
8) Case studies – tell them about their friends
9) Customer references to call – especially if same industry
10) Company background – Yes, they really want to know if you will still be in business in a month or years from now
Summary – Salespeople are generally rather smart, they see often see through all issues to get the customer order. However, customers are increasingly smart about what they are looking for, know what works and doesn’t and have more experts involved in their decisions.
Great proposals help guide the salesperson in creating custom content for customers and by providing greater details and information can often shorten the sales cycle as well as win in a very competitive customer landscape. If you want to know more this concept is presented exclusively in TMCnet Selling UP Market UP Margin Technology to SMB & Enterprise Certification class at ITEXPO / MSP Expo part of the #TECHSUPERSHOW. Register for this pre-conference now.