Computers are non-negotiables for any thriving business. Small enterprises to large companies have them. It follows that IT sales experts are in-demand.
While selling IT products and services can bring you immense good fortune (if you earn uncapped commission), it’s not an easy sale.
The world of computers and networking is dynamic, continually changing. It can be confusing and overwhelming to the layman. Hence, it is your job as the IT sales expert to guide your clients to make the best decision for the sake of productivity, efficiency, and growth of the organization.
What Makes IT Selling Difficult?
A career in IT sales is good because there are plenty of job opportunities in this global industry. However, IT selling is highly-technical. You need to convince your clients that something they barely understand can provide a significant value to their organization. You could be a great salesman before you enter the IT sector only to find it’s a world of new knowledge itself. If you want to succeed in IT sales you must have these qualities:
- Excellent selling skills
- A passion for IT issues
- Negotiation skills
- Excellent Time-management and Self-management skills
- Report writing and proposal writing skills
- Presentation skills
- Team Player
- Most important, strong technical knowledge
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It Matters What You’re Selling
IT Selling can be categorized into three: Hardware, Software, and Services, each of which comes with challenges. If you want to have experience in all three, you may find that it’s an entirely different ride every time.
Hardware sales are the easiest to understand and sell; primarily because you can see it and touch it. Computers, monitors, routers, and servers fall under this category. However, it is a vast market with a lot of competition. The profit margin of hardware sales continues to contract as the industry moves forward to go hardware-free.
Software sales require specialization. Much like selling custom products, software can be expensive. To be effective, IT sales professionals need to know an industry-specific software inside and out. Income can be promising, but the sales cycle is often lengthy and complicated.
IT Service sales is the most profitable of all three. It combines hardware and software solutions bundled with installation and perhaps maintenance and servicing, all in one package. As an IT service sales professional, expect to work with experts in various areas of the IT sector as a team.
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Facing the Difficulties of IT Selling
There is nothing easy about IT selling, but it is highly-rewarding as you influence a positive change in an organization. When issues in the sales cycle arise, you may be tempted to avoid the issue and hope it will resolve on its own.
However, an objection can be a golden opportunity to reassure your client that you are an expert and the best person to help them with their problem. If you are currently faced with a decision maker who is only half-convinced of your proposition, here are the five common objections you should study and learn to overcome:
Price is a primary concern of IT professionals. These people are working with budget constraints—even more, limited in the case of small enterprises. Consider offering a lightweight solution that is effective and suitable to their budget. Be creative in your value proposition and convince your client of the long-term cost savings that will balance the upfront cost in time.
2. Necessity or Luxury?
When you are selling an upgrade, automation or software coverage, you may have to deal with a skeptical client; again with a limited budget. You have to be the expert that can tell your client when a system is cutting-edge and when it is already outdated. Emphasize the speed of software evolution.
Also, convince your customer of the cost-efficiency of buying the product or service. For instance, a software upgrade can increase performance and security, eliminating the need to buy new hardware.
Likewise, IT support can save your customer on the cost of purchasing upgrades in the future. In particular, if your customer does not have a valid application software coverage, their company would have to pay more to upgrade their applications. Incompatibility of current applications with future network additions also leads to additional costs.
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Another primary concern is that it may be difficult for employees to learn and adapt to the new system. Introduce solutions that are user-friendly. These customers require plug and play products. If training is necessary, ensure that they will be guided throughout the process and emphasize sustainability.
4. Integration with Current System
Most companies will avoid a complete overhaul and replacement of their current systems. Your goal is to show them how they can improve performance and efficiency with ease. Introduce solutions that integrate seamlessly with their system for little cost and downtime.
Related: Industry Insights: The 5 Types of Buyers You Meet in Cloud Selling
A company that employs in-house technicians can make it harder for you to sell your IT solutions to them. Emphasize that your goal is to support their in-house team and help identify and resolve issues quickly. Open them to issues that are outside the scope and experience of their in-house techs. You may be offering solutions that increase employee efficiency through the delegation of menial and repetitive tasks. Hence, they can focus on more important business matters.
Related: How to Sell to Match the 3 Types of IT Decision Makers
There are times when you will encounter clients that resist change. Win them over to your side, guiding them through solutions that can help them succeed in their business. An effective IT sales professional will listen to a client’s concerns and flawlessly provide the answers as the expert they can count on.