The challenge remains for IT companies to engage more prospects and increase their sales margins. But in a highly versatile and dynamic market, the challenge turns out to be more daunting than it initially seemed.
For some reason, this has been the result of increased competition, particularly in the web security and software development sectors. As more and more players enter, the market will continue to rise as businesses continue to seek for better IT solutions.
As Statista shows in this well-researched report, the industry enjoyed consistent gains from 2002 to 2016. We can only expect revenue to skyrocket even higher as new trends in software and innovations in hardware are being sought.
Read more marketing trends for IT and software industry
For IT companies, this sounds like good news. But everything has a trade-off. The trend only encourages companies to become more aggressive not only in terms of marketing but also in terms of selling. Unfortunately, talking points in traditional selling have lost their mojo, leaving IT sales reps in a pickle. It is also worth noting that IT prospects now are not like the IT prospects of yesteryears. They now have a different view and approach to engaging IT sellers, making it even more difficult to come up with propositions that truly resonate with their needs.
Today’s IT customers demand a lot more, and you as an IT vendor have to deliver. In terms of selling, you will have to make a great deal out of knowing the art of negotiation.
Related: Top 5 Sales Blind Spots in the IT and Software Industry
Mentors, not Salespeople
Obviously, it is about making deals, but deals that are beneficial to everybody. Knowing how to negotiate with potential clients involves more than just aiming for a sales appointment. It is about listening to them and taking notes as eagerly as a nerd during Biology class. Learn from The Little Known Art of Exploiting Unhappy B2B Prospects
Moreover, negotiating is not really an act of mind manipulation. Sorry to bum you out, but Jedi mind tricks won’t work in the real world, much less the IT market. Actually, sales is about being able to engage clients as mentors and not as salespeople. Think about how you are going to help the prospect rather than help your revenue goals. With this mindset, you will be able to generate more clients who will be happy to have you on board as their partner in crime.
Clarion Enterprises CEO Bruna Martinuzzi makes a perfect case for getting clients more interested in an IT product (or just about any product for that matter). She points out that using the right techniques rather than to manipulate buyers should form the very foundation of selling.
One thing that strikes a chord is her view on using self-awareness. Martinuzzi proposes for a look inside one’s own psychological make up. This is where extrovertedness and introvertedness come into play. Knowing where the prospect is between these two allows you to identify the messages they need to hear. Martinuzzi writes:
“For example, if you are highly extroverted, your usual approach might be to secure a face-to-face meeting during which you will cover a wide range of items, discussed from a larger perspective. However, if you are dealing with an introverted client, you may be more successful having a more in-depth discussion of fewer topics. Neither is right or wrong—it simply has to do with preferences.”
Related: 5 Lessons From Epic Tech Flops That Will Make You Better At B2B Sales
Communicate, don’t complicate
Writing for The New York Times in 2011, Tom Szaky points out that “sales can be a melancholy job.” This becomes even more true with IT companies that trying to explain their solutions to interested clients, only to have these clients turned off by the amount of tech jargon being thrown around. Isn’t there a better way?
There is: DON’T BE TOO TECHNICAL.
As much as we want to point out that IT products and services should be explained right down to the core, securing an IT sales appointment demands that you make it easier for your clients to understand what your solutions can do for them. Sure, you can always show off your expertise like how a peacock shows off his feathers, but you must allow your clients some time to think things through.
More importantly, give them space to ask a question. With each inquiry, recall what you have just explained and given examples of situations your products are well-suited to handle. Another word of advice: never butt in while the prospect is talking. Hear him or her out first and try to craft propositions from these bits of information.
Related: Why Cleaner Marketing Data is Essential for IT
Selling shouldn’t be that hard, right? IT companies only need to consider the prospect first before everything else. Once you focus on helping your prospect out, selling can be a lot easier from that end.
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