7 Hard-Earned Tips From IT Companies’ Sales Pros…That You Wish You Knew Before
We have previously covered the top sales tips from our most successful agency clients. Most of the tips there stand true for other industries as well, so have a read.
The post was so popular that we’ve decided not to stop there and ask our CRM clients from software companies as well! If there was one tip they could give to other salespeople, what would it be? Whether you’re just starting out or looking for new ways to boost your IT company’s sales, these tips, coming from hard-earned experience, might give you the inspiration you need or save you a couple more head bumps along the way.
Get used to the idea of ‘selling’
For techies, it’s often difficult to put on a ‘salesperson’ hat and get away from the familiar comfort of coding or building a product. In his advice, Niall Smith, Founder at BookingHawk.com, highlighted the importance of getting comfortable with the selling process and promised that it gets easier.
“As an engineer, my natural tendency used to be trying to avoid doing sales at any cost. I would have much rather written another line of code. In fact, I would have chosen going to the dentist or redoing my driving test over trying to make a sale.
“I realized that there was no book I could read, no trick I could learn, and definitely no “hack” I could conjure that would make selling feel less awkward. It was a mind shift. I just needed to accept that it is part of the business process and get comfortable doing it. That said, it is much easier to sell once you are selling to the right market, and you have the right tools for the job.”
Stay personal in your follow-ups
We strongly believe that follow-ups is what builds strong client relationships and closes deals. After all, that’s what our Next Action methodology is all about! David Gillman, Co-Founder at Predict Point, reinforced this idea in his advice and added the emphasis on the personal nature of the follow-ups.
“Follow up makes the sale — eventually.
“It might not happen right away, but sending consistent personal messages to my long-term leads is what keeps me in their minds. I’m not talking about generic emails, though. Your prospects will see right through it. I use OnePageCRM for scheduling those long-term follow-ups, and it prompts me to either give them a call or send a short personalized message.”
Listen and ask the right questions at the right time
In her advice, Lisa Fahey, President and CMO at FanCompass, stressed the importance of active listening for understanding customers’ needs and tailoring your sales approach depending on the problem they are facing.
“The greatest asset in any partnership is the ability to listen and ask questions to truly understand customers’ needs. In technology, good software is built to be flexible enough for several different use cases. In the sales process, this can be either a blessing or a curse.
“Novice sales professionals may find themselves overselling “kitchen sink” features and benefits that glaze over the eyes of a prospect. While seasoned professionals find the gaps first and then lead with those attributes which solve the specific problems that each prospect is facing.
“Further, active listening is important because oftentimes these problems only surface with appropriately timed questions. This is especially critical in our sports industry where the sales cycle is long and the tech journey is extremely varied across global teams and leagues.”
When hiring a salesperson, check for ego and empathy
Tony O’Dowd, Director at KantanMT, gave valuable advice on hiring two different types of salespeople and how each of them can benefit your company’s success.
“When interviewing a sales executive just focus on two things: ego and empathy. If your interviewee has more empathy than ego, put him into account management. Whereas, if they’ve got more ego than empathy, then put them into new business development.
“Empathetic sales executives make excellent account managers as they can nurture accounts into cross-selling and up-sell opportunities. They can maintain long-term relationships, and your clients often view them as trusted advisors by your clients.
“Egotistic sales executives want the big sale and will view their channels as mercenaries seeking a big payout. Their ability to nurture long-term relationships might be compromised because of this.
“Without an ego, sales executives can’t ask for the deal. Without empathy they can’t pitch your organization to address their needs. In reality, the average sales executive has a balance of both. However, don’t be afraid of the imbalance as this will yield higher potentials for your organization.”
Learn how to write a clear project scope
Rachel Apsey, Sales and Marketing Coordinator at Insequence, explained how a properly recorded and written project scope can influence your customer satisfaction.
“Learning how to write a clear, detailed project scope is key to both your success and customer satisfaction.
“Not only does it show your customer that you listened and understand what they need but it also smooths out the transition from sales to other departments.”
Be obsessed with getting to know your customers
Mark Boyes, VP of Growth at Akvelon, Inc., emphasized the importance of really knowing your customers. Caring about their troubles and needs is what builds trust and credibility.
“We are obsessed with learning all about our leads and customers — their goals, challenges, and needs. It is crucial to be relevant and create trust and credibility with them early on.
“Be open, genuinely care, and if they don’t need your help right now, stay close. There will likely be a time when they do!”
Build trust through follow-ups and honesty
The importance of follow-ups echoes across most of the tips. Doug Thomson, Chief Architect at OneLaw Limited, also put it to the top of his list, as well as being completely honest with your customers.
“When selling complicated or technical products, try to establish a trust relationship with your prospect as soon as you can. Do this through regular follow-up’s and being completely honest about your products and services.”
Know about the software company’s challenges first-hand? We want to hear from you! If you could share one piece of sales or business advice, what would it be? Let us know in the comments or tweet us @OnePageCRM!
Want to try an effective CRM for software companies that would help your team always follow-up and build client relationships that last? Take OnePageCRM for a free 21-day test drive!