If you are in IT sales, by definition you need to sell more technology (and probably services) to achieve your target.
Most of the time, achieving your
sales target is going to be a stretch. If this is not the case for you – you
can stop reading now. Mmm – I see you are still reading. Good.
There are two main approaches to
this challenge. The first is playing the numbers game – call more customers and
ask them what they need. This does work but it will only get you so far. You
will only skim the surface of the opportunity available to you. If you are
early in your sales career – this may be a good start, but it’s not sustainable. Not if you have ambition to be a sales superstar.
The second approach is still a
numbers game - you still need to speak to many customers – but it’s smarter
because you take a more consultative approach. In consultative selling, you
don’t focus on the products or services you would like to sell – instead, you
focus on the customer.
Once you understand your customer’s
situation more fully you will be in a better position to offer solutions to
their problems comprising of your products and services. I will cover
Consultative Selling in another post – but there is some groundwork you need to
put in place first to maximise your chances of success. You need to understand
the three W’s of the solutions you have to offer.
What , Why , Who - The Foundations
for IT Solution selling
What is it? This refers to the
technology or services in your portfolio. Step 1 is to understand what you have
on offer. Of course, there will be many technologies that you are already
successfully selling and I am sure you know at least a little about them.
However, to grow your sales smartly, you need to broaden your personal portfolio. Learn
about new technologies and services and so broaden your conversations with
customers. The beauty of this is that you can have new conversations with
existing customers. And we all know these are easier than with people that
don’t know you at all.
2DeCipher.com is a great place to explore technologies
which you can add to your personal portfolio.
Why is it needed? This may vary
depending on your target market. So if for instance you predominantly sell to
mid-sized businesses, or schools, or hospitals or whatever – what are the hot
buttons for these types of customer which means they will be interested in this
technology area? The “why” of a solution links directly to business value, which means you need to find out about your
customer’s business to make these links. Understanding why a particular
technology will be of value to verticals or segments in your customer base naturally
leads to the third W and dictates who
you might start calling to look for new opportunities.
Who needs it? At this level, we
are not talking about market segments. You need to find out specifically if
the customer you are about to speak to has a need for one of your solution
offerings. The fact is you won’t know until you speak with them. The
consultative approach is to find out about their situation and have a range of
technologies in your personal portfolio which you can bring into conversation
as and when appropriate.
In consultative selling it is always customer first –
solution second (when appropriate).
www.2decipher.com will help you explore a
growing range of technology solutions which you can add to your personal portfolio.