Thoughts on the sales process
In the early eighties when commercial computer sales really took off, it was rare to find a salesperson who had any (sufficient) level of expertise regarding the application of the equipment he was selling. It was probably even more rare to find a Customer who actually knew what they were buying. In retrospect, it seems comical to look back at some (real) cases where computer systems worth millions were sold, computer operations facilities were built with raised floors and air conditioning, only to discover that the equipment needed software to actually work. This little detail having been missed by the client and maybe omitted (for whatever reason) by the vendor.
It’s hard to imagine a scenario like this in today’s tech-savvy world. In fact, most of the value of computer and telecommunications systems has shifted to the software provided by a developer community within the given technology domains.
Having worked in sales ever since those early days, one can see a significant evolution in the expertise of professional sales people. Today, you need to be an expert not just in the technology you promote, but also in the business of your Customers because if you are lacking in either, you won’t be able to elaborate and argue the business benefits your particular solution will provide, should you win the order.
Another more recent change is in the way sales has migrated away from the very personal, relationship driven way of interacting with Clients it used to be for centuries. Increasing demands for transparency and unbiased dealings has changed the sales process toward a more impersonal, process driven, communication-by-email type environment with even occasional legal requirements for SOX-compliancy (Sarbanes-Oxley) and audit trails. All this, to avoid corruption and/or otherwise unfair ways to win deals. Fair enough.
Having said all that, sales is still based largely on interaction between people. Companies don’t do business with each other, people do. This, for some reason, seems to be forgotten at times and if so, can significantly add to the time and expense of getting products into a market. Having a superior product is great but that alone won’t make you a success.
Having had the privilege to live and work in culturally very different parts of the world, I have seen over and over how in the end, the organizations with the best relationships seem to always come out on top. Different cultures add various dimensions to the interaction between suppliers and Customers, but essentially doing business successfully still follows the same base lines.
What we will try to bring to Deltateam Customers is a fast(er) track to success, based on significant personal, hands-on experience in doing business successfully in all the regions of the globe. Literally
We hope to give our clients the advantage of not having to learn the do’s and dont’s the expensive way when trying to launch a sales campaign in an unfamiliar market. We also believe we can offer a more flexible way to manage sales projects than the perhaps obvious one of hiring some one permanently.
We will update this blog as we go along, and share our experiences.
Wishing everyone successful sales!