A lot of people have their opinions on what would make IT flourish in the country. From academics, individual & company certification all the way towards marketing, there are a lot of varied views going around. There are a lot of problem statements and few solutions floating out there, so let’s document some of them. This is an ongoing series of articles which will focus on a specific area in each post. If you have any idea’s of your own, please feel free to put them up in the comments section.Â
Let’s face it, software companies over here are still created and run by IT folk. Engineers who’ve finally given in to their entrepreneurial spirit and to whom all of the world’s problems can be solved by the right technology. Although they are right about technology being a problem solver, the one are they mostly miss out on is sales and marketing.
With many of them, the mentality seems to be “if you build it, they will come” but sadly, in the real world, that doesn’t really work out.. does it? You not only have to build it, you have to find them, tell them, excite them and cajole them into finally convince them into giving you their hard earned money! So why dont most people in IT see it? Many of the software houses i’ve been to, many of the people i’ve talked to still have a very hardened image towards sales people, and especially technical sales people. They prefer the senior people to do sales based on ‘contacts’ instead of going out actively hunting new projects. Oh and by the way, these senior people are also involved in other aspects of the company, so as you can guess.. sales normally does take a back seat. Here’s my take on it.
For many people in IT, sales is a black box which they dont understand! and since it involved people, they dont really want to understand it. Out of the few who do realize that the ‘need’ is there, many hold the view that regular sales people cannot do technical sales, because well, they are not technical. Explaining the technical side of things is then left up to the poor project manager or the bechara developer (who give the demos) most of the time who just fumble through the presentation saying absolutely nothing at all. And then, there are the precious few who actually realize it, who get sales people onboard and teach them how to do a technical sales and let them loose in the wild.
The sales jargon employed here are Consultative selling, Service selling, or pre-sales activities! Learn a lesson or two from Oracle, IBM, Microsoft or any of the big software giants who do business here. They’re not sending their engineers to do the sales job, infact, most of the time the sale is done by totally non-technical person who not only gives the demo, but also walks the clients through their objections right through to the sale.
The one mentality i think the IT industry here needs to come out of is not wanting to invest on it’s salespeople.”They should already know how to sell, i can’t spend time and money teaching them this stuff” is not a valid reason. That reason just leaves to you pick up the scraps both locally and internationally. The one thing a sales team does is hunt! Assemble a team that is not threatened by new people or new scenarios and who are genuinely good with people, arm them with all the info you can, give them targets and get out of their way! This applies both for local and international sales teams. Better yet, involve a outbound call center to hunt out who is interested and send your sales team after them!
And finally, please realize that a sale does *not* come cheap! It doesn’t just happen, infact, it requires quite a bit of groundwork, planning, brainstorming, a lot of meetings all joined together