IT sales success can be an elusive beast similar to Bigfoot or a truthful politician. It’s out there. It’s a real thing. Sometimes it takes time and patience to find it. There are certain things IT companies and sales-folk alike can do to increases their chances of success. No one thing is going to make any sales person great. It takes a variety of things all working together to truly find sales success.
Success doesn’t happen just by throwing money at it and hoping you get some back. There are many factors that need to be considered when striving for IT sales success. Building relationships, growing online presence, branding and marketing, increasing profits by reducing expenses, and strong sales management. All of these and more factor into creating a successful IT sales environment.
Most SMB IT companies don’t have the resources or the money to bring in a dedicated sales staff or even outsource it. Additionally most SMB IT companies staff don’t have time to really dig in and focus on selling. It takes time. It takes patience. It takes a bad ass mutha who don’t take no crap from nobody (sorry. I’m watching Cool Runnings now and got sidetracked…though I stand by that it DOES pertain to IT sales as well).
So when we get down to it, what do you and your IT business need to do to find success in IT? Well below I have put together a handy little list, a cheat sheet if you will, if things that HAVE to be done in order to succeed in selling your IT services and solutions. This will go for a dedicated salesperson or someone dedicating a few hours a week to it. It’s not hard to do these but then again it’s not necessarily easy either.
- Have a quality CRM (Customer Relationship Management) tool in place and working.
- This is a must. Nobody operates from little yellow sticky notes anymore and if you want continual success in sales, a CRM is going to be your best friend.
- Customer management, reminder, meetings, funnel management and so much more should be achieved, monitored, and managed from your CRM
- This doesn’t need to be anything fancy or expensive but you need to get and keep your name out there. This may not directly impact your sales but branding is as important as anything else.
- Not sure where to start on this? Check out the ToolBuckIT for some helpful tips. Trust me, IT’S AWESOME!
- Social Media
- Again, this might not lead directly to more sales but it is important to stay active in your social community and to stay up to date on trends and buzzwords. There is nothing worse than a salesman who isn’t up to date on the market in which he/she is selling. Knowledge is power!
- Cold Calling
- People say that cold calling is dead. I could not disagree more. While some industries lend themselves better to this approach than others, this method still works. There is a reason every major company have armies of people calling all day every day to sell their products. Why do they do this? Because it is a proven method. Old school? Absolutely. Effective? Yes! It’s a numbers game and it takes time but it can definitely pay dividends. You never know when you’re accidentally going to bag the elephant. See #6
- Jimmy Valvano once said “Don’t give up, don’t ever give up.” Put this to use in your sales effort. You’ll never sell anything if you give up after one try. Keep pushing. Keep grinding. Keep activities going and you’ll find success eventually.
- Service/Product Options
- Always have options for your potential clients. You don’t try and sell a pair of size 10 shoes to someone with size 5 feet do you? People love knowing that they are getting exactly what they are paying for. Nobody wants to pay for a service they aren’t utilizing. Make sure you’re giving your client exactly what they want and you’ll win every time!
- Know your products
- Every salesperson should be able to speak to ALL of their products and services confidently. Being confident in what you’re selling may be the most important aspect of being successful in any type of sales. Remember when Tommy Boy said his dad could sell a ketchup popsicle to a woman in white gloves? Be that guy!
- Relationship Building
- You never know when something small will turn into something big. Always keep the lines of communication open with your clients. You don’t want to be a pest but should always touch base so your not forgotten. A little gift or a lunch date here and there and go a long way.
- Email is a salesperson’s best friend. That is only if emails are written properly though. There is no bigger turn off to a potential client than poorly written emails or long rambling emails. Write properly. Get to the point and keep communicating!
- Watch Cool Runnings.
- Seriously! It’s a great movie and you can learn a lot from the proud men who made up the Jamaican bobsled team. It oozes with inspiration and John Candy.