Technology sales people always study their product, market relevance and value; however they tend to hone in on these areas by doing the following:
- What do you know about our company and can you provide a 30 second elevator pitch on what we do?
- Study industry sectors and relevant business issues to develop a well thought out engagement approach with a well-defined value proposition;
- Consider economic market conditions of these sectors, business issues, immediate pain and longer term impact of these conditions;
- What techniques do you use to work with a gatekeeper?
- Review the competitive landscape, ideal buyer profile and the persona of each individual/role involved in evaluation and purchasing decision;
What differentiates good sales people from great sales people are those that consider the above as well as the gender and even culture of the buyer as they know that in a technology sales environment women decide and therefore, buy, differently than men. These exceptional sales people know this because there is over-whelming empirical data that supports this. They also know it matters because half of all managerial and professional positions in the US are women – according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Understanding the differences between the way men and women decide during a B2B buying cycle is important. It could mean the difference between aligning on a partnership and securing the sale. Harvard Business Review’s September issue reinforces the differences in decision styles by publishing an article on How Women Decide. I encourage you to read this and adapt your style if you haven’t already. These are some sample tips as well.
- Body language with women can be different than a man during a presentation. Men tend to nod as acknowledgement and women tend to nod as acknowledgement they want you to elaborate. Use this take to make sure the women buyer is satisfied with your point.
- Women have a tendency to be more inquisitive because they want to explore all the information before making a final decision. They will secure insight from many people before arriving at a conclusion. Make sure you clarify and validate each aspect of the content and insight you provide to a women buyer.
- Women want to know who they are doing business with. Don’t get me wrong, men do as well. That being said meeting a senior executive of the selling organization is important to both but women have a tendency to want to meet the entire team and place more emphasis on this.
- Where you sit in a meeting can have an impact as well. Women buyers has a tendency to want a face-to-face discussion. Men are fine sitting next to a person versus across from a person.
- The HBR review and Deloitte study they cite provides many more examples. Many companies should train their people on this – just like Deloitte. Read on for more insight: