This predicament is just killing your company’s growth, expansion or sustainability strategy.
Your problem is not only that your tech team cannot sell. Your tech team will not sell. Your tech team does not understand the difference between telling and selling. Your tech team has difficulty wrapping their brains around the current sales process.
Have you ever asked your tech team why they won’t sell? Their answers may surprise you.
- I was not hired to be a sales person. I did not go to school or get my technical certification to be a sales person. I “do” my tech thing. The sales gal “does” the selling. Not my problem.
- I sell every time I talk with customers. There are so many new products and features to tell them about. I spend a lot of time with customers. They like me and the work we do. I’m always selling.
- That sales training course you sent me to made no sense to me. The stuff I learned didn’t “stick” in my brain. The way sales people think and act is not the way I think. I’m trying, but selling is illogical.
- I always ask their tech gal to put in a good word with her manager and her manager’s manager. She always recommends our products and solutions. She can’t understand why we don’t win more business.
- I sell every day. I research new Requests for Quote / Proposal. That is how our company wins business, isn’t it?
Your tech team cannot sell. The root cause is your business model and the working ecosystem you do – or do not – have in place. You could benefit from new strategies for selling to skeptical technical decision makers.
As long as the efforts of your business development and sales people remain separated from every other activity within your company, your tech team will be selling disabled.
As long as the sales function is considered an external activity and technical execution is considered an internal activity, both your sales and tech teams will be selling disabled.
Your company’s current value creation activities are not collaborative. Your people are isolated from each other rather than engaged with each other. Your culture does not focus on cross-functional problem solving.
As a result, your products and services fall short of creating enduring business outcomes for your customers. Your sales people are not up to date on the technical capabilities available to them courtesy of your tech team.
There is an old-school disconnect across the sales-engineering interface®. It doesn’t have to be that way.
What is your anticipated outcome when your tech and sales teams establish the wall-to-wall context of the problem they are solving together? What is your anticipated outcome when your tech team becomes more sales-focused and your sales team becomes more tech-comfortable?
Sales disablement is a big problem, especially with the level of digital disruption impacting every business ecosystem.
You realize you can no longer avoid thinking about this issue. Start solving your problem by re-framing its context. Seek greater clarity. What will your first steps be?
Babette N. Ten Haken is a strategist, analyst, author and blogger. Her focus: the interrelationship between teams, leadership and culture in technology and manufacturing. Her Workshops target excellence in the execution of strategy. Babette began her career in clinical research where she was asked to bring clarity to stalemated cross-functional conversations. Her Playbook of collaboration hacks, Do YOU Mean Business? is available on Amazon.com. She writes for IBM, Penton, and other brands in the technology sector.
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