The Art of Understanding your Customer’s Technical Needs
Regardless of what sales industry you are in, it is imperative to understand your customers’ needs and expectations.
I doubt whether there is a business today that can stay competitive and relevant without integrating technologies in their day-to-day business. The difficulty in selling technology to clients is two-fold, firstly how do you sell technology when you don’t have a high level of technology understanding yourself and secondly chances are that your clients might not be adequately aware of what your offering them. At TechSales Academy we have provided you with basic knowledge that will help you understand your customers technical needs and close the deal.
Talk Problems And Present Technology As The Solution
The best way to do this is keep it simple, investigate the problem while trying to understand your client’s objectives, then present a solution. Any good sales presentation should start with challenges faced by your client and your understanding of their needs, then focus on the business impacts. Follow this up with a demonstration or description of how your technology will solve their problem and give them additional benefits, but be careful not to bore them with technical details.
Talk about the problem and how the technology on offer will fix it by using terms that they use in everyday work, this will result in your client being more comfortable with the information being presented. For example, will the technical products that you are recommending provide greater security or could your product minimize costs while also streamlining workflows.
Don’t Assume Your Customers Technical Abilities
Salespeople must typically possess a thorough knowledge of their products, but a technical salesperson must go one step further and not only know everything about their products but also the fundamental technology surrounding their solutions and if that wasn’t difficult enough the technical sales person must also explain the features and benefits simply to their client.
For this reason, it is important that you don’t assume the knowledge of your client, after all you know what they say about assuming – ‘it makes an ass out of you and me’ and I believe that this to be a very true when it comes to closing deals in technical sales. Additionally, you should try and find out whether you are meeting technical or non-technical clients. If meeting with non-technical clients, you must be able to explain features of your products in a way that non-technical staff can understand. Therefore, I always recommend that you do your homework prior to any sales presentation so that you can target your pitch. Your non-technical audience is going to much more receptive to your information if they understand how it will help their organisation and resolve pain points.
Address Your Customers Technical Needs
Selling technical products involves addressing your customers needs. When selling technical products, you will need to ask questions in order to determine those needs. For example, is the customer thinking of moving their on- premise servers into the cloud? If that’s the case then as sales professionals we need to change our pitch to match their requirements, no customer will buy server hardware if they are in the process of moving all their severs into Azure or AWS.
This understanding will be key If you want to retain your clients, always remember the focus should be on delivering the technical requirements that you have promised.
You might not understand all the technical details, as being in sales doesn’t require you to have all the technical knowledge, but you do need to know the fundamentals so you can ensure your clients are getting what they need from you and resolving their pain points.
Educate Yourself With Technical Sale
Sometimes when a salesperson is not technical there is always the fear of being called out on what you don’t know about a product, service or platform. This fear will sometimes result in you calling on customers who don’t stretch you and stick to repeat customers with standard orders. Utilise scripted sales spiels that have a one-size fits all.
Today’s environment certainly favours technical sales professional who are prepared to research trending technology developments. Therefore, I cannot emphasise enough the importance of educating yourself with the fundamentals of technology knowledge. Some of the benefits in having strong technical knowledge include:
• Your customers will have an increased sense of confidence in your abilities
• Increase your conversion rates
• Ability to predict your client’s requirements
• Ability to understand trigger events that can create sales opportunities for example, has your customer had a ransomware event and therefore need to review endpoint and server security software.
Whilst I would recommend improving your technical understanding, ensure that you are always honest about your limitations because if you don’t you may lose credibility with your clients.
Choose Your Words Wisely
Technical sales can be some of the hardest sales to make and sometimes a sales personality may not gel with a technical personality. However, you do have to find a way to overcome this. One way is to choose your words carefully.
Never throw around superfluous words in hopes that something will stick. Instead deliver a strategic message that speaks to your client and addresses their needs.