7 Critical New Moves
Technical Sales Directors Must Make
(before their competition do)
Technical sales directors:
Fast times, and rapidly improving tech are strengthening your competition, and more than ever before, you must strengthen your technical sales team to maintain a sharp edge.
Technical sales directors should be on top of the 7 challenges below, with a strong plan of attack. If you want support and some uplift (I’m Mark Moore, and I’m a wingman to technical sales directors – I accelerate the performance and results of technical sales teams using a systematic proven approach) I’m here if you want to arrange a chat.
In a rush but don’t want to lose this resource?
1. Create and keep more customers – continuously
“The purpose of a business is to create and keep a customer” – Peter Drucker.
Start with this idea. Is your technical sales machine set to continuously do this, fast, and as cost-effectively, and efficiently as possible?
Action: You should strive to make a ‘new move’ in this area. Something you’re not already doing. In fact, everyone in your team should be making new moves towards this. Who else should you be talking to? What’s the conversation they want to have?
You may benefit from our programs to get the team in sync, upskilled with more potent approaches, and driving all behaviours towards maximising this.
As one ‘new move’, you may find my new FREE ebook “Skyrocket Your Technical Sales with ChatGPT” useful to accelerate things.
2. Maximise team performance – measurably
Your combination of knowledge, processes, tech tools, AI and people power (skills, knowledge, and behaviours on the job) must be up to date and sharp.
You probably know that your team might be doing OK, but could probably be doing better. There are efficiencies in approach that can give you an edge. They’re learnable. And as times change, approaches must change too. When you’re not training, someone else is.
That’s why continuous support helps them build and maintain the muscle to remain strong at maximising value to your customers.
Action: What one move in this area would change things for your team? On the left are links to my training programs, my one to one support, and you can subscribe to my “Quick Wins” emails – quick ideas in your inbox for quick wins. Get in touch for more.
3. Differentiate – be more uniquely valuable than you are
Either you see your unique value as the customer sees it, or you don’t. But it is there. What you offer, how you offer it, how you engage and treat your customers, is unique. But you must be crystal clear how it’s seen as uniquely valuable to your ideal customers. And you must work hard to emphasise that.
Some of my clients insist that what they sell is the same as the competition. That’s an oversight. It’s incorrect. A costly thought. The customer doesn’t just buy the product, or just the commercial value, but they buy in to the experience and relationship too.
Action: You or your team may get as far as thinking you know your USP. But is it how your ideal customers see it? And is it taking advantage of what they would uniquely value even more, if only you could help them get it? Your business, team and each individual have an opportunity to define and put forward their own USP that your customers value. Are they doing that? Have your customers said, “wow, that was the best demo I’ve ever experienced?” What specific things could everyone do, purposefully, to make that uniquely valuable difference known, and bought into? If you want help with this, let’s get talking. It will make a difference.
Note too, my free short ebook Skyrocket Your Technical Sales with ChatGPT can help you dig up the information and ideas you need to help shape your USP at every level.
4. Improve your customer alignment
It’s all about fit and value. Establish and tighten the fit. And build the value, fast. And it’s not how you see it. It’s how your customer does. So what move can you make that will increase alignment – at every step of the way – with your customers? Your team need to know how to do this. The easiest way to ride a horse is in the direction it’s going. Then you can turn it. Do this better than your customer’s alternative choices do, and you’ll make sales.
Get the fit and value right at the commercial level. Align your approach with your customer’s strategic objectives. Align with the decision makers objectives. Help them increase their value to their business. Help them get a promotion. And ensure it meets the technical requirements too. You may be in technical sales, and a lot of people just think it’s the technical sale they’re making, but you have the opportunity to do more than that. So act accordingly. Don’t overlook aligning it to the people involved (see point 5 below).
Action: There are many things you can do to observe what exactly you need to align to. Then there are learnable skills you can use to close the gap. This is big, and you should encourage your team to work hard on alignment or ‘fit and value’. Give me a shout if you want me to guide them to do this.
5. People buy from people. Act accordingly. Focus more on ‘people’.
‘Things’ are usually easier to work with and control than people. It’s why most people spend more time focusing on their planning, processes, products, features, emails, etc These are all ‘things’. They’re more predictable and less confronting. And yet, people buy your solutions. These people have lives to live. And desires, pains, and emotions. And the experience you give them will impact that. So it pays to be more interested in that.
Probably helpful then to explore this, find out what experience these people want (customers, colleagues, stakeholders) what they’re getting, what they fear they’ll get, and how we can bring the right experience to them, as people ourselves. How are you understanding then reducing risks and hassle to them? Do that, and value goes up, and they buy.
Your technical sales team can almost certainly improve at this, to do it to the required high standard, consistently. We’re talking about getting the intial engagement right, the trust and rapport, playing to an individuals values, dancing with their buying-drivers, and laying down the foundations to a long mutually rewarding relationship. You must sell to the customers tech requirements, but you must help a person make that buying decision too.
Action: What move will you take to improve this? When I first get to know my own clients, I usually notice a stronger focus on ‘things’ than on ‘people’. I wonder how your customers feel about that? They might feel that you have an OK set of ‘things’, but that you’re not engaging or understanding them as much as your competition is, who frankly seems to care more. Because they want you to care about helping them to get what they want. What are your team willing to learn and do in order to help their customers make the right buying decisions? I can help you create a plan for this, a learning program, and we can incrementally grow the team’s muscles bringing stronger results.
6. Shorten your sales cycle. No, even more..
It’s common for people to tell me how long their average sales cycle takes, then to just accept that. Hey! Why are we aiming for average?! What if they challenged themselves by asking, “how could I shorten it?” There are almost certainly inefficiencies in how you’re helping customers through their buying journey. We don’t have to just let it tick along at the pace it does. There are things we can do to create more ‘sensible urgency’ along the way, to remove hesitation and procrastination, to get the right people in the room (the person who can say ‘yes’) and to cut out a lot of the flab in selling.
It’s possibly helpful to consider that everything you (your people) think, say or do is either lengthening or shortening your sales cycle, in that moment. The good news is the right things to think, say and do are learnable.
Action: Challenge your team to constantly ask “how could we shorten this?” You need to identify where it slows down or stalls. My training (or simply shining a light on this important point with your team) can increase our chances of making more sales more quickly. Also, my coaching, which can help individuals to move deals along, might be useful too. Shout if you want to discuss.
7. Discover what works for you ‘your way’ to accelerate sales results
Your business is unique. Your team is unique. And each individual within is unique. You have unique experience, you start from different places, and you have different strengths and challenges. Why then would one approach to improve technical sales fit for everyone? It wouldn’t.
The fastest way to improve how your team sell, is to help each individual tap back into what they uniquely have, that their customers value. Yes, they need to strengthen their weaker links too, but each individual will have a ‘highest impact area’ to leverage and put forward, and a ‘highest impact area’ to focus on improving. That boils down to ‘lead with this one thing’ and ‘learn this one other thing’. Which is simple. And accelerates performance.
I used to help organisations accelerate their learning of skills, knowledge and behaviours. One part of that is determining the one thing that will make the most impact, and strengthening that incrementally, until the effect compounds. I still use this approach to strengthen technical sales teams in my work today. And can train your team on other accelerated learning tools and approaches to stay on top of fast changing product knowledge, buyer intel and so on.
If you want support for your team, it would involve a chat first of all between us. Then I would suggest that I diagnose your team’s unique situation, and speak to the individuals within to explore what support would work.
Action: Avoid the off the shelf one-size-fits-all support. Engage your team to lift their own learning and build their own muscles. Then get that support tightly aligned, and in sync with their on the job workflow. They face a series of ‘problems’ ahead of them to solve. Make sure your support helps them tackle these, in as close as ‘real time’ as you can get. (Which is why my coaching is valuable, and also my ‘just-in-time’ elearning resource “Engineers Can Sell” which has bitesized videos in a problem/solution format, which users search for at the point of need. They watch the video, use the frameworks and one pager guides accordingly, and apply immediately, live, on the job. Get in touch if you want to know more.
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