Technology companies are migrating from selling established point products to offering solutions that contain elements of hardware, software and services.
Success in this transformation requires an ROI-centric approach to selling — focused on solving customer business problems. To succeed, sales organizations need to:
- Balance new business acquisition with maintenance and cross-selling in existing accounts
- Find the right mix of specialists vs. generalists
- Focus reps on sales growth by offloading low-value activities
A successful services-led sales transformation requires a sophisticated approach to account management and sales efficiency. Technology sales organizations must adapt accordingly.
Currently, many companies put their least experienced sellers on the most difficult task — prospecting for new business. In this sink-or-swim environment, productivity is low and turnover is high. New customers in a complex sale are far less likely to buy from inexperienced reps. A more efficient model is to have senior reps both farm the existing customer base and hunt for net new business. Senior sellers can provide mentorship and guidance to junior reps to improve overall performance against new business targets.
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Building a solutions business can increase sales costs, especially when sales specialists are added to supplement sales capabilities. You need to integrate as much of the portfolio in generalist-led core business as is possible and maintain an appropriate ratio of specialist sales headcount.
When selling solutions, account managers need to assist with some level of implementation to help drive retention and create cross-sell and up-sell opportunities. However, too much time spent on this support activity will decrease productivity and cut into selling time. Allocating non-sales resources to low-value activities such as proposal development, risk review, pricing and quoting will allow sales reps to focus on closing more business.
Selling solutions often requires a multi-channel approach, combining one or more of direct, indirect, channels, partners and telesales resources to maximize sales efficiency. Technology companies need to assess which channels work best for their solutions and invest accordingly.
Contact us to learn more from our Technology Sales experts.