IT Sales – Capitalizing on the Information Technology Upswing

In recent years, The Information Technology sector has largely been seen as a major forerunner for the overall economy: hence, when the IT Industry is stagnant or declining, harder times are ahead. And when IT spending is on the rise, better times are coming.

This is more than urban legend – in today’s world, IT is essentially the pulse of what is happening. So it’s with little surprise that the recent surge in the IT sector is welcome news (especially to those working in IT.) And the effect is exponential – many other industries are recovering, and will require assistance on technology/project work. So we could say that IT Staffing has and will be a helping hand in the recovery process. And it’s almost certain that IT sales will likely follow suit and grow as well. Which brings me to IT Salespeople.

With any organization, sales are the engine that drives… well… everything. The sales team brings in the revenue that makes development possible (although developers will argue that without them, there is nothing to sell. Touche, and we’ll certainly visit the development role in a future article.)

It’s been my experience that many times, IT companies focus heavily on the tech aspect (as well they should), and sometimes push sales to the side a bit. I can understand that – after all, IT companies create new products and solve problems more than anything, and to many an IT professional, the tech should really sell itself. But, we all know that’s just not so. Regardless, the sales teams for these companies are very often left behind, and typically an afterthought. However, the tried and true advice reigns here: when there is an upside swing in your industry, you want to ride it all the way from the bottom up to the top.

So my article here, as it pertains to sales and salespeople, is really twofold: the first thing I want to mention is not to look at sales as the endgame, and instead really embrace it. It’s like the stock market – when prices are down, you buy. Thus, RIGHT NOW is the time to hire that superstar salesperson, sales manager, or both. As we emerge from the dark days of 2008-2009, you want to be able to hit the ground running, thus, getting that rock star sales team in place today (and not when everyone else is also looking) makes perfect sense.

However, just hiring isn’t enough:

To really benefit from bringing on these new all-stars, they need to be fully trained in your product. One complaint I have heard from IT companies is that they receive negative feedback from end users not understanding how to properly use their newly acquired “solution”. There is only one explanation for this: proper end user training was not offered, or just not sufficient. This is largely because the salesperson knows enough to sell, but not enough to train.

This is where your salespeople can really make a difference. Today, a handshake, a manual, and a help file as the salesperson says goodbye aren’t enough. In small to medium sized companies without a dedicated “training” team, a salesperson who can actually service the account is looked on as an extremely valuable resource to your client. And the really good salespeople are very capable of doing this (another reason why you want to hire now, mind you.)

That’s a perfect segue into my second point, which is to offer a few tips to help your salespeople ensure client satisfaction (and increase your referrals from testimonials ten fold!):

• Building Customer Relationships through consultative approaches is almost always looked upon favorably. Your salespeople should be akin to an advisor or “IT consultant”, proposing solutions that are pertinent, instead of rattling off services that are irrelevant to the potential client. This is done by asking relevant questions and LISTENING to the responses that are received.

• Be selfless. If a salesperson is focusing solely on making a sale, then they are doing the client, yourself, and your company a major disservice. Prospects want to know how you can save them time, make them more profitable, and/or make their operation more efficient. They do not want to hear a long list of features, how great you or your company is, or anything else that does not help them solve a problem. Again, this harkens back to encouraging a consultative approach from your salespeople.

• Put in place a standard sales process, and envision potential sales as tangible items on a conveyer belt; track every single step from start to finish. As the conveyer belt moves along there may be bumps along the way, some may be minor but others may be enough to knock the sale off of the belt, losing the sale. By knowing where these major bumps are, you can put your finger on where your sales process falls short, and correct it.

• Make sure your salespeople know your product/service inside and out, and actually know how to use it in a business setting. With many new technologies coming out, and the average client significantly more technologically savvy, your salespeople really have to do their homework, and be well-trained. If your salespeople really know what they are talking about (and can articulate it to a client), they can establish themselves (and your company) as a credible source of information, which is helpful when developing relationships. In short, your clients are more likely to return if they know that YOU know your stuff (and have their best interest in mind).

These are just a few tips that I have come across from speaking with IT salespeople, their colleagues, employers, and clients’ everyday. I hope you find them useful.

Information Technology Forum For Entrepreneurs

Many small businesses previously run on a small scale are now global because of application of smarter computer technologies. These enterprises were based on sound business ideas, but their businesses were running on a small scale. By integrating their business delivery system with smarter use of latest computer technologies, they have made big.

You are a successful businessman running your business in your local territory. Now, if you use faster and efficient Web 2.0 computer technologies, you can easily deliver your products or services globally. It is not that difficult.

Today, you may be a budding entrepreneur with a promising business theme. You should think on newer and smarter ways of integrating your promising business idea with latest computer technologies of today. Today, in a good information technology forum, you have all the resources and information that you need to develop your own tailor-made computer application. Today, globalization and computer technology can make your business grow very big.

You need to explore ways of marketing your business products and services making most of latest computer technologies. You should explore your own customized ways of using fast, interactive Web 2.0 computer technologies such as Really Simple Syndication (RSS). Really Simple Syndication is an easy way to distribute a list of headlines, update notices, and web-based contents to a wide audience. It can make your communication system very fast. Webcasting using tools such as Elluminate and Instant Presenter is yet another promising option. These are only some of the latest in computer technologies that you should seriously consider for your own customized plan. Your tech help expert in a competent information technology forum may help you working on it.

By seeking assistance from your offshore computer support provider, you can operate a very successful global business staying right at your home state. Your offshore computer support provider will help you market your bright business idea. Such computer support services run 24/7. They have the resources in terms of skilled manpower and sophisticated technologies to work for your business interest. You benefit from specialization. It is a win-win situation for all. You stay focused on your core business skill while trained manpower overseas takes care of delivering your business plan. This is very much happening today.

Working in association with your offshore computer support provider will make you thrive from globalization. You will deliver your business solutions 24/7 to global customers without having to manage physical infrastructure for it. This will dramatically reduce your cost. You will have access to big prospective market that will benefit from your business product.

Online information technology forum can be your one source where you will constantly find fresh chunk of new computer technology related ideas.

You too can now make your small business grow global. A good technical support plan that draws upon sound information technology strategies can give you many times more business revenue. Your net profit will be phenomenal.

If you are more interested in serving community than just making money, you can make a powerful contribution to society by delivering your products and services in a more cost-efficient manner through internet. Today, there are many social entrepreneurs who use computer technology exactly for this.

In your pursuit of crafting a business strategy for competitive advantage, computer technology today plays a key role. Avail best computer technology solutions that address your business needs with clarity and precision.

Information Technology Intervention – Smartphone Addiction

Your television is getting dusty, your laptop is getting rusty, and your telephone is…what’s a ‘telephone’?? The only piece of technology earning your precious time these days is your Smartphone. It’s like when your four-year-old dog who was once your ‘baby’ was shoved aside when the real newborn was brought home. Almost nothing can stand up against the Superman of information technology anymore.

Years ago when texting was born, it was like this magical thing where you could take a chatroom or Instant Messenger out of your computer and put it on your cell phone. Dreams came true! Now combine the addiction of ‘mobile Instant Messaging’ with games in glorious HD quality, checking e-mails in the Dunkin Donuts drive-through, and posting on your Facebook wall that you are in the Dunkin Donuts drive-through playing Bejeweled –it’s almost inconceivable to folks a mere 20 years ago!

With all this convenience and fun in the palm of your hand you would think people wouldn’t obsess over using any of the previously mentioned features whenever they felt like it. Au contraire! People actually appear to get incredibly offended when they are told, “you never pay attention to me because you are always checking your e-mail on your Blackberry” or “no more texting until you finish all your homework”. Why does it seem like Smartphone’s have become “the other woman” or “the new drug”? It’s just a really efficient method of communication and entertainment, no? What’s the real harm? It’s not an actual drug and it’s not actually someone to cheat on your lover with, is it?

Perhaps Smartphones are the gateway to more serious matters that wouldn’t have existed otherwise. Let’s list a few negative situations Smartphones have created recently: texting while driving as a distraction has killed and injured hundreds of people all over the world, business owners’ blood pressure is increasingly high due to their Smartphone’s not receiving enough signal strength while traveling, and couples ending relationships by simply changing a relationship status on Facebook, texting, e-mailing and Twittering way too often.

What on earth were people doing BEFORE Smartphones? Their lives must have been incredibly dull and more stressful, and their eyes, necks, fingers and hands must have been in even worse shape than they are now, right? Wrong! While there is great value in innovation, this one particular invention is something that we know we can live without yet continue to rely on as our primary source of entertainment and communication.

Our poor, overworked opposable thumbs did not evolve in preparation for 21st century mobile devices. However, our Smartphones continue to help us find our way home when lost on the road, tell a loved one trapped in a 3 o’clock meeting that your water broke, and tell us reports that more miners were rescued seconds ago. I guess the Smartphone isn’t so bad after all.