Archive for the Sales – Basics Category

Software vendors, tear down this wall !

Posted in Enterprise Software Sales, Pricing of Technology Products, Sales - Basics on January 16, 2011 by Shankar Saikia

Historians say that Ronald Reagan’s 1987 “Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall” speech at Brandenburg Gate catalyzed the end of the cold war. Similarly, innovations such as web 2.0, social media, analytics and smartphones have enabled companies to change enterprise software sales and perhaps sales of other products as well.

Traditionally, a salesperson was needed for the following purposes:

– provide product information
– demonstrate product capabilities
– price offerings
– negotiate agreements

Technologies such as the internet, web 2.o and social media have changed the dynamics of software sales. Today customers can research product information using tools such as search and social media. In addition customers can “try-before-buy” by signing up for free trial accounts. Several companies list their pricing on the internet. Vendors that facilitate transparency increase their credibility and reputation.

The benefits to prospects are many, such as:

– increased transparency (e.g., finding information about a vendor by researching tweets, LinkedIn updates etc.)

– pricing clarity (e.g., learn how product is priced by studying online listing of prices)

– increased product knowledge (e.g., online trials, online resources)

Vendors also benefit:

– reduce cost of sales (e.g., instead of salesreps answering questions, have the prospect get answers from multiple online resources)

– improve credibility (e.g., increased transparency leads in increased trust)

With all the innovation in technologies, it is surprising that vendors have not leveraged these technologies to improve the sales process. If customers have started to embrace web 2.0 social media, smartphones etc., shouldn’t you as well ?


Yes, YOU CAN sell !!!!!

Posted in Sales - Basics with tags on September 10, 2008 by Shankar Saikia

I often hear people say “..the one thing I know I cannot do is sell ..”.. And yet these same people accomplish a lot of things that require selling skills … such as getting someone to marry them, getting their kids to do something (…sometimes!), explaining something to someone, asking someone to do anything…. believe it or not, there are many ways to sell a concept or a product. I have often met successful salespeople that earlier in their careers thought that they could never sell…. only to later discover that all they had to do was use their innate sales skills and, of course, keep improving them…. and yes, every one of them eventually married someone… !!!!!!

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Sales is a Process, Not an Event

Posted in Sales - Basics, Uncategorized with tags on September 8, 2008 by Shankar Saikia

People often use words like “sales is about relationships”, “sales is a soft skill”, “one thing I cannot do is sell” etc. I will say this: Sales is a process and whether you know it or not, you are actually probably quite good at selling.

Now, more about the sentence: Sales is a process. What I mean is that in most cases, a sale takes time and many steps before completion. For example, let’s say you went to the store, looked at a few different models of mobile phones and bought one. Let’s say that it took 15 minutes to complete the transaction. Did the sale really take 15 minutes? I would say that the sale started much earlier, perhaps when someone made you realize that you needed a new mobile phone. Maybe you saw a TV commercial advertising the phone. Maybe you checked out reviews on websites etc. In other words, the sale took time and many steps before completion. Hence, sales is a process. For complex products, such as those involving higher prices and more people involved in the purchasing decision, the sale is an even more elaborate process. Bottom line: sales is a process, not an event.
In a future post I will talk about how everyone is probably better at sales than he/she thinks …..

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