The BMW i3 car commercial with Katie Couric and Bryant Gumbel during Super Bowl XLIX fused an example of 1994 Internet bafflement with 2015 bewilderment regarding high-tech automobiles. Aside from the comedic value, it illustrated an ongoing challenge for sales professionals: Does your prospective customer really understand the technology behind the products you are selling or are they confused like Bryant with the BMW i3?
This is nothing new to the high-tech world. Sellers have always had a technological advantage over the buyers, but today’s smart high-tech devices and shorter life cycles have widened the gap. Mobile applications and working from home offices have radically changed the dynamics of workplace applications. Hosted services and mobility are major revenue generators for the IT space, but many prospective buyers do not fully understand these technologies.
Starting at the beginning is usually a good choice. I am not being sarcastic here, but logical. Regardless of how prospects find your company initially, most will have their first detailed contact via your website. KISS (keep it simply stupid) is tantamount. The site visitor could be IT knowledgeable and tasked to identify the top three solutions, or it could be the president of the company reviewing the top three finalists. The president might know a lot about manufacturing children’s toys but might confuse the term hosting service with a caterer for a Thanksgiving dinner.
A well-designed website should motivate people on multiple levels. Segmenting visitors into categories can simplify and expedite the process. Upgrading a contact center is a good example. Buying new headsets for agents can be done online without sales assistance. The full migration of the contact center to the cloud and equipping the agents to work from home requires planning and team coordination. The migration process is not rocket science. It is actually quite simple, but can raise concerns for someone who has never done it. A skilled sales person should be involved early on to put the prospect at ease, explain the technology, and close the sale quickly.
Getting your product ranked in the top three is great, but winning the top prize is all that counts. Think about it, have you ever heard an Olympic athlete say “my goal since I was a child was to win the bronze medal.” Design a winning strategy and go for the gold.
Max Schroeder is Vice President Emeritus of FaxCore (News - Alert) Inc. (www.faxcore.com) and managing director of the DPCF.
Edited by Maurice Nagle