Why Your Team is Struggling to Sell Technical Products or Services
What’s the most important part of the technical sales process?
Is it presenting your latest technology and innovation? Does it include having the newest product on the
market? Is it being the most knowledgeable about your industry?
No. It’s none of these things.
If you’re showing up to sales meetings armed with the latest statistics and data about your product or
service, you are missing the mark, and cheating yourself out of sales.
Your team is struggling to sell technical products because they’re not focusing on the most important
Technical selling is 80% people and 20% product.
Typically, a company will select the most technically-sound employee to conduct conference calls and
sales meetings. Companies choosea technical expert to speak to client because they think
that that’s what the client wants to know, but that isn’t the case.
Companies are always focusing on,
- “Who is the smartest engineer?
- Who knows the most about the product?
- Who knows the most about the capabilities?”
Once you get somebody with that type of technical knowledge, the place that they’re comfortable with is speaking technically therefore they’re going to default to that. They’re going to go down product capabilities and specs and all the tech stuff. Whereas you need to focus on the sales side first.
This is what I call, show-up-and-throw-up behavior. Your sales rep shows up and overloads the potential client with tons of information without asking questions or doing proper discovery work.
When you fail to focus on the people you miss opportunities for them to divulge information about
exactly what they’re looking for in a technical product.
Here’s the #1 Tip for Technical Sales:
Before conducting a sales meeting, focus FIRST on asking questions to understand the client’s pain
points and desires.THEN, adapt your product presentation to spotlight how your technology solves their
issues and meets their wishes. Again, 80% people, 20% product.
To achieve this ratio, always listen more than you speak.
I can tell you first hand, after a decade in manufacturing sales and after starting 5 Fold Agency a few
years ago, technical companies are still doing this. It doesn’t what you’re selling, services or products,
it is 80% people and 20% product. You need to have the people skills and have product knowledge.
You should have team below you, especially in the manufacturing companies. You have project
engineers, youhave sales engineers, or even operations guys that know more about the product than
you do, you just need to know enough to be dangerous. Get the ball moving down that path. As
technical things pop up, pull in people that you need to answer those questions.
Clients don’t care what services you offer if it’s not a problem for them in the first place. If all you do
is discuss technical details that don’t pertain to them, their ears will turn off. Byfocusing on them you’re
able to understand exactly what their problem is so you hit them withthe perfect solution.
You must possess people skills AND product knowledge.Your technical sales team needs enough
people skillsto get to the root of the problem and enough technical knowledge to be dangerous. As
technical thingspop up, pull in the additional peopleneeded to answer specific questions such as
project engineers, operations manager or department heads.
At the end of the day the potential client is meeting with you to solve a problem, so stop the show-up
and-throw-up behavior if you want to make a technical sale.Focus on listening more than you speak. If
you’re talking more in that first meeting, second meeting, whether it’s on the phone, face to face. If
you’re talking more than they’re talking, then you’re doing a bad job.
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Kyle Milan is a well accomplished Industrial/Manufacturing sales and marketing professional with over 18 years of experience. He is the CEO of MFG Tribe and a Sales and Marketing Strategy & Social Media Marketing expert. He has published several articles at major news media outlets on various topics of; Inbound Marketing, Digital Marketing, Social Media Marketing & Advertising, Industrial Marketing, Manufacturing Marketing, and Entrepreneurship.