By Jay Hess, VP of Operations and Compliance
The concept of no Sales team is presenting its own hurdles.
Training IT engineers to be successful salespeople is presenting its own challenges these days. Engineers are skilled in technical knowledge and very smart. However, sales require a different set of skills and mindset and are smart in a different way. Here are some of the difficulties you may experience in transitioning engineers to be responsible for their own sales:
IT engineers are problem-solvers who are used to working with data and logic, while salespeople are relationship builders who work with people and emotions. This difference in mindset can make it difficult for IT engineers to adapt to the fast-paced, people-focused world of sales. What happens is engineers do not see a sense of urgency when it comes to sales. The engineers are busy solving problems, and their workload is very full. This means they are not as concerned about more jobs coming in, because they feel overworked already. This leads to proposals taking longer to be sent out, and ultimately opportunities are lost. The worst part is they are lost without you getting a chance to do a proper proposal.
Too much knowledge
Technical knowledge is important in sales, but it’s not enough. A great salesperson can communicate the most complicated information to anyone. They find a way to create a common understanding for audiences of all intelligence. Engineers meanwhile tend to use technical terms a lot and it seems to alienate potential clients and sometimes makes their audience feel inferior. This level of knowledge can make it challenging for IT engineers to engage with prospects and close deals. It is critical for engineers to speak in more generalized and everyday terminology rather than the technical jargon they understand.
IT engineers are focused on finding the best solution to a problem, while salespeople are focused on meeting the customer’s needs and closing a sale. This difference in goals can lead to conflict when IT engineers are trying to sell a solution that may not be the best fit for the customer. Often you will find engineers trying to create this masterful solution to create world peace when all that is really needed is a simple sign-up form for the Peace Corps. Reigning the engineers in will be critical to the success of this transition to selling.
Despite these difficulties, IT engineers can be successful in selling solutions with the right training and support. By focusing on developing the right skills and mindset, IT engineers can leverage their technical knowledge to provide value to customers and close more deals. In fact, if you can harness their expertise and their work ethic, you will find greater success in closing deals and reaching new heights for your organization.