Technology: Evolution of Storage Sales
Evolution must occur if the salesperson is to succeed in a high tech, hyper-competitive market. Why? Because the prey (i.e., customer) is no longer uninformed and gullible. No way!
Reality Check: Customers today 'prey' on salespeople who don't know how to sell. The food chain may have very well been inverted with the diffusion of information into the hands of the masses. No longer the gullible guppies, today's customers are a highly evolved group who will pit salesperson against salesperson to get the best deal and best product. Can you blame them?
My concern here has less to do with the customer and more to do with my salespeople. Have we as salespeople evolved along with the new demands of a well informed marketplace? Have sales strategies evolved to better position a product or service knowing customer are wanting more 'quantitative' proof regarding solutions? I'm going to err on the side that there are signs that salespeople are "getting it".
Many in high tech sales have come to grips with the needing to understand the product and learning how to position in order to minimize objections and accelerate the sales process.
The non-evolved sales Sapients continue to use the standard, "Check out my products, what do you like, can I take your order" approach. We call these salespeople, catalogue openers. To them, selling is showing the customer the product, asking a few questions about their needs and then ramming the proverbial sales pitch down their throats.
But these highly evolved clients (aka super guppies) want more. They want answers to tough questions about measuring performance, especially in the area of data storage. The super guppies want metrics. They want a way to consistently measure storage performance. Customer are dm
As of , the industry has given the super guppies tools: "The Transaction Processing Performance Council offers the TPC-x benchmark for measuring database operations. The Storage Performance Council has provided the SPC-1 benchmark, a more storage-specific test that measures throughput, sustainability, response time, repeatability and data persistence of storage systems. Storage efficiency is more than just supporting business processes, it's about measuring throughput as well."
A salesperson today has to be better prepared than in previous years. The evolved salesperson can: recite benchmarks and other technology assessments, give you return on investment (ROI) numbers, payback analysis and other quantifiable ways to show you how their product can help the customer save money and time.
1) Measuring the cost of storage will go beyond the simple equation of Storage (gigabytes) divided by cost to get a dollar per gigabyte. Most buyers will tell you this is a 'nice-to-know' factoid but is not indicative of the system's performance.
2) The question of how much storage under management will begin to play a more prominent role. This figure is calculated by taking the storage and dividing by the number of people who will use the storage, yielding you a storage per person figure.
Here are some questions the storage buyer will ask: What will be the cost per managed gigabyte of storage? How many gigabytes will each person be able to manage? What is actually going to be managed on the system? By whom? What impact will that have on performance?
Selling simplicity is no longer an option. As sales professionals, the need to understand your product and the need to know how to sell those advantages gets more relevant with every revision and upgrade in technology.
Those salespeople who evolve with technology will find their path to higher sales and company profitability. Successful salespeople will attest to the fact that the customer too is evolving. Sales strategies of yesterday have no role today in the world of high tech selling. Quantification of results in the end will be the litmus test for selling high tech solutions.
© 2003. Victor Antonio G.. All Rights in All Media Reserved. Victor Antonio G. is a sales trainer and motivational coach.
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