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When I Started in Technical Sales, I Failed for Almost an Entire Year Until I Learned These 6 Lessons!

technical sales lessons

If you are new to technical sales or struggling, which we all have, try these 6 things. (There are more, but these are the basics) Your win rate will go up. Your income will go up. Your self-worth will go up. Your sales life will improve.

Prior to starting Pariveda Solutions in 2003, I left my job at Andersen Consulting and got into the enterprise software market in the mid 90’s.  It was Y2K and the heyday was on to replace all the old enterprise software that might stop working at 11:59 in 1999. You would have thought it would be easy to succeed.  It wasn’t.

I went a year without selling anything – came in second like 10 times. Note: you don’t get paid for second place. I could not figure it out!

 

Eventually, I did. I developed a successful software sales career and eventually led to me Co-Founding Pariveda Solutions and growing fast without a commercial sales force.

 

The 6 Lessons:

 

1. You must understand your ideal customer

An executive at the company I was selling for told me that their distribution software “ran best at the end of a dirt road.” Translated – you need to know why people buy and what they care about.

2. Find a warm introduction

Even back then, I looked for relationships to assist me in getting the first meeting. The concept of “touchpoints” worked for me then and still does today.

3. Sales are a process

If you can’t follow your process, walk early and often. There is no shortcut. More about the specifics in a later post.

4. Buyers’ concerns shift throughout the sale

In the beginning they might be concerned with price and functionality, but at the end, they are thinking about their risk. Risk to the company and risk to their careers.

5. Never try to close until its closeable

 So often we let arbitrary things like month end, quarter-end, or year end to drive our behavior. I understand that your boss and you are incented, but if the prospect is not ready, you risk losing the deal by closing too soon.

6. Three is not twenty 

If you only have 3 deals in your pipeline you will wear them out and show your fear. If you have 20, you barely have time to follow-up.

If you are new to sales or struggling, give these 6 lessons a try. Your win rate will go up. Your income will go up. Your self-worth will go up. Your sales life will improve.  Good luck!

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