With the planned growth at gShift, we are deep into the process of evaluating sales and marketing technologies to support this growth. Having spent 10+ years selling technology, or managing teams selling technology, I now find myself on the other side of the fence and getting a first hand education on what it is like to be a ‘buyer’ of technology.
I’ve been fortunate to work for some great companies, which had some amazing sales training programs. I think back to all of my training and the ones which really resonated with me were sessions where we had the chance to hear from an actual customer. Someone we had already sold to.
It was interesting to hear their perspective on the buying process and I always tried to keep their words in mind when engaging with potential customers. As great as all the training was, the old saying holds true: “You’ll never really understand a person’s experience until you’ve walked a mile in their shoes.”
I find myself reading emails daily from technology sales people all trying to sell us their product. I am sure many of the technologies are great and could add value, but sitting on this side of the fence now gives me a whole new appreciation for what appeals to buyers when they are faced with an endless pool of technology to consider, evaluate and potentially buy. It has not only re-shaped the way in which I look at engaging with new clients, but the way in which I ask our sales teams to engage our prospective customers.
A quote I originally heard from a boat salesperson, when I was first looking at purchasing a boat was “I’m not here to sell you a boat, I’m here to help you buy a boat.” I heard this quote over 10 years ago. The more time I spend selling, and now buying, the more it sinks in.
While there are many tactics in the process, a sales executive who can understand the fundamental difference between helping a customer buy versus simply selling to them, is the one who will ultimately rise to the top.
Now if only I could find that boat salesperson and teach him how to sell SEO software!
Click to read the rest of my “Life at gShift” series.