On one hand, IT sales professionals are told that they should exude utmost confidence in order to close a deal. But on the other, many have cautioned the IT industry as a whole to keep the confidence in check and avoid excess glorification of advanced technology.
As classic (if not cliché) as this sounds, your IT sales cannot guarantee that your advanced BI solution is the answer to every single problem they have. Realism will always be in order when it comes to a computer understanding something as humanly complex as, say, social trends.
Close IT Sales With The Right Expectations
During your lead generation campaign, a little exaggeration can be in order and can be understandable. However, that little exaggeration needs to be dispelled right away. Or better yet, you might even generate more IT sales by going after perpetuated half-truths regarding business intelligence technology.
Otherwise, you risk perpetuating the common notion that plenty of people (whether they are in IT sales or IT development) are out of touch with reality. The process of qualifying your IT sales leads should be the remedy by actually making sure the technology is aligned with the right expectations.
A good example came not too long ago. IBM’s social sentiment index predicted an upcoming trend and reported via an infographic. The trend in question? Steampunk is going to be the rage. However, suppose the features of this index find themselves in the pitch of one of your IT sales representatives. What if your marketing strategy was set on qualifying prospects with the impression that they could accomplish something with your business intelligence software? Should your IT sales be all the more enthusiastic about the concept of using big data to predict pop culture trends?
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Here is why you need to think twice.
- Can the software truly understand the concept of the trend? – Regarding the infographic, it leaves out a lot of commonly known facts about steampunk. (In fact, this only goes to show how IT sales teams should start brushing up on the subject their software is supposed to analyze.) Steampunk is heavily tied and mixed with other motifs such as gothic lolita and gas lamp fantasy.
- Will misconception turn to objection? – Should a software act on misconceptions, the results could lead to objections. If not for your IT sales prospects, then for that prospect’s own customers. Elements that are tied to the keywords steampunk are just one example. You might want to educate the prospect a little more before qualifying them as IT sales leads.
- What will the deal mean beyond just IT sales? – This question should call you to avoid deceiving your IT sales prospect. Even if you can find ways to dispel misgivings without necessary dealing with the problems at hand, you are in fact making things worse. Look beyond just convincing prospects to close the deal so that your IT sales can have a truly objective grasp of the new BI’s strengths and limitations.
If even IBM’s technology produces data skewered with misconceptions then your own IT sales team should take a further step back. You may have even found an advantage if you realize there is still a need for stronger control over how social data is analyzed. Keep qualifying your BI software leads with confidence but make sure that confidence is balanced by the facts when you close your IT sales.