The Importance of an Ability to Persuade is Diminished for Successful Enterprise IT Software Sales in 2012

Successful enterprise IT sales teams, in 2012, make heavy use of 3 skills:

  • an ability to rapidly qualify prospects
  • an ability to serve as a facilitator for prospects
  • and, finally, patience to maintain a role over, typically, very long and, occasionally, circuitous sales cycles

In contrast, skills which, in the past, were prized, for example:

  • a dominant personality capable of persuading prospects
  • an ability to overcome a wide range of prospect objections
  • an underlying skepticism about prospects, their objectives and intentions

no longer promise the enviable sales results that were the case merely 20 years ago. It is important to note, however, that the strongest motivator for most top sales people remains compensation; the most successful methods of satisfying this motivator — meaning an ability to qualify, facilitate and endure — have simply evolved over time.

In 2012, it makes more sense for lead generation efforts at these companies to be crafted to deliver a more mature set of sales leads than was the case in the past. In fact, the method of timing the enterprise IT software sale has shifted, radically. Today’s prospects usually choose to engage with sales personnel at a much later point in their quest for IT software solutions. The good news that has accompanied this shift is that the likelihood of sales personnel closing business with this type of prospect (who appears much later in the sales cycle) is much higher, not so much as the result of their own efforts, as due to the fact that the prospect has largely made up his or her mind by the time an opportunity to engage manifests itself.

Building useful sales opportunities from integrated direct marketing efforts is a wholly separate matter. The sales cycle for leads developed through a coordinated campaign, which includes sending specific individuals promotional written collateral via an email, or a mailing, together with a carefully coordinated telemarketing effort is, generally, much longer. Prospects require sales personnel who can genuinely participate in their process, meaning walk along side while these prospects take the steps required in their unique enterprise situation to decide on not only solutions, but, in many cases, what problems, themselves, (meaning pain pints) are all about. Successful sales personnel, once again will serve as facilitators, who will spend lots of time listening to prospects, and, occasionally, illuminating important information that might otherwise be lost within a complex set of factors.

There is little, if any, benefit to be had from pushing, persuading, battling and, finally, leading these prospects anywhere. Further, in our experience, a dominant sales personality will have little, if any patience with the very long process that can come to characterize a prospect’s inquiry into a solution for a problem that has not yet coalesced into something worth doing anything about.

If your organization needs to add a different, and more effective set of enterprise IT sales personnel, please consider IMB Enterprises, Inc.

We can be a powerful resource that can identify, promote and recruit the type of talent you require, meaning enterprise IT software sales personnel that can succeed at the job. Please call Ira Michael Blonder at +1 631-673-2929 to further a discussion about our retained search services. You may also email Ira at imblonder@imbenterprises.com.

© IMB Enterprises, Inc. & Ira Michael Blonder, 2012 All Rights Reserved

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