B2B selling, in the digital world, has become an uphill battle. With easy access to information online, buyers are better informed than before. Purchase cycles have gotten longer compared to a year ago,1 and the number of people involved in a purchase decision has increased.2 Not surprisingly, a majority of buyers have rated their latest purchase experience as being extremely complex or difficult.3
This combination of a more complex sales cycle with less control in the hands of the seller is a particularly difficult challenge for a sales team selling technical products. Weighed down by the task of having to communicate the nuts and bolts of a complex product, technical sales teams often forget some of the fundamentals pertaining to technical selling.
Here are five steps to enabling your sales team for selling technical products:
1) Put yourself in the customers’ shoes to arrive at the sales pitch
At the heart of every purchase decision made by a prospective customer is the question: “How will it benefit me?” Our job as a high-tech marketer is to understand what value our product delivers to the customer. For instance, would the product save the customer money? Would it boost productivity, increase sales, improve their CSAT score? To know what that outcome would be, you need to put yourself in the customer’s shoes and see from their perspective how they can benefit from the product. Then, based on this understanding, you can arrive at the sales pitch. This way, you are far more likely to capture their attention and create interest in the product.
Purchase decisions on technical products require significant investments to be made by customers, and often necessitate the restructuring of existing business processes for implementing the new technology. So, it’s all the more important that you demonstrate to buyers why your product can solve their problem far better than what they’re doing now. This requires vendor organizations to work as valued advisors focused on solving their customers’ problems than merely selling a product. Unfortunately, 54% of business customers don’t believe that companies have their best interests in mind.4 For this, sellers need to have a comprehensive understanding of their customers’ pain points, which can only happen if they put themselves in their customers' shoes.
2) Tell stories that your customers want to hear
Sales pitches for technical products need not be jargon-infused information dumps. People have a much easier time relating to other people than to technology, and an inspiring story is always more intriguing than a laundry list of technical wizardry. That’s why customer success stories are such a potent tool in any organization’s sales content arsenal. Not only do they provide proof of concept, but they tell the stories that customers want to hear— how your technical products have built a better business future for others like them.
As a technical marketer, you’ll need to identify the most important applications of your product for building customer success stories. And if your solution serves multiple verticals, you might want to collect testimonials for each individual sector as well.
3) Make technical documentation a part of your content strategy
While a technical sales pitch will benefit by adhering to a customer success narrative, there’s no getting away from documenting the hard facts about the product and its technical capabilities. Technical documentation can be a valuable resource to customers during their pre-purchase research. By mapping technical content to buyer intent, you can also improve your search presence.
There are many benefits to using a modern sales enablement solution for creating technical documentation. Besides supporting traditional formats like PDF and PowerPoint, a good enablement solution will support the use of modern, customer-friendly formats that incorporate visual content elements like videos, GIFs, and diagrams, to make the content easier to comprehend. Using such a solution, you can build a systematic approach to providing the right technical content to the right audience at each stage of the buyer’s journey.
4) Get visual and interactive in your technical content
Visual and interactive contents make your sales message comprehensible and memorable. Not only are more people likely to watch a video than read a text document, but recall levels for visual content are much higher too. So, your sales content strategy must incorporate visual presentations of product features and applications, demo videos, and product walk-throughs. It's also important that prospects experience the features and benefits that you have to offer. Integrating and enabling interactive walkthroughs, 360 degree product visualization and demos with emerging technologies like VR and AR can provide prospective customers with a virtual experience of what your product can do for them. Make sure your enablement solution can support such integrations.
5) Build fluent sales knowledge in the sales teams
To function as trusted advisors in the sales process, reps need to move from competency to sales knowledge fluency. This involves keeping up not only with the latest product knowledge but also with all the industry's moving parts, the customer's competitive positioning, and so on. The major obstacle in training salespersons is the problem of retention. Research indicates that learners forget an average of 90% of what they learn within a week of training.5 Overcoming this requires smarter training solutions that take an ongoing and modular approach to training. This requires a range of online training content to be developed, such as sales presentations, training videos, sales playbooks, product digests, competitor comparison matrices, product knowledge quizzes, and video recordings of sales calls - all deployed effectively to provide just-in-time training to the sales reps and support microlearning.
Ensure that your training programs include both product and sales training. Modern integrated sales enablement and training solutions support the culture of continued learning in an organization. They provide video coaching tools that come with AI-powered analysis to evaluate a rep’s selling skills and allow customizing the training content to meet the rep’s learning needs.
Technical products require value-based selling. As technical marketers, you need to understand the values that your products deliver, build success stories around those values, and create visually rich and interactive content to communicate those stories with your customers. With a comprehensive enablement solution, you can empower your sales teams with the right kind of content and support them with continued training so they can add value to their sales conversations at every step of the customer journey.
To know how Nytro.ai can help you enable your technical sales teams, schedule a call today.