★ A Good Technical Sales Person, Defined

Earlier this week I asked for opinions on what makes a good technical sales person.  Now, I’d like to share mine.

I’ve been lucky in my career. I’ve worked with terrific sales people, and had very few occasions where they made a promise we couldn’t deliver on.  Here are the things I think they’ve done well:

  1. They communicate with Implementation (and possibly Support) during the sales process.  This is particularly important if they are new to the company, or the product.  If there is something they are unsure about, they should always check with Implementation/Support before agreeing it can be done.  This also includes handing over any information they may have already discovered.  Customers hate being asked for the same information twice.
  2. They set customer expectations.  This really just boils down to the fact that they don’t make promises the delivery team can’t deliver on.  They give of an overview of the implementation process as well as the philosophy behind it.  This lets the customer know exactly what to expect at kickoff.
  3. They aren’t afraid to say “no”.  This goes back to setting expectations, and not promising something that can’t be delivered on.

I also want to add one more thing that isn’t really a quality of the person.  As Rod pointed out in his comments, a technical sales person should report to services rather than sales.  This keeps his/her interests aligned with services, and thus, helps ensure they strive for sales that lead to successful implementations.

Are there other things to add to this list, or maybe some things you don’t think are as important?  Please leave any feedback in the comments.

2 thoughts on “★ A Good Technical Sales Person, Defined

  1. The combination of abilities needed in a good technical salesperson is not easy to find. He or she must have sufficient technical knowledge of the product or service to be able to discuss complexities but they must also have the skills and motivation of a capable salesperson so that they fail to close available business. Such people do exist, but they aren’t common.

    There is a comprehensive source of information about what makes a good technical sales person and how to go about hiring one at How to Hire a Good Technical Salesman


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