Some Modern Challenges Faced by IT Sales Professionals and How to Handle Them

Some Modern Challenges Faced by IT Sales Professionals and How to Handle Them

Some Modern Challenges Faced by IT Sales Professionals and How to Handle Them

The rules and norms for sales professionals have changed and are quite different than what they used to be in the past. Procurement has become a major part of the sales process. The sales personnel engaged in the procurement and sourcing within the IT industry have to overcome several challenges which include but are not limited to:

  • Blind RFPs (Request for Purchase)
  • Pricing
  • 3rd party negotiators

The buyers in these departments channel their energies towards cost savings and commoditizing solutions. In order to avoid having your solution commoditized, a proper plan and strategy is required.

By forming a proper strategy, one will be able to understand:

  • The role of procurement.
  • How to deal with the challenges that it presents to different negotiators

It’s important to realize that negotiators will try to get the best value for their company and they will often lower the value of your solution that you have worked so hard to build in order to get the lowest price.

To avoid this, follow these principles:

  • The conversation that you have with your business buyer must not be centered on price.
  • It must be towards building a good relationship from day one.
  • Gain some knowledge of the buyer’s business and the network of actual end users prior to negotiations.

So, if you start selling and develop a good reputation early, you will be in a better position to sell your business. Your knowledge about the business will allow you to present your case custom-tailored to the needs of the buyer.

Buyers will also try to take control of the sales and compare your solution with competitors.

The drawbacks of this scenario are:

  • They will compare your solution with competitors offering similar solutions.
  • They will neglect any unique features of your business.

In order to avoid this:

  • Present your solution in a way that it cannot be gauged on a single parameter.
  • People who have experience with value-based selling are able to do this.

As a negotiator:

  • Present your solution in a way that you are in complete control at all times.
  • The solution must be presented as a whole and not based on separate features that can be singled out with ease.
  • Focus on the uniqueness of your solution and how will it best suit the needs of your buyer.

The procurement department can also create hurdles for you by acting as a channel between you and the buyer.

The following problems might arise:

  • Your movements will be restricted.
  • You cannot bypass them to make a deal directly with the decision maker.

What you can do to counter this:

  • Build a strong and vast network.
  • Do your homework first. Before approaching the deal, you must be familiar with the working methods of the decision makers.

Some IT Sourcing & Procurement departments will prevent the vendors from approaching anyone outside the RFP. In this case, a negotiator will decide what is best for them.

The decision makers are usually unhappy with the sourcing department and have certain disagreements with them. If you have done your research and you know how the decision makers think, then you have a greater chance of selling your solution. In case of blind RFPs, however, you cannot do anything unless you have a good reputation and a lot of good connections in the organization.

The buyers are out there to obtain the solution at the lowest price possible, and they do that by any means necessary — they will research your past deals and company history specifically to find anything that can be used against you and to their advantage.

In order to handle this sort of issue, you need to be well-prepared to face any sort of negative issues that may arise. In order to do that, identify all the negative issues and once you start communicating, present the negatives upfront so that you are at ease presenting your solution that will best meet the requirements of potential buyers.

Another tactic that this department employs is that they introduce last minute schemes which will tip the scales in their favor. They can introduce new steps or even bring out new decision makers which you had no prior knowledge about. This is a big disadvantage, and since you will be pressed for time, you will ultimately have to come up with additional ways to negotiate.

In order to be prepared for such a surprise, you need to:

  • Find all the information there is and identify who all the decision makers are beforehand.
  • Ask the customer in advance to provide a timeline for how the buying decisions are made.
  • Try to hold the customer to an agreed upon schedule.

If you take these precautions, even if a new player enters the buying process midway, you will be able to present the agreement that has already been made. The procurement department always tries to keep its options open until the end. However, if you are prepared and in control of the situation, you will have a greater chance of successfully closing the business deal.

The Gist:

In the end, it all comes down to how prepared you are. If you are a sales vendor, you need to be ready for anything. In today’s modern and competitive world, you will face these hurdles and you will only come out strong if you plan ahead.

So, in short, you must:

  • Spend time making connections.
  • Thoroughly research and tailor your solution to the needs of a specific business customer.

Your solution is valuable and the procurement personnel do not have the right to lower its value or commoditize it. You need to be strong, confident and well prepared before jumping into a business deal.

Join Our Team:

If you are a sales professional who is:

  • Friendly enough to develop relationships with even the most difficult buyers
  • An excellent negotiator with a proven performance and track record

Then I would like to talk to you.

Filmar Technologies has a vacant position for an IT Sourcing & Procurement professional that has a great record of success. If you are smart, bright and enjoy working in a fast-paced and challenging environment, send us your resume along with a cover letter summarizing your career accomplishments and aspirations, and we will get back to you!

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