December 14, 2011: It is often observed that the sales team of different IT service providers uses the same frustrating and ineffective tactics to win deals with clients.
Here are the top 10 worst sales techniques used by IT service providers to win deals:
- Offer solutions that fit their own (service Providers) capabilities
- Sales person with little knowledge
- One way conversation with the customers
- Misleading the customers
- Position a single Expert for multiple industries
- Lawyers come in to modify the terms in the agreement
The sales team enters into agreements with the clients after spending time on discussions and negotiations. Later the legal department of the service provider enters into the scene to modify the terms of the agreement or to include new terms.
Include lawyers in discussions and negotiations itself so that the agreement entered will not have to be reworked.
- The last minute price drop
- Driving the leads away
- Requesting feedbacks continuously
- Improper ad hoc inside sales
Most of the companies outsource business functions with the objective of meeting their requirements and needs. In most of the cases, service providers offer solutions that meet their own needs than that of the client’s. This is one of the most heard customer complaints about outsourcing service providers. Service providers simply manipulate the requirements of the customer to meet their proposed solution.
Service providers should spent time listening to the requirements and needs of the clients and provide solutions that the client is looking for.
Sales persons can create a great deal of damage to the service provider. Smart sales team knows what not to do, but often do not know what to do instead. They attend meeting with clients and start blasting away with financial impacts of the solution without properly understanding the context. Such discussions will later turn out to be detrimental to the progress of the deal.
Sales teams play a significant role in lead generation and closing a deal. Customers want discussions with experts in the subject and not with sales team.
Sales teams use power point presentations so extensively that one might genuinely doubt whether commissions depend on the size of the presentations. The fact is that such one way talk does not do well in direction of outsourcing.
Service providers should ensure that they engage with clients through a two way interactive session so that what has been discussed stays in the mind of the client. It is better to stand out of the crowd as competitors will engage in one way conversation.
It is a common practice to bring in a big shot in the first meeting to win business deals. The issue with that is that the customers will never see the same VIP again will feel that they are misled. Bringing a big shot will mean that he or she will be included in the process of service delivery.
Service providers should make sure that they bring in experts who will be assigned to the project in which they will get involved right from initial discussions.
Quite often the service providers introduce the same professional to clients from different industries as an expert in the respective industry. This is as a part of marketing where 85 per cent of marketing is about industry specific knowledge. Finally in the process of service delivery, professionals will be filled in from a central team which serves every client.
The best way to become a real expert is by asking questions to the clients about their industry, their problems, and deriving meaning solutions out of it.
In most of the outsourcing deals, the service providers often earn a profit of 20 to 30 per cent. When a service provider announces a price drop for the services, outsourcing customer gets confused and will think that the price drop will affect the quality of the service offered by the provider.
Most of the customers want to know how the service provider will bring in benefits for their company in terms of efficiency, reduced cost etc.
Service providers should start of the discussions with the savings that the prospective customers will be able to make.
Service provider often irritate the customers with constant enquires about the performance of the service that was delivered.
Contact the clients a few times to enquire about the service. If there is a need they will get back to the service provider
Sales team spends time convincing the top management about the benefits of the deal.
Sales team should concentrate on understanding the needs of the customer. This will help in achieving synergy internally with all the stake holders in a prospective account.