Selling in the high-tech industry can be a challenge. Your prospect is highly technical and often expects you to understand their business better than they do.
My question is, how many people in your company are capable of understanding your own business at a technical level? Typically, only a few resources (or just 1) in a company truly understand the technology regarding your product and are usually sought after from everyone including sales, marketing, and development. I have found that a mentoring program works very well to share the expert knowledge.
There are several programs to put in place; I thought I’d mention the most successful programs that I have experienced.
Shadowing: Having key people from various parts of the organization shadow the expert in online meetings and demos is critical. I am suggesting online meeting because you do not want to overcrowd an on-site meeting. Most companies only do this for a short time; it is best to maximize this time.
Blog or Short Technical Overview: The expert can write various blogs discussing the technology and can also provide Q&A type blog formats or interviews to help ‘pull-out’ important technical aspects. A series of short, one-page technical overviews are excellent for the later part of a buying cycle when technology differentiation or understanding is a key concern. If you know, people in the organization are not going out to the website blog area and reading the blogs, put them all together every quarter or every month and send them out to everyone in the organization.
Short Webinars on Key Technology: Brown bag lunches and short webinars are also an excellent way to share the knowledge. I like short webinars with screen shots that you can reference many times or can even send to prospects if they are requesting more information in the buying cycle.
Host Monthly Product Intro Demo: Prospect demos always come first and typically consume your expert’s time, which means that other organizations do not get the demos they need. A better solution is to have your expert host a monthly webinar demonstrating your product for these other groups who can invite prospects, partners and at times even customers. The monthly demo is an excellent way for lead generation, sales or professional services to offer a demo to a prospect, partner or customer without having them feel ‘committed.’ The Monthly Demo can also be used to invite new employees or others within the company as a refresher or to hear first hand what questions prospects are asking.
Don’t let the only expert hold the key to the technical information; marketing communications folks need to work with the experts to help disseminate the information across the organization.