John Care, Aron Bohlig, "Mastering Technical Sales: The Sales Engineer's Handbook"
Artech House Publishers | 2008 | ISBN: 1596933399 | 340 pages | PDF | 1,5 MB
Take your career to new heights by adding powerhouse sales and presentation skills to your technical background. This newly revised and expanded edition of Mastering Technical Sales: The Sales Engineer's Handbook offers invaluable insights and tips for every stage of the selling process, explained step-by-step by a pair of technical sales pros with decades of eye-popping, industry-giant success under their belt. The second edition features nearly 40% new material, including how to make the most of Webcasts and remote demonstrations, how to give impressive "snap" demonstrations, and how to use CRM/SFA systems effectively.
This indispensable sales tool shows you the ropes of lead qualification, the RFP process, and needs analysis and discovery, and explains how your technical know-how can add invaluable leverage to sales efforts at every step. You learn how to plan and present the perfect pitch, demonstrate products effectively, build customer relationship skills, handle objections and competitors, negotiate prices and contracts, close the sale, and so much more -- including how to avoid the critical selling mistakes so often made by technical pros who jump to sales. The book also addresses key career management and team-building topics, and includes detailed case studies, concise chapter summaries, and handy checklists of skill-building tips that reinforce all the career-boosting skills and techniques you learn.
Summary: Essential tool that any SE be they new, experienced, or a manager should read cover to cover.
I was challenged a few months ago to explain in detail what makes up a Sales Engineer/Solutions Consultant? What does the role entail and what do you need to know to be successful? Well, if I'd read this book before that exercise then I'd have simply asked the technical trainer I was briefing to read this book! Mastering Technical Sales, not to be mistaken with the similar sounding Making The Technical Sale by Greenwald & Milberry, is an excellent practical book that covers the needs of not just new SE's but also provides advice and knowledge for the more experienced SE, SE manager or even executive tasked with creating and maintaining an SE organisation. What I found particularly useful were the real world examples of both successful and unsuccessful practice - these lend a level of credibility and relevance to the material that perhaps the Greenwald & Milberry book lacks. (Btw, this is also a fine & very relevant book for any SE). I also particularly liked the chapter organization of summarizing the chapter goals, presenting the material, summary and then presentation of a skill-building summary for both the new SE and the experienced SE. The book tackles pretty much every aspect of a typical SE's life from what type of person does it take and why do we do this? What do I need to do to be successful? What resources should I call upon? When? How? When & how to use executives. How to leverage corporate resources be they product management, engineering, technical support, marketing, or external resources such as partners. I thought the section on 'crossing over to the dark side' was particularly relevant and accurate as it covers the risks, the rewards and the reality of whether this is something that an SE should consider or not and more importantly, why or why not? The book covers all the standard stuff very comprehensively from the sales process itself, presentation skills & techniques, objection and competition handling plus the realities of how to manage the sale to avoid the pitfalls of demos, succumbing to technical trials & evaluations or being driven by your competitor's agenda. All excellent material and covered well with real war stories. Whilst this isn't the cheapest book on the subject, I'd definitely consider it worth every cent. Highly recommended.
Mastering Technical Sales provides a terrific foundation for the newly-minted Sales Engineer, a growth vehicle for the developing journeyman, and rich source-book for the seasoned professional. While there are numerous "sales methodology" books available today, nearly all focus on the sales people and provide little or no information for the Sales Engineer and others who address the technical sale portion of the overall sales process. Mastering Technical Sales focuses on this critical area and shares how to manage and execute technical sales tasks to enjoy the highest success rates, both in the sales process and in one's professional growth. Advice to SE's: Buy it and read it. Advice to SE Management: Purchase copies for all of your new hires.
Summary: Real World Wisdom
As a professional technical sales consultant I enjoyed this book. I particularly like the real world examples and case studies for "tricky" sales situations. Even though I think of myself as a seasoned professional I learnt some new techniques and approaches from the book; especially in how to give a technical demonstration of a piece of software.
PS. I met one of the authors who was presenting at a product launch a few weeks ago in New York and got my book autographed.
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