Making the Technical Sale: Real-World Training for the Successful Sales Consultant

Overview

The technical sales professional fills a valuable role in the sales cycle of a software product. This book discusses how technical sales is different from general sales, details the full range of skills needed by technical sales professionals, illuminates the typical tasks technical sales professionals handle, and explores the role these people play on the sales team. It covers basics such as presentation skills, working in a team, and time management; specifics such as creating and delivering demos, working with...
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Overview

The technical sales professional fills a valuable role in the sales cycle of a software product. This book discusses how technical sales is different from general sales, details the full range of skills needed by technical sales professionals, illuminates the typical tasks technical sales professionals handle, and explores the role these people play on the sales team. It covers basics such as presentation skills, working in a team, and time management; specifics such as creating and delivering demos, working with groups of prospects, handling objections, and competitive positioning; and the overall technical sales cycle. Sales and project managers, consultants, and technical sales professionals will benefit from the depth of training offered in this book.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780966288995
  • Publisher: Muska & Lipman Publishing
  • Publication date: 3/28/2001
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 400
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.06 (h) x 0.94 (d)

Meet the Author

James F. Milbery is the coauthor with Greenwald of The Oracle WebDB Bible. He lives in Easton, Pennsylvania.

Richard E. Greenwald is a competitive analyst with Oracle Corporation and the author of six books, including Oracle Power Objects Developers and Oracle Essentials. He lives in Evanston, Illinois.

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Read an Excerpt

The technical sales professional fills a valuable role in the sales cycle of a software product. This book discusses how technical sales is different from general sales, details the full range of skills needed by technical sales professionals, illuminates the typical tasks technical sales professionals handle, and explores the role these people play on the sales team. It covers basics such as presentation skills, working in a team, and time management; specifics such as creating and delivering demos, working with groups of prospects, handling objections, and competitive positioning; and the overall technical sales cycle. Sales and project managers, consultants, and technical sales professionals will benefit from the depth of training offered in this book.
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Table of Contents

Part I: Who and What Chapter 1 - Welcome to the Club Chapter 2 - Your Team Part II: Technical Sales Chapter 3 - Understanding the Sales Process Chapter 4 - Understanding the Psychology of the Buyer Part III: Sales Consultant Basics Chapter 5 - First Principals Chapter 6 - Working with the Public Chapter 7 - Feature Benefit Selling Chapter 8 - Mastering Your Solution Chapter 9 - Qualification and Planning for Presentations and Demonstrations Chapter 10 - Making Effective Technical Sales Presentations Chapter 11 - Delivering Product Demonstrations Chapter 12 - Managing Evaluations Chapter 13 - Objection Handling Chapter 14 - The Technology Adoption Lifecycle Chapter 15 - RFIs and RFQs Part IV: Advanced Techniques and Peripheral Skills Chapter 16 - Working the Installed Base and Alternative Sales Channels Chapter 17 - Working the Competition Chapter 18 - The Eight Worst Types of Prospects Chapter 19 - The Secend Deadly Sins of SCs Chapter 20 - Productivity Enhancers Chapter 21 - The Ideal Sales Cycle - A Sample Case Part V: Wrapping Up Chapter 22 - Your Future

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Preface

The R/3 Plant Maintenance (PM) component from SAP is targeted at an area that may appear somewhat unspectacular when compared with business management in the areas of sales and production. As I will show, however, the PM component does more than merely add another cost planning area to those already covered by the R/3 System; it also provides specific new functionalities that enable SAP users to handle an area crucial for their strategic success.

In Western European economies, expenditure on maintaining production systems, public infrastructures and privately operated systems accounts for over 10 per cent of gross national product (Warnecke 1992). Although there are cases where it cannot be strictly delimited from investment costs (largely because there is a certain technical scope for substitution), plant maintenance planning accounts for an overwhelming volume of expenditure and must, therefore, be carried out efficiently. Economic planning of this type is of crucial importance, since the current trend is towards increased expenditure on plant maintenance. This is chiefly due to the growing complexity of production systems, which, in turn, is a result of progressive functional integration and automation. These production systems, which support the increasing productivity crucial for market competition, require ever more investible funds. While systems of this type continue to represent a structural increase in plant mainten ance expenditure, this expenditure is, in some cases, being replaced by investment expenditure (partly as a result of the diminishing product and system life cycles as part of the optimization of life cycle/usage costs via asset management) (Biedermann 1990).

For these reasons, plant maintenance will remain an exceptionally important area for applying business methodology -- above all, in the areas of process control and cost management. A significant number of companies are now able to leverage their specialized production know-how as a strategic competitive factor. In such companies, there is also the potentially profitable chance that plant maintenance will be innovatively extended, becoming a key factor for competitive expertise in managing production effectiveness.

Optimizing the overall effectiveness of systems and assets is a key goal for cost management in plant maintenance. One way of achieving this goal is to systematically deploy modern organizational methods and plant maintenance strategies -- such as condition-based maintenance (CBM), continuous improvement programs (CIP), and specialist teams to ensure that plant maintenance is carried out as efficiently as possible.

In addition to this, cross-sector benchmarking can be applied to provide further starting points for increasing plant maintenance efficiency in accordance with the principles of Business Process Reengineering (BPR) with innovative advances toward designing best practice processes.

Given the advent of BPR and outsourcing, the pragmatic question that must be addressed is whether companies can ensure the diversity and depth of specialist knowledge required to continue autonomously developing practical expertise in production technology (to the extent that this represents a core competency). Finally, the increasing orientation of companies to monetary markets and customer demands has given rise to an area of business activity for plant maintenance specialists, the importance of which is not to be underestimated. Here, maintenance management plays an active part in the process of target costing, especially in the 'design to cost' development phase.

The predefined structures of the PM component provide comprehensive support for mapping the characteristic features of corporate plant maintenance in data processing systems. The component is also extensively integrated in a networked planning and financial environment, which covers all the activities of an enterprise. This ensures that all the information required for controlling plant maintenance is available holistically across all production activities involving systems. In addition to this, the powerful tried-and-tested tools for implementing targeted aggregation, as well as differentiated, comprehensible and assessable representations of company activities, help prevent those responsible for plant maintenance from being flooded with details, thereby enabling them to concentrate more on technical improvement considerations. The comprehensive functionalities of SAP R/3 and the PM component will ensure targeted support for this welcome trend.

Leoben, January 2000 Jurgen Wolfbauer Professor of Business Administration and Industrial Management Montanuniversitat Leoben, Austria

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