For many product firms, services have been the silver lining in the dark 2001 cloud. Not surprisingly, the sales mantra for 2002 at many technology firms is about services and services-driven solutions. Simply demanding bigger sales quotas for services will not get companies from here to there, however. Increasing incentives will help, but the sales support challenge is far larger than that. Sales reps used to pushing product are too often ill-equipped to make an about-face and sell services successfully. The keys to success often lie within the sales support system developed and maintained by marketers and sales managers.
This ITSMA Update outlines a four-step approach to increasing services sales effectiveness:
- Educating the sales force about the unique challenges of selling services
- Orienting marketing and sales around the top priority selection criteria for services buyers
- Creating compelling value propositions for services and solutions
- Providing value at every step of the selling relationship
The four-step approach is particularly useful for marketers and sales managers responsible for accelerating the services sales cycle and charged with developing tools and processes to ensure sales force success.