Confusing software, falling profits: Helping sales reps teach clients

Confusing software, falling profits: Helping sales reps teach clients

Salespeople have long been pitted against developers and project managers. Some reps make promises about technology that are sometimes misleading, which sets the stage for client frustration.

We’re at the forefront of some of the most incredible breakthroughs in what our software can do, but much of it is worthless if your client can’t or doesn’t want to use it.

Fortunately, training and expectation setting can make all the difference.

The problem with software

All sales reps should be encouraging their clients to fully understand the ramifications of changing their software before they do it.

The precise amount of questions, mistakes, and resistance to the switch will depend on both the employees and how complicated the software is, but all clients have to deal with it to a certain degree.

This sounds obvious in theory, but sometimes decision makers underestimate the impact it will have on employees who now have to adopt a new platform when they only recently started becoming acclimated to the earlier system.

The importance of thorough training

Having a resource in training can make clients feel comfortable enough that when a problem arises, they know it will be taken care of. Your trainer not only has to be a guru on the software and aware of even it’s most rarely used features, but also patient when being asked the same questions or confronted with a major mistake, glitch, or system failure.

Also, content marketing can be incredibly useful for the more basic tasks. Videos and how-to guides can be referenced by both employees and managers alike so people can start to teach themselves how to work within the system. FAQs in colloquial language can be another useful tool.

This is especially true when you’re onboarding new clients, and looking to turn them into lifelong customers.

The convergence of customer service and sales

If your software is simple enough, your sales reps can make themselves available to clients when there is a technical problem.

In this case, sales reps must prepare to be the teacher. One benefit here is that the more they are involved with customer onboarding and training, the less likely they are to oversell the software. Reps should be tested on their product knowledge, demonstration skills, and objection prevention strategies.

When a client says their employees will never use something so complicated, they should have a reply ready that will help overcome any buyer reservations. Even the most resistant people in an organization will eventually switch over, and a sales rep can greatly reduce the time spent getting on track.

Prime sales opportunities

The need for better software is everywhere, which is a boon for everyone in tech right now.

The fear of outdated technology is staggering, even for those who know little about coding and software development. Everywhere someone is touting a new upgrade, update, or replacement for programs that are barely even a year old. The recent major Internet disruption was caused by hackers who were able to infiltrate web cameras and old printers that were never designed to be secure.

The secrets of politicians are being laid bare for all to see, and companies certainly don’t want that fate to befall them too.

Selling software that is both effective and secure is going to be easier for many companies now that the threats are so concrete, but it will need to be weighed against the fact that clients aren’t happy about the amount of pressure they’re feeling to keep up with the times.

Sales reps should be skilled at working the benefits into their training even after they’ve made the sale to create loyal customers.

The power of the user experience

The user experience (UX) is one of the most important parts of making a sale, and it’s the client’s opinion that counts. In fact, it’s the reliability, UX, and the ease of integration that are the three major factors project managers evaluate before buying.

If you continue to see problems again and again with how the software is being used and none of the sales reps seem able to convince buyers of its worth, it may be time to go back to the drawing board.

Some developers seem to intuitively know just how to set up their menus, dashboards, and help desks so everything is seamless, while others think too much from their own perspective as opposed to someone who’s not yet familiar with their designs.

The good news is that client feedback can help tremendously with this so that you develop a product customers will easily adopt and use for a lifetime.

This post is part of our contributor series. It is written and published independently of TNW.

This post is part of our contributor series. The views expressed are the author's own and not necessarily shared by TNW.

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