today's competitive market, sales job
is also a market research job. Ability
to do 'Homework' i.e. market research
before making any sales call, is an essential
skill to become a successful sales person.
Decision makers expect the sales engineer
to be a knowledgeable representative of
I came across a research covering expectations
of the decision makers. It says, over
45% of sales engineers during personal
sales call were found to be unprepared
for the discussions. Except knowledge
about their own products, they are not
aware of any thing related to the industry
or economy. This
is most common problem with the new sales
the current competitive scenario, mere
knowledge of your company's product is
not sufficient !
address this situation, let us understand
what are the expectations of the decision
They are interested in a 'Solution' rather
than a 'Product'. Can you clearly articulate
not just the value of the product, but
also the value of doing business with
Decision maker values information, which
is current and up-to-date especially about
the industry, technology tends, his competitor
etc.& not just the information on
products being sold to him.
Your sales call is expected to provide
insight & information resulting in
his preference for your product &
With this understanding what the decision
maker expects, what research you should
The new sales engineers must spend as
much time researching the customer than
actually calling on the customer. The
experienced ones can focus more on industry
& Technology trends, competitive scenario
The sales engineer should seek information
on internet & thro' publicly available
information sources e.g. business magazines,
Trade association, Stock market etc. Organisations
should recognise that research is an essential
skill of the sales engineer.
The Sales person should take the lead
to collect & analyse the information.
Other departments like marketing can only
help in this regard.
experience & observation : Majority
of the information to become a well informed
sales person, is publicily available.
& information collection should be like
breathing, an essential activity without
which no sales person can survive !