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Why TBD?

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In the IT-related sector, the more successful sales and marketing teams have to ”keep up” with technology as they perform their day-to-day duties. This is a skill born out of years of labor in the young-but-maturing industry. The crucial element is passion. Being excited about what technology enables a team to best choose which new developments to watch in order to enhance contemporaneous value propositions today.
This practiced discipline of leaning into the future allows a sales and marketing team to better present (and represent) products and services that are in the market today.

Unconvinced?

Take a look at the following characteristics of the IT industry. See if you don’t agree that performing sales and marketing for technology-related companies is unlike any other business environment in the marketplace today.

  • Selling IT solutions requires a depth of knowledge that other general services and products sold to businesses rarely need. This is true for every contributor in the marketing process. Lead generation for insurance or banking, or even telecom, does not require ìknowing your stuff,î even on the entry level of a sales and marketing organization, as much as it does with IT technology. In the world of IT, youíre only as ìvalue-addî as the least knowledgeable person on your team. Since everyone who makes a purchase decision at a business site is rushing to ìkeep up,î theyíll call you on it if just one person in your organization isnít.
  • Many IT purchases are made by committees. Compiling the business-site intelligence can help an IT sales team navigate through those purchase-decision committees. Assembling this information is one challenge; communicating to each one appropriately is another. Effectively dealing with purchase committees comes with a large payback: A significantly reduced sales cycle.
  • IT executives who make buying decisions are some of the most sought after executives, recruited by both competitors and industries outside their current engagement. To that end, managing that update process for key contacts is a necessary discipline when selling IT products and services to businesses. So is the constant appreciation that a junior decision maker at a difficult prospect today may be a senior committee member at an existing customer account tomorrow. Corporate executive rotation between firms affects every industry, but IT decision makers move around with an exceptionally high degree of velocity. Itís another real challenge to sales people in that industry.
  • IT initiatives are some of the most expensive and business-critical projects for companies. Therefore, IT is quite often under constant review by the highest levels of corporate management. Compared to other products and services, like property and casualty insurance, for instance, which are one-time buying decisions and are critical only when there is an accident or disaster; IT can make or break a firmís profitability on an almost daily basis. Due to its criticality and ubiquity, IT decision makers feel a high degree of pressure every day; marketing to those individuals must take this daily stress into account.
  • The very nature of technology presents a challenge. IT products and services compete in a marketplace that is always changing. To successfully sell IT products and services, the entire sales and marketing team doesnít just need an in-depth knowledge about their own products; they have to stay current on what is going on in technology overall. Obsolescence is unavoidable in the IT industry, but it can (and should be) kept at a minimum by having a team that looks to the immediate horizon of technologies coming onto the market. Without that view of the ìtechnological radar screenî, a business can over-invest in technologies that are competitive for too brief of a time period. Thereís a high cost to not keeping a disciplined eye out for emerging technologies and applications. Having an outside sales and marketing team with that knowledge and awareness will make your business more valuable to your clients.

For technology firms we've combined these three disciplines into one business unit and added sales management services, providing technology firms with end-to-end sales and marketing solutions with potential hunter sales team resources. This business team - built for system integrators, software developers, and service providers - is called "Technology Business Direct" or "TBD".

Why the IT Industry is Different from All Others

It's a peculiar feature of this technology: That by making things smaller, essentially everything gets better. The transistors get faster; you can put more of a system on a chip, so you can increase a sytem's reliability and performance that way. But more importantly, it gets cheaper... The important thing is not to be left behind. Because then you're not only at a performance disadvantage you're at a cost disadvantage too. So that drives the industry. - Gordon Moore - Founder of Intel