The world is changing, and so is the field of sales. If you don’t make an effort to change and keep up with the latest trends, you’re bound to become obsolete. When you’re working in technical sales, whether as a technical sales engineer, a business development engineer, or a VP of technical sales, you need to change with the times.
The Old Way of Doing Things Doesn’t Work
Sometimes, a technical sales engineer becomes complacent and insists on using the same sales techniques and strategies repeatedly. If you’re part of this group – stop doing the same old things that don’t work.
Take a look at a few things that no longer work – focusing on trade shows, sending emails and waiting for replies, waiting for referrals from Marketing, and using the same old follow-up methods. All these methods are no longer effective in the post-COVID 19 world. When people stick to the same techniques that are no longer working, this shows you one thing – they don’t care about improving themselves and becoming better at what they do. They have become complacent.
If you’re in the 45 to 65 year old age group and you’ve gotten used to working on auto-pilot, watch out. Younger and more tech-savvy technical sales engineers are ready to take your place. To survive in technical sales, you need to change and keep up with the times. Your old techniques such as waiting to set a face-to-face meeting with a prospect is no longer efficient or effective. Remember, traveling cross country and setting personal meetings and visits are much more complicated compared to two years ago. People prefer meeting via Zoom or through LinkedIn. You have to see what’s working now and change your ways.
LinkedIn Should Be More Important than Anything
So, if the old ways don’t work anymore, what does? The most important thing any technical sales engineer should be focusing on is LinkedIn. You need to focus on social and LinkedIn over anything else.
Everyone you need to meet with to close a sale is most likely on LinkedIn. The great thing about it is that you can work on LinkedIn from anywhere. With remote work becoming the new normal, a technical sales engineer can spend time on LinkedIn anytime – from your dining table, to your home office, even inside your car.
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Build Your Personal Brand
Use social media and LinkedIn to create your own brand. You’re not after fame, but you do want to have brand recall. In this case, you want people to remember your name and recognize your value as an expert as a technical engineer. How do you do this?
You need to post and create content. Work on engaging with others on LinkedIn, messaging people, and commenting on other people’s posts. This is how people will notice and recognize you. Post your company’s content. If they don’t have content, make your own. It doesn’t have to be professionally shot videos. You can use your smartphone and take a 2-minute video of yourself and post it online. It just needs to be clear, without any distracting noises or backgrounds, and most importantly, deliver value to viewers. You can also write blog posts and articles about the industry. Do what you’re comfortable with but make sure you are doing something to build your brand.
Everything you need to improve as a technical sales engineer is available online. You just need to take action and find it. If you prefer to learn everything on one platform and organized in a more formal manner, you can pay and take a Technical Sales University course.
If you don’t want to pay and you have the time to look and research for content on your own, you can follow Kyle Milan on YouTube and watch his free videos. Read books, visit websites, and follow industry leaders on LinkedIn. The most important thing to do is take action and do something. Don’t be satisfied being on a set salary when you can be making more. You’re not maximizing your earning potential and you’re also not helping maximize the profits of your employer.
Money Should be a Motivator
Money shouldn’t be your top priority in any field, but if you’re in sales, it should be a significant motivator. If money doesn’t matter to you, you shouldn’t be in sales. This might sound harsh, but it’s true. If you say your top priority is working with other people and money is not a priority at all, maybe you should be in Marketing or Events instead. Sales is not the field for you.
Sales is about performing and making money. It is the only department that directly contributes to the revenue of a company. If this is something you don’t care about, you are better off in another type of job.
Being successful in technical sales needs motivation, hustle, and grit. Being a technical sales engineer has no space for being complacent and lazy. If you are already trying to change, great! Continue on this path until it becomes second nature to you. Work on your LinkedIn profile, be more proactive in engaging with other people, and don’t sit around waiting for people to return your calls or emails. Make sure you are maximizing your LinkedIn profile and social media platforms. Keep yourself relevant and updated and soon you’ll start seeing positive changes and results.
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