Looking past the glitter to avoid picking the fool's gold...

John Greenwood, Head of Technology & PCI Compliance, Contact Centre Panel

Understanding the role of sales in any organisation is not a complex thing. Keeping the sales role in some context, may not be so easily understood and may take the shine away from that first impression.

The summer break gives us time to reflect on the year to date. It’s always great to start with the successes and then the failures, or ‘opportunities’ as we are meant to label them. One such ‘opportunity’ that’s worth avoiding is that of ‘buyer’s remorse’, that sick feeling that starts in your stomach and rises through your chest, plants itself in your head and from that point on, haunts the conversation as soon as the subject matter is discussed.

Nothing presents itself better in this scenario than buying contact centre tech’. Why? Well, the answer is very simple and it’s all about context. That context is that buying anything, especially high value, and specifically, those that are complex and have multiple stakeholders, need a salesperson to sell them and contact centre tech’ is one of those things.

The scenarios witnessed all have one thing in common. The salesperson won. It’s like watching a gladiator against an unarmed soldier and in some cases, I’ve been reminded of that series of films that involved Predator and Alien, which perhaps reveals how long I’ve been around making these types of observations.

In all these procurement journeys, it was simply a case of one party going into play with more weapons, more skills and more technique than their combatant.

In that famous Monty Python sketch, ‘surprise’ is always an advantage. Although, as we know the element of surprise comes through knowledge and planning. Then comes the relationship development, even some personal social media interaction to cement the ‘advantage position’.

Tools? Well again, we all know what they are, but often fail to remember that salespeople these days are highly trained professionals who are targeted to win against people they have targeted to sell to.

Once the ‘trust position’ is established, out comes the ‘glitter and gold’ and of course, that’s all presented well to solve all the problems that the combatant has been sharing as the ‘relationship’ has been developing. Not that anything needs to have been mentioned. Typically, the professional sales team’s ‘intelligence unit’ have weaponry that gathers everything on the internet that your organisation has been putting out there, or even just checking something obvious like your company’s Trust Pilot scores and social media sites. These all are designed to reduce the risk of the sale not completing and the glitter and gold are deposited in the buyer’s jewellery box.

So, maybe take some armour and weapons of your own, make the tech’ purchasing journey an even contest and make sure what you end up buying is the gold you wanted.