HR Tech Sales Rethunk

Yes, I meant rethunk instead of … you get it.

Riding the train to Manhattan (father/daughter weekend) reading an article in HRB about the secret to smarter sales and the new art of the “Big Idea”. Showing the buyer how it can be done better in a fundamentally new way based on a need that they may not be able to articulate yet. Basically, it says that the days of “Solution Sales” … asking a million questions to identify a “hook” (need), developing an internal champion and presenting a solution specifically focused on that need … is over.

Had this exact conversation with my VP of Sales the other day.  I am the CEO of a software company and buy a ton of stuff from a ton of sales reps, most of whom suck royally at selling but I’m sure are fine people. Who in the hell wants to be on the receiving end of a technology sales rep go through this mundane process of asking questions of no value to the buyer only to have the answers used as hammer once the vulnerability is found???? Or even worse, having them offer to “come visit me” to smack me with said “solution” hammer.

HR technology vendors (present company included) are stuck in an old-fashioned selling pattern. The pace of HR tech demands that vendors step up and show the buyer the light. Show the “Big Idea” on how [NAME THE CATEGORY … RECRUITMENT, PERFORMANCE MGT, ETC.) can be done so much better and stop focusing so much time on how a solution is the perfect fit for some narrowly defined problem articulated by the buyer  (or worse, RFP) who likely understands neither the full scope of the problem or the possibilities that exist today.

Here is the challenge .. HR Tech sales reps (our reps at the top of this list) start delivering the Big Idea more and the “solution” hammer less … challenge the buyer to think bigger.


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