The future of IT Sales in the channel

Having worked in the IT channel for about 7 years now I’ve been involved in many aspects both from a technical, service delivery, strategic and sales capacity. I’ve worked with companies such as HP, Fujitsu, Intel, Dell, Softcat, Trustmarque, SCC and a number of other LAR’s, VAR’s, service providers and OEM’s.

The role of IT sales professional seems to be shifting, I’ve seen a great variety in the messaging and people involved in sales cycles. Solutions sold with no clear design, solutions selected based on margin, hardware for solutions that aren’t designed, opinions silenced to save face and all manner of possibly immoral actions taken to secure a deal. Because who care’s once it’s sold? If it doesn’t work the service delivery function will take care of it right?

Ok so I’ve listed out the worst of a very small number of incidents that I have seen that haven’t been great. However as time goes on I seem to see less of this occurring. The “I’m not a techie” or “I’m just the sales guy” approach is something that is being eroded away. As new generations take up positions and as the ever changing world of technology moves forward people are getting more and more educated.

I foresee the demarcation between “sales”, “presales” and “delivery” being removed in the near future. Sales professionals will need to become presales technical consultants and presales techies will need to learn ever more about sales. With this in mind I foresee that the two roles will not exist as they do now, instead in the future (in some organizations I already see this now) we will see a single role both business and technology focused, and perhaps a greater degree of customer value.

  • TomBasham

    I think you’re right Dan, from the customer side of the world I think the days where we’re prepared to settle for the old ‘I’ll talk to my technical tea about that’ type lines are rapidly disappearing. The organisations where the sales team come to the table on day one with good knowledge of how their solution can be implemented are just too attractive.

    • Daniel Card

      There’s still along way to go in my opinion, incentivizing sales people to complete all the online content (MS MPN Sales accreditations as an example) and actually understand the different options out there is not an easy task. Clearly I’m talking about everyone in IT sales, but I’ve met a lot of people who really don’t understand some of the basics. There needs to be mix of knowledge not just singing off the product data sheet in my opinion.

  • Rich

    Very interesting mate