The other day, I asked Why do developers/techies avoid salespeople, and found some great insight. To sum up the answers on the question, it's a matter of introversion and arrogance.
So how does one overcome this? That is, how does one get a developer/engineer type to want to engage (via phone) a salesperson?
Let's assume that the sales staff is highly knowledgable and even knows more about the problem space than the individual. Let's also assume that a 30-60 minute phone interview is all that's needed to determine whether the solution is a good fit.
Putting on your developer hat, what would pursaude you to (willingly) hop on the phone for a 30 minute interview?
I'm a developer myself and the best way to convince me is to simply give me your solution and let me play with that for a little bit. If I like it - I'll buy.
If some software does not have a free trial and I need to have a call with somebody in order to try it - there is a 99% chance that I won't go for it.
And there is no way you can make me spend 30 minutes talking to some sales guy - it's a huge waste of my time.
Sorry to ask in this way, but I can't post comments yet.
Do you mean:
BTW, the question and answers are very interesting so far! Will upvote as soon as I have enough rep :)
Alex you need to build this structure into your organization. Sales folks are outgoing, energetic, and usually love the chase. Developers are usually a lot more quiet, and less glory hogs.
You can build this into your organization by:
1. Teaching your sales staff to defer to developer advice. Lets say your sales person is in charge of selling a CDN network you operate. He knows how to break objections, understands the basics of what he is selling, but cannot answer highly technical questions. He/She needs to feel very comfortable (and supported) knowing that they could always bring on a technical expert on the phone, or in person meeting at any time.
Treat it as good cop bad cop.
Good cop = tech guys with all the answers
Bad cop = Sales guy that wants the sale.
Together the prospect is converted to a client.
Can you give us a link to your product/service?
Just because you have a great product doesn't mean it fits every developers needs. There is also a switching cost (in terms of time) for me to use your new product/service there needs to be a really good reason for me to do that.
Being able to do your own research first means your not put on the spot about making decisions.
I would suggest creating a short 2 minute video (4 at the absolute outside as there are alot of other things competing for my attention) which captures the value your product/service offers that I can watch first (so im not in the dark) would make me feel more comfortable talking to you about your product/service if its something I need.
That is, how does one get aMost of us get paid to design and write code, and are given schedules that are on the knife-edge of feasible. Our employers don't want to hear we blew deadlines because we were yakking on the phone with salespeople. Most places I've worked, they pay gatekeepers to make it really hard for cold-callers to get to the programmers.
developer/engineer type to want to
engage (via phone) a salesperson?
So here are a few options.
Convince my boss first
I've sometimes been asked by a manager to evaluate a product, and have always been happy to do it.
Make a really compelling case via some other means of contact
Traditional advertising is good for that.
With the deadlines most of us have, yakking on the phone at work means we stay late. If you want to chew into my personal time, pony up - and mugs and shirts ain't gonna do it, either.
Microsoft has tried twice to get me to spend a day evaluating some product and offered me what they called a "gratuity". I'm not sure why they think I'm a waiter; I'm a highly-educated, highly-paid professional with too much work and not enough time. At my normal hourly contract rate, I told them a subscription to MSDN for $700 would be fine, but they didn't seem to think that was a good idea.
I think at the end of the day, you need to realize that developers are simply not COMFORTABLE talking to vendors in general. I know I am generalizing, but it is a reality. I think the question is great, but I do not think there is a good answer to your question. There is no good and simple and easy way to get a developer who is EVALUATING your product to TALK to anyone.
Actually, I take it back. There are two circumstances when they will pickup a phone and call:
So, either pray that your product is the only product that solves a huge pain OR have a way to target IT managers (ie the decision makers & bosses) and get them to talk to your sales people first.