As a leader in workplace learning and performance, FKA has worked in many industry sectors. One common challenge, whether it’s in technology, health services, pharmaceuticals, financial services or manufacturing, is the effective utilization of technical support resources in both pre- and post-sales activities.
Most sales models identify key stages of a sales call which focus around: Opening, Investigating, Demonstrating Capability, Obtaining Commitment and Supporting the Sale. Although sales representatives participate in sales programs that improve their selling skills and ultimately their sales performance, the technical support specialists who accompany the reps to client sites, are often overlooked when it comes to their learning and development needs.
As a learning partner, FKA has collaborated with clients to enhance the credibility and effectiveness of the pre-sales technical support representatives who are required to conduct product demos using some form of Value Selling Process with their customers. The process enhances the technical support reps’ ability to:
- outline competitive advantages and benefits;
- handle customer objections; and
- control the demo environment.
Without the skill set of the technical support rep in the sales process, the chances of closing the sale are greatly reduced.
Technical Support Reps as Facilitators
The development of a customized program can help the pre-sales technical support reps to effectively facilitate customer meetings using a presentation/demo that creates linkage between their customer’s situation (pain), and relevant products which highlight competitive advantages.
By participating in programs to develop meeting facilitation as well as group organization and leadership skills, technical support reps will be better prepared to advance sales calls and ultimately close more sales.
Technical Support Reps as Instructors
The technical support rep also plays a critical role in the post-sales process. Once the client purchases the product, application or solution, the technical support rep is required to train the customer on how to use the product. Typically, these technical support reps are experts in the products or applications they support but have no instructional skills.
By providing them with some instructional techniques, the customers will:
- Have more confidence in using the product
- Experience less stress, frustration and anxiety
- Be less dependent on the product vendor
- Be happier and more satisfied
- Learn how to use the product faster
- Increase their skills and knowledge, thus leading to better results
Using technical support reps in both the pre-sales and post-sales process can have tremendous results. In the pre-sales environment, the technical support reps need to:
- Develop customer meeting skills that help them position the purpose and desired outcome of the meeting/presentation/demo from their client’s perspective
- Develop their questioning skills to better understand their customers needs and concerns
- Demonstrate more effectively how their product can help the customer by describing capabilities through features, advantages and benefits
- Be able to gain agreement and commitment from their customer concerning the next steps
In the post-sales environment, the technical support reps must continue to build the long-term partnership with their customer by demonstrating how to use their product effectively. They need to use a systematic learning process, based on adult learning principles, that keep their customers engaged throughout the training. The result? More productive customers using the product’s capabilities in the most effective manner.
FKA’s Facilitating Effective Customer Meetings and Instructional Techniques programs can help prepare technical support reps be more effective. For further information on these two programs, please visit www.fka.com.