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Thread: Sales people at software companies

  1. #1
    Join Date
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    Sales people at software companies

    Should people in sales departments of software consulting companies have a technical background?

    Question Repeat:
    In a company that develops bespoke software on customer demand - a software services company and not a software product company - should the people who call prospective clients have a technical background?

    My take on it is a big YES. And I've been crying that to the management ever since I was born. There's always been a debate.

    Your take with supporting arguments.

  2. #2
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    Re: Sales people at software companies

    IMHO, it is not necessary to be very knowledgable but must be enough to what they are selling. Probably, this may sound like a complain but what happen in my place is that the marketeers don't know all the features in our product! The reason is simply "copy-and-paste" marketing where they "leverage" features from previous product. They are so bad that they can't even install and run the program themselves. As a result, they are not making sound requirements which will be used by end-user. This is very bad as it incurred expensive cost in designing, development as well as testing. Wost till, it also raise many support issues as end-user doesn't know how to use it. I believe another important reason is that we don't have a good process to capture requirement. If every requirements is careful verified and validate, we wouldn't have such a problem. Anyway, presently some of our managers have finally acknowledged this and are taking action hoping to rectify the process.
    quoted from C++ Coding Standards:

    KISS (Keep It Simple Software):
    Correct is better than fast. Simple is better than complex. Clear is better than cute. Safe is better than insecure.

    Avoid magic number:
    Programming isn't magic, so don't incant it.

  3. #3
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    Re: Sales people at software companies

    this reminds me of a dilbert comic - here

    (for those of you who haven't been to this site, the main site is a daily programming abomination that is generally a good laugh).

    Oh, and yes, I think they should. Selling products should not be about the ability to convince people your product is the best through a slick speil of hollow, meaningless phrases - it should be about demonstrating that it is the best. Too many sales people focus on the latest buzz words, etc (marketing speak) instead of focusing on what the product can deliver. But is the problem with the salesman, or with the person purchasing the product being dazzled by the salesman?

    and khuen - great highlighting of the word "leverage". I honestly believe that marketing companys do a "find and replace" before they post advertisements to replace "use" with "leverage". it sickens me.

  4. #4
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    Re: Sales people at software companies

    Quote Originally Posted by Zeb
    Oh, and yes, I think they should. Selling products should not be about the ability to convince people your product is the best through a slick speil of hollow, meaningless phrases - it should be about demonstrating that it is the best. Too many sales people focus on the latest buzz words, etc (marketing speak) instead of focusing on what the product can deliver. But is the problem with the salesman, or with the person purchasing the product being dazzled by the salesman?

    and khuen - great highlighting of the word "leverage". I honestly believe that marketing companys do a "find and replace" before they post advertisements to replace "use" with "leverage". it sickens me.
    Yeah, it sure sounds like some sort of black magic or witchcraft where they have to incant the "phrases" in order to create the selling motion. Personally, I think that our marketing only know who are the end-users they are targeting but not taking a step further to understand what feature make sense.
    quoted from C++ Coding Standards:

    KISS (Keep It Simple Software):
    Correct is better than fast. Simple is better than complex. Clear is better than cute. Safe is better than insecure.

    Avoid magic number:
    Programming isn't magic, so don't incant it.

  5. #5
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    Posts
    576

    Re: Sales people at software companies

    ahaha. I once read an editorial where the author declared the biggest danger to the IT industry was in-flight magazines. You get decision makers, etc, reading these magazines on business trips, see the lovely new ad talking about leveraging the latest in TLA software, getting suckered in, then when they realise the product doesn't actually deliver anything they require, losing heart in the IT industry in general.

    The IBM ad's are definitely my favourites. Every one of them is an absolute gem, showing all these wonderful things their software can do that everyone is doing anyway.

  6. #6
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    Re: Sales people at software companies

    I think you'll find you get funnier Friday afternoon stories if you have at least 1(one) completely tech-oblivious salesperson or manager who happens to be related to one of the company directors.
    Microsoft LVP - Least Valuable Professional

    Please rate this post... Pleeeeeeaaassee!!!

  7. #7
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    Re: Sales people at software companies

    Quote Originally Posted by Deniz
    I think you'll find you get funnier Friday afternoon stories if you have at least 1(one) completely tech-oblivious salesperson or manager who happens to be related to one of the company directors.
    hmmm... and you're telling us we can read into this whatever we like?

  8. #8
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    Re: Sales people at software companies

    Quote Originally Posted by Zeb
    hmmm... and you're telling us we can read into this whatever we like?

    Actually this was the case in a previous job I worked in.
    Microsoft LVP - Least Valuable Professional

    Please rate this post... Pleeeeeeaaassee!!!

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