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How do you utilise a technical sales team to grow market share?

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Executive summary

Technical salespeople are instrumental to organisational growth and often can be the key component of winning or losing market share. Since the introduction of technology and its systemic growth into all aspects of business, the need for customer facing salespeople to become increasingly technical has become common place.

There is now a need for increased knowledge that supersedes that of a technically connected customer. As the market moves on from the travelling salesmen model, it is now imperative for salespeople to offer highly solution focussed approaches, tailored to the consumer’s needs, at a point in time.

This technical and problem-solving ability when left isolated and misaligned from company strategies, has allowed for a high level of risk within a business as key market share holders in companies can move from organisation to organisation taking market share with them.

The aim of this report is to understand how technical sales team functions can be harnessed within an organisation and utilised to grow market share, whilst understanding the opportunities that technology integration and the forming of sales team functions can have on mitigating organisational risk and leveraging opportunity.

The methodology comprises of a literature review on sales teams and their changing functions followed by a semi structured interview process with three front line salespeople, three sales managers within the agribusiness sector and three agribusiness owner operators who are customers of technical sales teams, to gain an insight on their experiences and observations.

The analysis of these responses was the creation of codes and subsequently themes that assisted in the formation of the recommendations.

Key findings

Market share growth has become increasingly difficult to achieve with increased competition, dwindling competitive advantage and the exponential growth of resources over the internet.

Both salespeople and management highlighted the changes that the impact of Covid-19 has had on the sales environment.

There is a need for adaptability to not only mitigate risk but also to ensure relationships are maintained and where possible strengthened through the continued ability to offer the technical solutions required in real time.

This has meant the need for technology in sales teams has become vital. The alignment of the sales team and organisational strategy to this technology has become critical to maintain and develop value in the sales transaction.

Recommendations

  • Develop a sales team structure that removes isolated technical sales functions and embeds these into a sales team focussed on end consumer solutions.
  • Build a team that is resilient to changing environments and adaptable to market needs, allow processes to change and analyse performance frequently.
  • Use the technical, relationship focussed sales team members’ feedback on market insights, create a channel for the consumer voice and react to these insights.
  • Embed effective CRM technology into the sales team, ensure this technological solution is fit for purpose for each aspect of the sales team function and adds a technical advantage.
  • Utilise the data input the CRM technology offers, react to the insights gained, and leverage the market based on the data streams available.
  • Align organisational strategies to the CRM technology being used and have clear aims of the requirement for the technology.
  • Ensure your technology solution builds in data to maintain market share and embed intellectual property to mitigate personnel change and allow for succession planning.
  • Train the sales team efficiently on the technology solution, engagement is key to retention, if the right technological solution is outputting the correct data required that is in line with organisation strategy and all staff are trained and engaged then market share growth can occur.