As the world rapidly transitions toward digitalization, it presents an opportunity for tech companies to offer their products as solutions to today’s needs. To maximize this boom, tech companies need to demonstrate prowess in technology sales.
One of today’s top tech sales leaders is KC Choi, Executive Vice President and Head of the Global B2B Mobile Business at Samsung.
In this episode of Technology Sales Insights, KC Choi talks about his career in the technology sales industry, the key global trends emerging in the industry today, and the things that define a great sales professional.
KC first began his stint in tech sales at IBM. He later went on to become part of tech giants HP and Dell before he returned to South Korea to lead Samsung’s mobility efforts, focusing on all things 5G, mobile devices, and solutions.
In the course of KC’s four-decade career, he’s learned that some of the most important parts of his journey weren’t the times that he was on a growth trajectory. Rather, they were the times when there was a pause, whether for something personal or professional in his life.
One of these moments was when his son, Alex, was born with a genetic birth defect. It was a low point in his personal life, but his work at the time, which involved selling solutions to organizations in the life sciences, gave him renewed hope that his line of work could lead to a better life for children like Alex in the future.
Another important instance was when he returned to South Korea, a turning point in his career journey which he has found to have been a very valuable learning experience for him in terms of business and culture.
Business outcomes are important to keep in mind for those who are involved in technology sales. For KC, remembering the end impact of the product being sold makes a huge difference. More than learning about the product itself, it’s important to keep in mind not only the perspective of the client who is about to purchase it but also what the client’s customer is going to experience. In sales, it matters when professionals keep in mind that the solutions have a profound impact beyond the close of a sale.
KC still remembers what Jack Novia--Senior Vice President and General Manager of HP for a time—told him about the effective characteristics of a sales leader. He was able to distill it what he called a Nine-Word Goal Sheet: “make your number, delight your customer, grow your people.”
South Korea’s exposure to the COVID-19 pandemic has led to the emergence of key trends. A major one for the mobile industry is the enhanced adoption of tactile-less or contactless business. The pandemic has accelerated transitioning services online, particularly where e-commerce is concerned. As a result, there has been a rise of various developments in everything from contactless payment systems to new manufacturing technologies.
Another macro trend that has been emerging in the mobile space is that manufacturers and distributors alike have had to shift to environments where they can ensure the safety of their employees. Frontline worker safety has become of paramount importance to be able to get people back to work.
Today, there is a rapid digital transformation occurring in the front lines, and not just in the back office. The necessity of front-end digitization has been accelerated over the past year. This is evident in sectors such as manufacturing, distribution, and logistics, which traditionally tend to fall behind in adopting new developments, especially when compared to early adopters such as financial services or other industries.
These solutions have been developed to empower front-line users to be more productive or to make decisions faster and more efficient, all in the service of providing better safety solutions. For instance, technologies designed for social distance detection and contract tracing are being developed. Wearable technology has become part of the many ways that safety and tracking can be enforced.
Mobile networks are starting to enable these trends as well. 5G has become ubiquitous in South Korea for over a year and is slowly gaining traction as well around the U.S. and European markets. 5G can be seen as a game-changer not only for reasons of efficiency but also for developments in the enterprise space where it can facilitate better automation processes.
One of the things that can make a sales professional stand out is the ability to tell a story that can make the complex simple. Typically, as tech companies evolve, product offerings and portfolios become more complex, and the message that they’re delivering can become convoluted in the process. A great sales professional knows how to take those concepts and put them in a storyboard in a comprehensible sequence that a board of directors can relate to.
This visual storytelling technique is one of the best practices in sales that works effectively. Today, as physical distance becomes the norm and remote selling becomes unavoidable, visual storytelling becomes even more important than before. A stream-of-consciousness sales pitch can no longer be as effective when conducted over a Zoom call rather than in person. This technique requires adequate preparation to deliver the message well, in a way that is visually captivating, memorable and distills concepts down to their most understandable form.
Successful teams employ this technique, whether for executive briefings or communicating something difficult to a buyer base that has changed. The buyer base today has shifted in the last decade from being highly technical to buying based on outcomes or business results.
When sales professionals lack the years to fully grasp technical jargon required to present their solutions to their buyers, the art of being able to effectively tell a visually sequenced story can, instead, be the key to making that sale.
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