The work of an IT sales professional falls into the three main areas of pre-sales, sales and post-sale support of hardware and software. Pre-sales involves giving detailed information about technical specifications and the ways in which they could meet a customer's needs. This often includes demonstrating those features before a sale.
Pre-sales is all about pitching technical proposals to clients. This stage is all about clarifying product details or service specifications and explaining the benefits they will offer. You may even be required to carry out practical demonstrations of the applications or equipment that you’re selling.
The second stage (sales) involves negotiations around pricing and other contractual terms, e.g. installation, warranties, etc. Once a sale is finalised, the I.T. sales professional will provide user guidance and training, technical support, system maintenance, repairs and product replacements in accordance with agreed warranties.
Consequently, the I.T. sales professional has more than one string to their bow. An I.T. sales professional’s core job objective is to maintain a balance between achieving sales and revenue targets, while also ensuring that customer expectations on cost, functionality and quality are met.
In some cases it also involves responding to a pre-qualification questionnaire (PQQ) and then, if short listed, replying to a more detailed information to tender (ITT) document. The actual sale involves negotiating a commercial agreement to the benefit of both the customer and supplier. Technical support, which follows the sale, may include solving faults and problems, or maximising the use of software features, as well as advising on appropriate user training.