How and when to create a sales department for an IT company?
Regardless of whether you already have an IT company, or you are just planning to start your business or want to create an IT company, you have already asked yourself the question: how and when to create a sales department in your company.
In order to receive a detailed answer, let’s start by considering the main directions of such a department.
1 Lead generation – marketing activities aimed at finding people or contacts who may have a potential interest in buying your services/products..
Many IT company owners delude themselves thinking of lead generation as of sales department function. Lead generation is a function exclusively of the marketing department (marketer), but it must be implemented in full synchronization with the sales department.
Lead generation is such an important and complex marketing process for an IT company, that we decided to devote a separate article to it. Also no less important process is SEO-optimization of the site, which we have already written about.
2 Ideally, the first stage of the sales process in an IT company is the qualification of a lead received from the marketing department, or a leadgen marketer, if the company is moderate.
The lead, received by the marketing department is called MQL (Marketing Qualified Lead). In order to transfer such a lead to the sales department, he receives SQL (Sales Qualified Lead) status and the lead qualification process begins.
Qualification is the process of transferring a lead from marketing to sales. This is done to remove the eternal “dilemma” when the marketing department of an IT company “generates” requests from the site, or responses to LinkedIn, but somehow there are still no sales.
Accordingly, several “frameworks” have been invented for qualifying leads, the most famous of which is BANT-qualification. BANT stands for:
- BUDGET – whether the client has the required budget;
- AUTHORITY – whether a person interested in our services can make a decision to purchase such services;
- NEED – whether potential clients are really interested in our services;
- TIME – whether we can keep within the time that the client has to implement the solution;
As a rule, the company agrees that, in order to be transferred to the sales department, a lead must meet at least 2 criteria:
BUDGET – if a potential client has $ 200, and the project costs $ 20,000, there is basically no point in communicating after all;
NEED – the desired technology stack must match your company’s technology stack, since you, as a matter of principle, will not be able to meet the criteria for further selection of a contractor and will simply waste time.
Regarding AUTHORITY and TIME – you can always communicate: either ask the person who contacted your company to connect you directly with the decision maker, or convince the client that the deadlines are unrealistic and need to be discussed further. It all depends on the professionalism of the sales department.
3 Presale is the best way to conduct further lead qualification before asking the team to make an estimate or presenting the CEO / CTO of the company to the client to start the next stage – NEGOTIATION.
A common Presales call structure:
- Let the client tell about the company, project, needs, tasks that need to be solved.
- Ask questions about the project, clarify the information required for further qualifications (expected budget / rates / technologies / level of engineers).
- Tell about your company, experience, rates, level of engineers, technologies).
- Agree on the next steps (clarification of information, signing an NDA, preparation of additional information, etc.)
4 Negotiation is the last and most important stage of IT sales, but if a “qualified” lead came to you at the final stage, then there’s an 80% possibility that you will “close” the deal and get a high-quality project, because you are communicating not just with the person who filled out the application on the website, but with a potential client with whom you share a common goal.
We generally do not recommend creating a sales department in IT companies, smaller than 10-12 people, because all roles can be easily performed by the owner of an IT business, having well-established lead generation and not spending the budget on activities that are unnecessary for him.
You can read how to set up lead generation yourself in the corresponding article on our website. Or leave it for specialists who have professional experience in this field and to order lidogeneration services in BizZzdev.
Our team has many years of experience in the field of marketing and lead generation, as evidenced the award Bizzzdev by service Clutch.