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Sales Advice From Silicon Valley, Sales Babble at IOT World #166

IoT World Sales Advice Silicon ValleySales Advice From Silicon Valley, Sales Babble at IOT World #166

Today’s episode is an audio travelogue of the IoT World Conference. IoT (Internet of Things) World was held in Santa Clara, California the week of May 15th, 2017. We interviewed a number of sponsors and exhibitors regarding sales advice from Silicon Valley, the capital of technology innovation. In this episode we meet with startups, technologists and non-seller sellers. The goal is to better understand the unique challenges of promoting emerging technologies and secondly how to grow revenue early on in the adoption curve.

Gavin Whitechurch – Founder of IoT World

Gavin calls IoT the 4th Industrial revolution. To quote Wikipedia “It’s the fourth major industrial era since the initial Industrial Revolution of the 18th century. The Fourth Industrial Revolution can be described as a range of new technologies that are fusing the physical, digital and biological worlds, and impacting all disciplines, economies and industries.”

That’s what we saw at IoT World: intelligent microcontrollers, sensors, actuators and other smart devices all connected and managed intelligently across the internet.

Dana Liedholm – Director Partnerships Comtech Telecommunication Systems

Dana believes that the best way to generate leads and new opportunities is partnerships. Why? No one vendor provides end-to-end solutions. Each vendor is a link in a chain. For example, Dana’s company provides location services (using GPS to pinpoint). Any enterprise or company that requires knowledge of a devices location could be a potential partner AND a potential lead. We found the idea of fostering partnerships was recurring through the entire conference.

The biggest challenge Dana faces is the glacial speed of adoption. It’s taking longer than expected. Only early adopters understand the value her company provides. She advises the listener to be patient and partner. Furthermore, don’t try to boil the ocean. Do a little at a time, bit by bit.

There is a natural bell curve when it comes to the adoption of technologies. To learn more, dig into the archives on episode 22. Geoffrey Moore describes the chasm between early adopters and the majority, plus steps startups can take to bridge the trough of sorrows.

Gert Jorgenson – VP Sales Delta Micro Electronics

The best example of a non-seller seller is Geert Jorgenson, a former engineer turned sales manager. At the event Geert exhibited four products where they owned the IP (Intellectual Property). When prospecting, Geert only focuses on qualified clients who have an clear understanding of the value. Some of Delta’s products include:

RFID – sensor nodes, energy harvesting and toll road
RFID – tire pressures, and intellegent bandages

Geert believes in the ability to speak the language of the customer. Currently he is looking for engineers to become sales people. It’s easier to train engineers the skills of sales, than to train sales professionals the language of a technology. If you’re an engineer, there’s a job out there for you in sales.

Cameron Ka Klotz – Obidots – Business Development

Obedotz is an application enablement platform that brings intelligent devices to the cloud. Cameron’s product is used to build dashboards and management software including data analysis. They help companies move from prototype to development. Cameron’s greatest challenge is getting clients to believe that they can build a platform themselves using Obedotz.

Cameron believes that great sales is simple: Be nice, kind, and intelligently answer questions. If you need to convince people the value of your system, they’re not ideal clients. Sales is just a conversation. Next it’s key that all members of a company have a service mindset. That’s what differentiates great companies from the rest.

IoT Sales Hype

The primary sales advice from Silicon Valley is simple:

  • Partner
  • Understand and embrace the adoption curve
  • Speak the language of the customer
  • Complete commitment to adding value to your customer.

Selling new technologies takes time. Tenacity is key.

The branding of IoT is free marketing. It’s not just hype. The branding of IoT makes it easy to explain to the value of intelligent devices on a network, prospects are already bought into the concept. For companies in the tech space, hopping on the coat-tails of IoT could be a profitable decision.

How To Connect With Our Guests

We appreciate our guests time and patience while being interviewed in the frantic aisles at IoT World.

Gavin Whitechurch – Knect365

Gert Jorgenson –  Delta/Asic

Dan Liedholm – Comtech

Cameron K Klotz – Ubidots

Business Development and Entrepreneurial Mindset

We have many past episodes on selling technology from the ground up. Listen to the following startup topics for advice you can implement today!

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