I am very aware in this post that I started with a contradictive question. For many people answer can be something like: “What a technology guy has to do with sales? Marketing? That has no sense!”
There is always a debate among people whether to be totally dedicated for technology or should we get out of our dark rooms and expand our vision behind the mouse, keyboard and the screen.
In my opinion there are 4 main reasons why even geeks, tech savvy’s and genius minded technology experts should consider to work on their sales and marketing skill sets.
1- Understand others: I know from my work experience how sales people from non-technical backgrounds try to sell their products. With time, I discovered that the best way to argue with these folks is to speak their languages. Talking pure technical in such situations is useless in my opinion because we will be only fulfilling to the ego in us to show off. In the real business world, the dollar is king! We need to convert our technical knowledge to something that the business can measure, you name it: Return On Investment (ROI), Total Cost of Ownership (TCO), savings, revenues…
2- Spread ideas: What is your strategy to convince your boss for the next project you want to work on? How you will you get your team together to work on the next promising research topic? Saying the idea alone is not enough. You need to use the tools that a sales person manipulates to sell whatever in his hands. Not everyone can understand the importance of the algorithm you used to develop the new web module, and believe me no one care how much complex is your new data center infrastructure. Management likes to see Numbers! Quantitative approach in your presentation skills should be a key factor.
3- Toward becoming an entrepreneur: One day you might decide to bring your idea to public and start your own business. That is great but how much are you ready for this step? You have got everything that help: the idea, the technology and the time to implement and even money and support. Is that enough? Anything missing here? Indeed yes there is a missing? How you will let people accept your product or service and start buy it? So you need to understand the market and be aware of the ways you will use to reach the public. For sure you might say I will get someone to manage my campaigns and take it from there; maybe true you can become the CEO and get yourself a CMO to do the marketing stuff, at the early stages of your product development you will need some beta users that you will need to give your new recipe a try.
4- Self-Branding: If you decide to stay in the corporate world, in today’s high competition you need to build an image to grow in your career life. Believe it or not, at some stage you will find that marketing yourself becomes a priority more than pursuing a new technical certificate or even get a degree. Your name should always precede you and make the effect before you arrive. In our days, social networks are good place to start.
As usual these thoughts are for discussion with anyone interested in this topic, looking forward to hear back from my readers.