5 India Tech Sales Hiring Trend for 2021

I’ve been interviewing dozens of tech sales guys in Indian sub-continent. Primarily in Delhi, Mumbai, Bengaluru and Chennai belt. I help tech sellers find right roles and transition to winning plays over next 3-4 years.

Here are few key observations:

  1. If you selling Infra to Enterprise, MSME, SMB segments you should seriously consider moving to Public Cloud bandwagon
  2. If you are with traditional asset companies – Datacenter Services and Network Services – such as SIFY Technologies, guard your patch with more compelling value proposals.
  3. if you are with Public Cloud services companies (born in the cloud) such as BlazeClan, Sysfore, Crayon, Umbrella Infocare, Rapyder, SourceFuse, Hanu – move up from selling migration and managed services to data and modernisation services.
  4. If you are in other OEM eco-system such as Security (Checkpoint),     

Sales hiring trends for 2021 may not be as clear as in previous years. Even with a vaccine starting to be distributed, we are still a year away from moving on from the pandemic. It will continue to impact tech sales industry for the bulk of the year, affecting hiring trends.

I have met sellers who are still hitting quotas while others are still sulking. I can understand. We sellers are used to travel, networking with buyers & partners and want to play aggressive in hitting our goals. It feeds into our energy.

I have some good news. 

It’s not bleaky out there. Companies are placing bets and hiring in 2021.

If you play your game well, you can bet on the winning horse (company), trend and set yourself for a wining lap of 3-4 years. let’s look at some scenarios.

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Can Inside Sales slog less and get results?

Having worked with 1000+ inside sales people, sales hunters and outbound reps we have discovered one thing. They spend 70% of the time researching accounts, sorting data and only 30% ‘meaningfully’ engaging buyers.

Here are some comments from inside sales team members, marketing heads and senior sales leaders from companies of various shapes or sizes:

  1. I spend way too much time in researching my target account, buyers, spot signals and craft messages that evoke a response. How I wish I had tool that can help me automate this so that I focus on engaging clients” – Inside Sales team member of a $100M Tech System Integration firm.
  2. “I pay inside sales teams and sales hunters to secure meetings and bring qualified leads. I have provided them with so many resources. Yet they fail.” – Enterprise Sales Leader of a fortune 2000 company.
  3. “I can only afford 3 people in inside sales. I know how to engage clients but how can I transfer my wisdom to sellers so that they can prospect like me?” – CEO of a Outsourced Product Development firm.
  4. I have 25 people in my inside sales team. I spend close to $600K in marketing and in running outbound campaigns. I know I am in a red ocean business yet how can I elevate my sellers to pitch and engage clients differently?” – Marketing Head of a $100M System Integrator.
  5. I bought a database from Zoominfo, invested in Gartner Sales Accelerator and have Hubspot Sales Professional. After investing $35,000, have come to realise that spending money does not equal generating qualified opportunities”. – CEO of a $3M Cloud Services firm.

What’s the common narrative in all these 5 cases?

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Cust Engagement

Post Covid, 6 Ways TechCEOs Can Jumpstart Customer Engagement

COVID-19 has been one of the biggest global challenges of our generation. Customer behaviour is changing at a staggering pace, and digital adoption has become necessary for survival. When the pandemic eventually recedes, your customers will have to continue to adapt and accommodate new business models, attitudes and behaviours in engaging markets. Leaders must take immediate action to meet customer expectations in the post-crisis era.


As a TechCEO, You have a unique opportunity in engaging differently with your customers and help them navigate this crisis.


Last month we covered how TechCEOs can respond to the Covid-19 event and take control of your business in H2 2020. Now, let’s explore how TechCEOs can engage their customers differently and deepen their relationship.


Let’s be clear. By now customers have accepted the fact they are bang in the center of a prolonged recession, at the same time they are seeking a level of certainty which allows them to move forward with caution and renewed hope.


Most important thing they want from any vendor is to assist them in establishing a sense of clarity. As a TechCEO, if your selling team has reach across a broad swath of customers, industry verticals, and geographies you can help your customers by providing evidence-based perspectives. There is a clear opportunity for vendors to make sense of rapidly shifting conditions and bring clarity to their customers.


As a TechCEO, you can offer your customers some of these information:

  • Assess impact on customer businesses and potential areas to offer support.
  • Create near-term commercial messages that help customers more effectively manage their business through the pandemic and aftermath.
  • In lieu of data-backed perspective, engage customers with a hypothesis-led approach. 
  • Position and arm sellers as “Sense Makers,” helping customers understand rapidly shifting dynamics.


Let’s elaborate.


Customer Engagement Strategies

1. Help re-visit the long-term plan or strategy. 

“How is your long-term strategy changing or evolving given current conditions?

Have you had discussions with your customers to understand the impact of this recession on their business strategy? As frightening as the current crisis may appear, if you can help your customers respond better to it will decide how well their organisations will thrive once the economy starts recovering. You will deepen your relationship with clients if If you can give them ideas whereby they can utilise the slowdown to step back and take some strategic measures that will pay off in the long term.


2. Explore hypothesis on coming changes to customer or market behaviour. 

“Here’s what we’re seeing and what we think it means. What do you think? Would you agree?”

To some extent if you can put yourself in your customer’s shoes and help them analyse their current situation, outlook, the forces shaping the next normal, and the new organisational structures that can help them keep pace with the changes – it will be really welcome. Instead of pushing your products and solutions, if your selling team can spend some time in engaging and visualising the changes in your customer business and test some hypothesis, it will go a long way in developing an empathetic relationship with client stake holders.


You could launch a survey, consolidate reports and gather vital data points and assemble it meaningful ways to make an impact to your customer assessment journey. 


3. Explore likely impact to business processes (e.g. workflow, supply chain). 

“Which processes will likely change as a result of COVID-19, and which won’t? Here’s what we’re seeing.”

One silver lining with Covid situation is that it has shown businesses how to manage better and achieve greater speed, quality, and cost control. Gone are the days of waiting around for best practices to emerge. CEOs recognise the need to shift from adrenaline-based speed during COVID-19 to speed by design for the long run. The winners are experimenting now, and boldly. 


You could explore with your customers as to which key processes are in for a major revamp. For example, redeploying talent, improving productivity in specific areas, developing new products quickly, shifting and adjusting operations can be explored in detail to adapt to current situational needs. You could be of help to your customers in some way.


4. Address previously agreed-upon strategic initiatives. 

“Which strategic initiatives will you likely have to revisit or re-prioritise as a result of these changes?”


Post pandemic, most organisations are being forced to address these 3 important questions: Who are we? How do we operate? How will we grow? Most customers are focussed on helping stabilise the company in the near term, creating the right conditions for growth as we emerge from the crisis, and building the resilience the company will need to get through the next several cycles. 


You could engage in conversations to discuss how strategic priorities are shifting with this sudden change in fortunes and how companies are responding to the situation. 



5. Help customers develop and prioritise actions for a range of upcoming scenarios. 

“Let’s lay out the range of actions you might take for each step of the following three phases, depending on how conditions develop: near term protection, mid-term recovery, long-term new normal”


For one of our clients we immediately engaged in a conversation that went like this:

Look after employees first, followed by customers and suppliers. It will pay off in the long run, as each group will certainly remember how you treated them during this difficult time. The profits and dividends will come later if you make the right decisions and moves now.

We helped them establish clarity in communicating short term execution of long term plans and not short term guidance. 

We discussed with their leadership team as to how as a company they can withstand the crisis, and how strong will it be in the long term, considering its competitive position, growth potential, and returns on capital? It help them a lot.


6. Create near-term commercial messages that help customers respond smarter. 

Your selling team should help develop points of view based on your customer/ prospect company’s perspective in markets served and relay this to customers. Helping your customer assess patterns in how they are inadvertently mismanaging their responses to the crisis and not pro-actively engaging their markets is a big help. Your team should let buyers know that commercial opportunities will exist where assumptions and rapid decision making are driving customers’ business responses.

If you can encourage your customers to respond as a relevant thought leader with a sharpened focus linking their value proposition with the most critical and timely concerns of their customers.



P.S.Whenever you’re ready… here are 3 ways I can help you grow your tech business:
1.   Grab a free copy of useful stuff that can help you grow your tech business. More in our blog.
  • 10 Steps TechCEOs Can Take Now to Bounce Back Click here.
  • Should Tech firms consider Re-Branding to Drive New DemandClick here
  • Do TechCEOs Get ROI from Marketing Click here
  • 3 Mistakes to Avoid In Your Tech Business To Grow Revenue Click here.
2.   Schedule a 15 Minute assessment call with us – Click here.
We have worked with a bunch of tech companies and have offered them systems, strategies and coaching to attract and convert clients. We help you install sales and marketing systems that automate stuff and help flood leads and drive higher revenues and margins. Talk to us.
3.    Join our TechCelerate Implementation Program and be a Case Study
I’m putting together a new coaching case study group at TechCelerate this month… stay tuned for details. If you’d like to work with us on your client-getting and scale plans… just reply to this message and put “Case Study” in the subject line.
Life is short. Take action now and grow. Best Wishes.
Post Covid growth

How To Drive Post-Covid demand Acceleration?

Leveraging Transformation to Win in the Second Half of 2020

  1. Re-segment your target market. Micro-segment it if required. It’s bit of a mayhem out there. 
  2. Change your perspective on how to reach and resonate with customers.
  3. Strategy wins and losses through COVID-19.
  4. Evaluate both sales & marketing budget for the last half of 2020.
  5. Get sales coverage model right.
  6. Rejig product and services portfolio and be on message.