What are the most important things to know about sales and how to sell UX to your manager? This is a very tricky question as believe it or not, sales is an extremely complex profession, which takes many years to truly master. However, if you are a UX professional you probably don’t have years to find your feet in sales and want to know easy to master techniques to help pitch your UX skills to your manager. So, I have attempted to break it down into what I believe are the 2 most important things to remember when trying to pitch UX to your manager.
Selling is as much about asking questions as it is about answering them. To truly understand what the problems being faced by your manager and the business are, you have to ask them questions. And don’t let them get away with superficial answers. Really listen to their answers and then ask follow-up questions to get to the bottom of the problem. Only then will you really be able to frame your solution to the real problems facing your manager and the business. Asking questions and getting to the root of the problem, is giving you invaluable ammunition to use when you actually go into pitch for budget for UX work. Finding out the real problems gives you important information you can use to help leverage and convince your manager you can solve them. You will have a far stronger pitch if you can say; “According to our Sales Director, the lack of sales enquiries coming through the website is causing a 20% drop in revenues per month”. Use these problems you have discovered to your advantage, as ammunition to help give weight to the solutions you can provide with your UX skills.
Don’t try to sell a feature
This is the biggest mistake anyone (Especially rookie sales reps) make when starting out in their sales career. They always try to sell a feature to a customer. “We added inline help messages to the web form”. You may love your new inline help messages, but the customer or your manager does not care as this is merely a feature and means absolutely nothing to them. However, if you finish that sentence with “which has or will result in more people completing our check out process and more online orders being processed”. The customer or your manager suddenly finds this very compelling as that feature has been transformed into a clear benefit to the business. Create a simple table with the feature you are proposing on the left and the actual benefit to the business on the right. Then when you are creating your pitch make sure you include the benefit and don’t try to sell a feature.
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