Sales on the Sidelines: One Day When I Don’t Mind
Let me tell you something about salespeople: When it comes to customer relationships, we love to be on the frontlines. Maybe that’s not a huge secret, but it’s true. It’s not that we always want to do the talking – after all, listening is one of the most valuable things we can do. However, we want to be in the room, engaged, and ready to lend our support or insight. Ninety nine out of a hundred times, the idea that a salesperson would willingly remove him or herself from such a discussion would be unthinkable. In this blog, I’m going to talk about that one exception.
Last month, Arraya Solutions held our 4th Annual Tech Summit. This event is a full day of deep dives into the technologies driving the conversation in areas such as security, data center, cloud, and networking to name a few. Each of those sessions was created and presented by a member (or members) of our in-house team of engineering talent. The Tech Summit is a great opportunity for IT pros to further their knowledge or learn a new skill. The only wrinkle, at least from my perspective as Arraya’s Sales Director? Since its inception, the Tech Summit has been a “by techs, for techs” – and a sales-free – experience.
That’s right, my team and I are considered persona non grata at the Tech Summit until the end-of-day happy hour. The idea is to give the reins to the people who architect and deploy solutions for our customers. Our engineers think of the talk tracks, they design the presentations, and they handle any questions. There’s no sales focus on the conversations at the Tech Summit. Instead, it’s techs talking to techs about best practices, real world experiences, use cases, and more.
As hard as it is for my team and I to remove ourselves from the conversation, it helps knowing our customers are in good hands. After my first experience with Arraya’s Tech Summit last year, I was blown away by the feedback I received from attendees. They heaped praise on the content, the presenters, and the agenda. The response was positive enough to convince me that, even though it goes against my nature, “by techs, for techs” is the perfect format for an event like this.
All credit is due to our internal team here at Arraya for making this event such a resounding success. It starts with our Marketing team, who go to great lengths to make sure the day goes smoothly. They may make it look effortless, but I know how much energy goes into making it appear that way. Of course, as I’ve mentioned previously, the real stars of the day are Arraya’s engineers. For some of these folks, it’s as if they work two jobs during Tech Summit season. They support our customers by day, then, at night, they go to work building slide decks and recording demos. They put a “superhero” effort into delivering unmatched value to attendees.
Earlier, I mentioned that in ninety nine out of a hundred instances it would be unthinkable for a salesperson to step back from customer conversations. That figure isn’t exactly accurate. Why? Well, last year, Arraya held a second Tech Summit in November, focused specifically on the Central Pennsylvania area. This year, we plan to do something similar and so my team and I will again head to the sidelines in favor of Arraya’s engineers. And you know something? I couldn’t be more excited to let tech take center stage.