Steve W. Martin's IT Sales Training has helped over one-hundred-seventy-five Heavy Hitter IT SALES STRATEGYhigh technology companies improve their sales effectiveness. These technology companies provide application software, systems software, enterprise software, Cloud/SaaS, hardware, consulting services, semiconductor, embedded technology, ecommerce, managed hosting, and telecommunication solutions. In addition, Steve has interviewed hundreds of CIOs, CTOs, CISOs, VPs (eCommerce, Operations, Applications, Infrastructure), and countless mid and lower-level IT personnel as part of the win-loss studies he has performed for companies including IBM, Oracle, EMC, AT&T, Acxiom, and PayPal. Steve is also a Silicon Valley sales veteran with nearly two decades of software sales experience.

The IT Sales Strategy workshop is completely customized to your unique sales situation and specific areas of need. To ensure topical relevance, extensive pre-session interviews and background research is conducted to understand your marketspace, competitive position, products, and salespeople. Workshops are designed to address your critical sales challenges and use the terms and nomenclature of your products, company, and vertical industry. Workshops vary from half-day to one or two full days in length.  Click here to for IT Sales Training Price Information.

The training is completely interactive and incorporates extensive exercises/role-playing to apply the concepts on active accounts or immediately on the next sales call. Everyone can ask tough questions, share their experiences, work on their weaknesses, and learn entirely new skill-sets. Learning by example is the best way to learn and the workshop includes best practices of other technology companies. Finally, Life’s too short not to have fun and humor plays an important role in every workshop to keep sales teams (salespeople, inside sales, system engineers, and consultants) engaged and the atmosphere upbeat.

Part I - Enterprise IT Sales Strategy

The grand strategy to win the complex IT sale is based upon influencing the people, selection process, and politics of customer decision making. In enterprise accounts, salespeople must penetrate large organizations, influence key decision makers, and dovetail their products' benefits to customers' internal politics. In order to win, they must build relationships with buyers in different departments all across a company. They have to persuade people to believe in their solution at all levels of the IT organization and compete against competitors with similar products and equal sales acumen. The winning IT sales strategy is a psychological operation that is built on understanding, predicting, and influencing human nature. The victor understands how the account is organized and anticipates how the key decision makers will make their buying decision. Moreover, the winner employs a linguistic strategy that enables his message to rise above all others, a tactical plan of execution, and impactful recommendations that compel decision makers to take action. Topics covered include:

Formulating the Grand Strategy to Win the Complex IT Sale
Heavy Hitter Sales Series of BooksPolitical Account Structure of IT and the Psychology of IT Organizational Buying Tactics to Defeat the Competition How Start-ups can Defeat Gorillas
Winning Over Key Decision Makers at all Levels of IT
Understanding the Political Structure of the Account
Determining Departmental Buying Types
Translating the Grand Strategy to Tactics
Assessing Account Position
Account Maneuvers to Improve Competitive Position
Win-Loss Analysis: The Seven Premises of the Complex IT Sales Cycle
Survival, Successful, and Significant Customers
Categories of IT Buyers
Should We Pursue the Deal?
Identifying and Bonding with the Bully with the Juice
Strategies to Find and develop Internal Champions and Coaches
Messaging and Positioning Technology to non-technical LOB (line of business) Decision Makers
Evaluation and Proof of Concept Best Practices

Part II - Selling to the CIO

Every salesperson claims their product will help the customer save money, become more profitable, or improve efficiency. As a result, these claims are seldom believed and very rarely acted upon by senior executives. Today, it takes a comprehensive strategy to winover the CIO. A strategy that enables a salesperson to differentiate himself from the competitors through value. Topics Covered include:

The Grand Strategy to Winover the CIO
The Four Different Types of Departmental Buying Types  (Consolidators, Consulters, Responders, and Bureaucrats)
Penetrating the Organization at Various Levels of Responsibility
Navigating to the CIO: Top Down and Bottom Up Approaches
Maneuvers and Tactics to Defeat Arch-enemies
Flanking Strategies When You're Stuck at the Wrong Level
The Human Nature of the CIO: A Personal and Psychological Profile
Selling the Four Values of Your Solution: Strategic, Operational, Political, and Psychological
Presenting Your Solution: Using Logical Arguments, Emotional Appeal, and your Character
Organizing the Presentation to the CIO: How to Gain Credibility, Overcome Objections, and Consensus
Connecting with The CIO through Sales Linguistics(Using the Right Words at the Right Time to Persuade the CIO to Buy)

Part 3 - Advanced IT Sales Call Strategy

The salesperson's most important competitive weapon is his mouth, and the winner is the salesperson who uses words that reduce the customer's doubt, eases his fear, and fosters his fantasy. That's why it is critical that salespeople master sales linguistics, the study of how the customer's mind uses and interprets language. Customer inertia, the drive to "do nothing," far outweigh the logical reasons you espouse for buying your product. You can recite a litany of reasons and a laundry list of benefits, and the customer still won't buy. This session will equip salespeople with linguistic strategies to differentiate their technology solution from the competition and enable them to create a call to action that convinces business and technical evaluators mentally and emotionally to buy. All competent salespeople can recite their products' features and specifications. Great technology salespeople build winning customer relationships based upon establishing rapport. In this session we review how to speak the customer's language and understand individual needs in order to execute winning sales calls. Topics include:

Sales Call Strategy and Stages
Sales Call Planning, Structure, and Communication Themes
Sales Call Execution: Conducting Persuasive Sales and Calls Presentations
Communicating Strategic, Operational, Political, and Psychological Value
The Persuasive Elevator Pitch: Linguistics Structure and Compelling Delivery
Messaging to the Customer's Mind via Letters, Emails, Phone Calls
Sales Call Strategy Understanding and Anticipating Your Customers' Thought Process
Mastering Account Qualification during Face-to-Face Meetings
Objection Handling using Offensive and Defensive Call Statements
Customer Sales Call Coping Mechanisms
Psycholinguistic Differentiation Techniques
Group Presentation Strategies and Tactics
Closing Strategies and Advanced Linguistic Tactics
Sales Call Segmentation using Sales Linguistics
Personal Persuasion and Establishing Dominance
Positioning and Executing Demonstrations
Evaluation and Proof of Concept Strategy
Controlling Pilots and Proof of Concepts
IT Negotiation Strategy: Closing Strategies and Negotiation Tactics

Part 4 - Selling Technology and Services to the Line of Business 

Many technology-based sales cycles involve selling the solution across all business areas of the organization. The primary sales efforts may be directed to the, manufacturing, supply chain, sales, marketing, purchasing or engineering departments. In this situation, the sales teams must winover non-technical decision-makers and business-minded evaluators. In this session we review:

Line of Business (LOB) Sales Strategy
Organizational Buying Politics and Line of Business Decision-making 
Business Operations Language - Translating IT Technology Functions into Business Benefits
Understanding the Influence of IT on the LOB Sales Cycle
LOB Sales Best Practices - Presentations, Demonstrations, Evaluations and Sales Calls
Retail/Manufacturing Supply Chain - Selling Complex Solutions to Retailers and Distributors
Hi-Tech Sales Strategy - Selling Complex Solutions to the Technology, Electronics and Telecommunications Verticals
SLEDtech Sales Strategy - Selling Complex Solutions to the State/Local Government and Education Verticals
HEALTHTech Sales Strategy - Selling Complex Solutions to the Healthcare Industry
FINTech Sales Strategy - Selling Complex Solutions to the Banking, Insurance and Finance

Part 5 - Tales From The Field: Interview Session with Your Top Salespeople

A key element of IT Sales Strategy workshop is the “Tales from the Field” top salesperson panel. "Tales from the Field" is similar to a roundtable talk show where your top salespeople are interviewed about their major wins and losses. However, this session goes far beyond discussing sales strategies and tactics. The psychological and intuitive aspects of selling are translated into common themes and models the entire sales organization can understand and emulate. The sharing of this "collective intuition" stops salespeople from chasing bad deals, helps create a more predictable forecast, and gives each participant (from novice to expert) tactics they can use immediately.

Sample Workshop Outline

1. IT Sales Strategy 
    a. Different Types of Grand Strategies
        i. Indirect Approach versus Direct Approach 
        ii. Examples from other Relevant Technology Companies
        iii. Exercise – Application to Accounts
    b. IT Sales Cycle Process 
        i. Types – Existing, Persuasion, Creation 
          1. Results from Win-Loss Analysis Studies
        ii. Exercise – Application on Accounts
    c. IT Organizational Power and Political Clout
        i. Understanding IT’s Role in the Organization
        ii. Bully With the Juice & Emperor
        iii. Exercises
    d. Deal Qualification
        i. Business/Technical/Company Criteria
        ii. Privileged Intelligence & Accurate Information
        iii. Developing and Categorizing Internal Advocates
        iv. Exercises

2. IT Organizational Structure and Sales Psychology
    a. Understanding IT Structure and Organization
    b. IT Budgeting Process Review
    c. Strategic, Operational, Political, Psychological Value Statements
        i. Exercise
   d. IT Departmental Buying Type
        i. Consolidators, Consulters, Responders, Bureaucrats
        ii. Exercise

3. IT Department Account Penetration
    a. Top Down and Bottom Up Strategies
        i. Examples 
        ii. Exercise
    b. Building the Pipeline
       i. “1, 2, 3, Rest, Repeat” Campaign
         1. Wide Variety of Examples from Technology Companies
         2. LinkedIn Sales Strategy and Research Metrics 
    c. The Persuasive Elevator Pitch
        i. Structure and Examples
          1. Exercise
    d. Cold Call Script Review




4. Selling to the CIO Using Sales Linguistics

    a. Seven Types of Languages CIOs Speak
        i. Personal Connection Languages
          1. High Technology Examples
          2. Exercise
        ii. Logic and Psychological Appeal Languages
          1. High Technology Examples
          2. Exercise
    b. Understanding Business Operations impact on IT
    c. Building Rapport with Sales linguistics 
        i. Introduction
        ii. Exercises and Personal Testing

5. Sales Call Strategy 
    a. Sales Call Themes
    b. Sales Call Stages
    c. Sales Stage Strategies
    d. Structuring Presentations 
    e. Positioning and Executing Demonstrations
    f. Evaluation and Proof of Concept Strategy
    i. Controlling the Pilot
    g. IT Negotiation Strategy
    h. Closing Strategies 
    i. Negotiation Tactics

6. IT Salesperson Personality Test
    a. Personality Measurement Introduction
    b. Metrics and Results 
    c. Test Administration (~20 minutes)
    d. Results Compared to Study of 1,000 Top Technology Salespeople
    e. Selling Style Impact Discussion

7. Top Salesperson “Tales From the Field” Interview Panel

Additional Workshop Topics

The Attributes of Top Technology Salespeople

Not all salespeople are successful. Given the same sales tools, level of education, and propensity to work, why do some salespeople succeed where others fail?Top Salespeople Research Steve W Martin Is one better suited to sell the product because of his or her background? Is one more charming or just luckier? The evidence suggests that the personality, verbal acuity, and the concept of situational dominance play critical roles in determining a salesperson’s success. In this presentation we analyze why top salespeople outperform their counterparts.

Research Results from 1,000+ Top Technology Salespeople Interviews
Comparison of High, Average and Under Performers
The Personality Traits of Top Technology Salespeople
Understanding the Impact of Situational Dominance
The Impact of Verbal Acuity and Sales Linguistics
How Top Technology Salespeople Use LinkedIn and Social Media
Sales Strategy Case Studies

How Technology Buyers Select Between Vendors and Salespeople

Based upon extensive research of B2B buyers, this session reveals how buyers select the vendors and salespeople they do business with. Learn the circumstances and variables that determine which vendor is selected. Understand how buyers perceive the sales salespeople they meet with and what selling style they prefer. Learn how different company departments and vertical industries make buying decisions.

Secrets on How Evaluation Teams Make their Decisions
How Buyers Prefer Different Vendors and Salespeople
How past Buying Experiences Determine which Vendor is Selected
Which Selling Styles do Buyers Prefer
The Top Mistakes Salespeople Make from the Buyer’s Point of View
How Different Departments Make Buying Decisions
The Best Customer Interaction Strategy to Execute
The Truth About How Buyers Perceive Price
How Different Industries Select Vendors and Salespeople
The Imporance of Risk Mitigation During the Sales Cycle

WHD - Wider-Higher-Deeper Strategic Account Management to Ensure Client Success

The Heavy Hitter “WHD” (Wider-Higher-Deeper) client expansion strategy based upon extending our reach, recognition, and relationships throughout the client’s IT organization. The strategy is predicated on developing a “wider” footprint across the IT organization where key decision makers and important influencers understand your current deployment within their organization, success to date, and how our services offering might be used by their department. A key element of the strategy is navigating “higher” within our accounts to the senior level decision makers who initiate strategic projects and decide on which vendors they will use to help them achieve their departmental goals. At the foundation of the strategy is our never-ending quest to build “deeper” client relationships.

Executing the Wider Sales Strategy to Build a Bigger Acctount Footprint
Navigating Higher to C-suite Decision Makers adn Convincing them to Buy
The 10 Principles for Devleoping Deeper Customer Relationshop
Measuring the Political Landscape and Understanding your True Position
Flanking Strategies when Single-threaded to the Wrong Primary Contact
Cultivating Coaches and Assessing their Rank
Communication Guidelines and Meeting Effectiveness

Customized Training Session Based Upon “Win-Loss-No Decision Sales Cycle Study”

 Since the complex nature of the IT sales process requires huge investments of resources (manpower, time, and money), it is critical to know the circumstances surrounding wins and even more important, losses and no decision sales cycles. True win-loss analysis that is based upon extensive customer interviewing is the best way to understand the political, organizational, and technical aspects of prospective customers' decision-making process. This commissioned study provides the point of view from your prospective customers delivered via a custom workshop to help you understand why you aren't selling more. See the Win-Loss Analysis page for further information.

This valuable information is presented at your sales meeting along with recommendations to improve new win competitiveness. The price for the win/loss study will vary based upon the scope of research and number of customer interviews.

Attributes of High Performing Technology Sales Organizations

In this session we review the key attributes, metrics, and best practices that separate High-Performing Sales Organizations from average and underperforming sales organizations. The presentation goals are to reinvigorate established sales leaders with new concepts of human behavior and synchronize sales management’s role in driving account strategy to the field. The session focuses on understanding the best sales organization practices based upon review of extensive sales organization research, sales leadership (managing “down” to the team) and refining sales strategy (managing “out” to the customer) and the sharing of management best practices from the world’s greatest sales organizations.

Sales Organization Stages and Challenges Sales Training Research
Product Complexity Impacts Organizational Structure
Attributes of Great Sales Organizations
Key Technology Sales Organization Metrics  
Sales Management Style at Each Organizational Stage
Understanding Your Sales Management Style (Testing)
Strategy to Deploy Inside or Outside Reps
Hiring the "Right" Salespeople
Sales Strategies to Defeat Arch-Rivals
Creating the Strategy to Win Complex Accounts
Coaching Reps on Sales Tactics
Structuring Customer Meetings and Presentations
Sales Personnel Skills Evaluation
Risk Pool and Quota Attainment



Steve W. Martin has conducted extensive research on the attributes of top salespeople and high performing sales organizations. He has interviewed thousands of top sales professionals and written over thirty Harvard Business Review sales research articles.  He incorporates these findings into an extremely interactive and enlightening keynote presentation utilizing on-line testing where audience members answer questions via their smartphones/tablets/laptops and then compare themselves to  study results.

This also presents sales leaders a great opportunity to learn about the composition and behavior of their sales organization as detailed test reports are provided following the meeting. Reports are segmented by roles such as sales manager, field salesperson, channel salesperson, pre-sales engineer, and sales support. Charactertistics associated to quota performance are provided and a comparison of customer interaction strategies.  Please click here to review the different types of sales research.

I.T. Sales Strategy Workshop Comments

“The IT sales strategy training was really fantastic. Steve conducted a lot of up-front investigative research so that everything was really applicable to our sales group, process, and customers. I know my team and they can get pretty numb in some training sessions. But this had lots of different parts - some discussion, some slides, tests and plenty of interaction. I've had nothing but positive comments from everyone who attended and they look forward to putting some of this stuff into practice!”
Colleen Edward, Sales Enablement Director, Perceptive Software division of Lexmark

“Steve Martin’s workshop exceeded our expectations and was the highest rated session by

Recording IT Sales Strategy and Selling to the CXO for Google

Recording IT Sales Strategy and Selling to the CXO for Google

attendees of our annual sales kickoff.  It provided a very pertinent outside in view of our industry, the realities of the challenges that lay in front of us, and a call to action to build customer relationships.  It incorporated  techniques to improve our skills through the discovery of sales linguistics.  The Tales from the Field top salesperson best practices panel provided an opportunity for the field to hear from their peers.  It presented a number of important attributes of top sales people but also covered deals which are indicative to the success of our company – retention, upsell, and cross-sell. The feedback received from the sales meetings was overwhelmingly positive.”
Susan Whittemore, Global Sales Program Manager, Rocket Software

“I was very pleased with Steve’s sessions on CIO sales strategy, enterprise account management, advanced customer communication, and the top salesperson panel that he conducted at our sales kickoff. He delivers on what he promises.”
George Bennett, SVP Worldwide Field Operations, Isilon Systems division of EMC

“A great four hour workshop and I received positive feedback from everyone; field sales, inside sales, sales engineers, marketing, and the exec team. The workshop was the right mix of sales stories, facts/figures, and sales training such as LinkedIn as a prospecting tool, Proof Of Concept definitions (advancement or confirmation), reinforcing the importance of multiple touch points to get Wider Deeper Higher, knocking down more bowling pins, reasons people buy from you, and the shift in sales staff to inside from outside sales. I would rate it a 10 out of 10.”
Todd Rychecky, Vice President of Americas Sales, Opengear

“Steve Martin was incredibly detailed, organized and engaged with our team. Our sales team left our annual meeting with the ability to be more thoughtful in the words they choose and how they interact and influence customers.  I heard really great things about his four different breakout session and everyone is excited to read his book. It was a wonderful experience working with him.”
Amanda Comeaux, North American Sales Enablement Program Manager, Lenovo

"During the past twenty years I have seen it all--sales training, motivational sessions, coaching sessions, and workshops. But Steve Martin has generated the most enthusiastic feedback I have ever seen from a field sales organization!"
Scott Raskin, CEO, Mindjet Software

"Wow, the feedback was outstanding on Steve Martin’s session! The manner in which he engaged the audience and got them to think about the psychology of the sale absolutely exceeded my expectations!"
Rob Consoli, Vice President of Sales, Liaison Technologies

“Steve gave an insightful session on IT sales strategy at our annual meeting. He then followed up the workshop with webinars at critical moments during the following quarters to reinforce the concepts and apply the strategies.”
Mike Puterbaugh, Vice President of Marketing,  Beyondtrust Software

“Steve Martin did a fabulous job and brought content, humility and context to our annual meeting. His strength is your ability to understand our context and tailor the session to meet that. He took time to understand and prepare which came out in the results.”
R Elango, Vice President, Mphasis division of Hewlett Packard


Technology Clients

Heavy Hitter I.T. Sales Strategy  

Competitive Insights from Interviews with 1,000+ Key Information Technology Decision Makers and Top Technology Salespeople  
Heavy Hitter IT Sales Strategy

Heavy Hitter I.T. Sales Strategy is a comprehensive guide for penetrating new accounts, differentiating your solution during the sales cycle, and winning highly competitive accounts. It is based on extensive research and interviews with more than 1,000 key information technology decision makers, top technology salespeople, and vice presidents of sales. The book provides state of the art technology sales strategies and advanced tactics for senior salespeople who want to learn the secrets of top performers.

Technology Sales Organization Strategy: Key Trends and Performance Metrics
Advanced Sales Cycle Strategy: Control the Complex Technology Sale
Sales Call Strategy: Differentiate Yourself in face-to-face customer meetings
New Account Penetration Strategy: Language-based Tactics to Secure Initial Meetings
Personal Communication Strategy: Say the Right Words to Convince Customers to Buy

Readers will find advice on how to win over C-level I.T. executives and senior business leaders across the organization. Discover how I.T. organizational structure impacts company decision making. Determine how to gain strategic account control based upon the people, process, and politics of selling to complex businesses. Learn to conduct persuasive sales calls using sales linguistics, the study of how the customer's mind uses and interprets language.


Inc - Best Books for SalespeopleBest Books For Salespeople - 

Steve W. Martiin Speaker

Steve W. Martin

Steve W. Martin is the foremost expert on Sales Linguistics and the Human Nature of Complex Enterprise Sales. He is the author of the "Heavy Hitter" Series of books for Senior Salespeople.

Read More

Logos Subset

What "Heavy Hitter" Clients Are Saying!

Learn what "Heavy Hitter" Clients have to say about Steve W. Martin's Sales Meeting Keynote Presentations and Sales Training Workshops!

Read More

Lenovo 3

Sales Meeting Keynote Speaker

Steve Martin will energize, enlighten, and entertain your sales team with real-world sales strategies, proven tactics, and helpful advice delivered with a healthy dose of humor!

Read More