Selling the abstract concept of big data is vastly different than selling a physical product or a more concrete service despite the immense value big data offers. Traditional sales experience doesn’t always translate well into the world of big data sales. However, there are some similar skills that remain consistent across the field, such as networking. The art of selling big data relies on fully understanding the magic behind the buzzword to paint the most vibrant picture for your potential client.

“With all things, every day we learn something new,” said Julie Chiappe, director of sales and marketing for Ironbridge Software. “Ironbridge Software will continue to network and do what our CEO Mike Dickenson set out to do 30 years ago. We strive to be the best in our field on a daily basis.“

Networking Is Critical
Big data is a niche market, and traditional networking groups aren’t always as relevant as they are for selling houses. In the realm of big data, conferences are a gold mine networking opportunity. Events such as the Category Management Association Conference are ripe with potential clients and networking opportunities. Connections that are built at conferences should be maintained to create lasting rapport and future opportunities.

Patience is a Virtue
The lead up time for when a prospect becomes a client is significantly longer in big data sales and can last anywhere from six to 18 months. However, this lengthy ramp up period provides a useful window to scout the client, find their pain points, start building solutions, write the contract and ultimately implement the products. Finding clients all leads back to networking and spending days researching new, potential clients and how to initiate the first contact to establish a strong connection.

Working as a sales professional for big data presents new, unique challenges. Unfortunately, because the field is so unique, prior knowledge doesn’t always translate into the skills needed to sell big data to companies. However, big data offers such an advantage to companies that once you master the selling point it can be a very attractive service to sell.