INTRO TO TECH SALES – Article #1 Companies, People and Product

Farid Mohammad, Head of Business Development, Kinobi Singapore

The five tech giants in the world currently – known as the “FAAMG” – Facebook, Amazon, Apple, Microsoft & Google, have a combined Market Capitalisation of $4 Trillion. (or we have the FAANG! with Netflix replacing Microsoft in some cases).

In recent years, Technology Sales & Business Development Roles have seen a boom in the number of hires in recent years. These hires boast a higher than average base salary of at least SG$6,000, not inclusive of commissions (For Sales Representative).

This article aims to give a broad overview of Technology Sales and Business Development. That is, exploring the structures of these Big Tech Companies in Singapore, the People who work it, and the products that they offer. When we mention Big Tech Companies and Sales, we mean Tech companies which offers the services such as:

  • Business Applications
  • Digital Transformation
  • Spend Management Softwares
  • Cloud Solutions

The list is non-exhaustive of course, but with the few examples above, it should give you a clearer idea of the type of products these Big Tech Companies offer.

Bringing in the context of South & Southeast Asia, we have seen a stronger presence of these large technology firms.

  • Google sets up Regional HQ in Singapore (2007)
  • AWS sets up in Southeast Asia (2010)
  • Amazon Prime in Singapore, first in SEA (2017)
  • Google launches Data Center in India (2017)
  • Microsoft Azure expands Southeast Asia Region in Singapore (2018)
  • Facebook sets up Singapore Office (2018)

What this would mean for the South & Southeast Asian region would be a boom in e-commerce, digitization of businesses as well as an increase in availability of tech-related jobs. There is a myriad of tech-related jobs out there today; Data Scientists, Information Security Engineers, Software Engineers, Support Specialists, etc. However, in this article, we would place a central focus around Tech Business Development (BD) as that is a track within Kinobi’s Pathways and our International Tech BD Mentoring Program.

There is an overlap between Tech Business Development and Tech Sales, same same, but different. We can explain that in another article “Debunking the Common Misconceptions of the Business Development role” that you can watch out for! Focusing on Tech Business Development, which focuses on the more long-term view for both the technology firm and the client.

To simplify, Business Development Executives/Managers place a central focus around these few things:

  1. Cold Calling/Referrals to Prospective Clients
  2. Building a Relationship – An evangelist of sorts for the Tech Firm
  3. Building Strategic Partnerships
  4. Building ideas, initiatives or activities to make the Business Better
  5. Working towards a product that may or may not exist in the Tech Firm

Then you’ll start to wonder, “Well, how do I sell a solution that my company has yet to offer?”

Exactly why I would reiterate again that Tech Business Development ≠ Tech Sales. Business Development Professionals have an interesting job scope of being on the go and having to be on the lookout for happenings not just within the firm & its rivals, but the industry and all other closely related-industries. This can be in terms of what these industries need, but does not yet have.

For example, Amazon Web Services (initially in the business of selling physical books online) is in the business of cloud-computing solutions for its clients. A Business Development Professional not only has to know the As to Zs (No pun intended) of the business of cloud-computing, but has to also be well-versed in the type of companies looking for cloud-computing solutions. This run the gamut of questions: What type of business are they in? What kind of solutions are they looking for? How can Amazon come into the picture of their business?

Again, we reiterate that Tech Business Development looks toward finding out how the tech company can remain relevant in terms of the types of tech-solutions these clients wished they had, but it may not yet exist or it may be a bespoke product tailored specifically for that firm.

While in most small and medium-sized enterprises, a Business Development Executive may have a dual-role of being the Business Developer and Sales Representative, the same would not be true in larger Tech Firms, where there is a clear distinction between a BD Professional and a Sales Professional. Both however, work hand-in-hand.

Ready to embark on your journey towards a career in Tech Business Development?

Watch closely for Kinobi’s Tech Business Development Digital Mentoring Program! You can reserve your place here!

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