Sunday, June 25, 2006

Techies, Sales and Business

Managing Technical people can be tiring. It is currently only challenged by managing Sales Guys. Making these two groups of people communicate with each other can be very laborious.

You have these group of Techies which are characterized by engineer lost in their world of TCP/IP, SIP and MPLS expounding the features of the bits and bytes of the TCP/IP world and how the packets will negotiate etc.

Then you match these with people who are "Hunter/Gatherer" in nature - otherwise known as Sales people, coming back and describing what the customers wants. Not being able to comprehend technological stuff, some of these people's best desciption is generally based on similies. You will get statement like "Can we have a broadband service like Streamyx?". You end up guessing whether are we to provide broadband that has features such as major downtime, unpredictable performance or does he just mean that customers just want always on connection?

I have seen Business managers and Product Development guys/gals have their hair pullout trying to decipher customers needs to match technologies and engineering services capabilities. I wonder how other MNC manages Product and Capability Development Lifecycle?


spoonfork said...

i think the communication problem between techies and sales/marketing has become a conundrum, when in fact it is not.

there are a lot of ways around this - there are a lot of tools - use cases for the techies, storytelling/presentation for the sales/marketing, etc etc.

whoever that comes to me and tell me he can't get sales/marketing to work together with techies - he's not fit to be in management.

The Editor said...

see, thats why i need to find a new job

Anonymous said...

If you ask me, the reason why techies and sales folk cannot talk often has nothing to do with communication.

It has everything to do with intent. With the right intention and patience, everything can be understood. At the extreme, look at how mothers understand baby talk.

Fire the manager? Yup, sometimes that helps. But sometimes firing the incompetent baboon that masquerade as a techie or salesman can also do wonders. It takes two to tango.