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5 Technology Skills Every Sales Rep Should Know

9 Jul, 2007 By: Eric Stavola, Witt Company imageSource

5 Technology Skills Every Sales Rep Should Know

We have talked for months now about Technology and Certification. It seems
like interest in technology has taken over our world! Our interest in
communications is paramount today, and it is innovative technology that allows
information to be thrown at us, literally, at light speed, only to get faster
and more abundant due to our endless supply and demand for it.

Technology touches all aspects of our life, from the DVR at home to the ECM
solution your sales rep is selling this month. So how does one get a handle on
what specific skills are needed to survive in the technologically advancing
digital document imaging world?

Though we’ve highlighted certifications and the importance of obtaining a
higher level of skill set, everyone, especially salespersons, should have some
form of technology know-how.  The following are the five simple technology
skills that EVERY Sales Rep should have:

Skill #1: Desktop Publishing Skills

Word processing skills are critical in our business. Think about the last
time you came to work and did not use Microsoft Word or some type of word
processing application. Professional clarity in the information you get across
to clients or prospects is now expected.

            Websites for Learning:

Skill #2:  Presentation Skills

A sales rep’s job, in the most simplistic form, is to present company
information to clients or potential customers. One great tool for this is
PowerPoint. I know, we have all sat in the dreaded “DEATH by POWERPOINT”
meetings, but presentation is a skill. A sales rep needs to create and manage
the presentation so we do not feel like we have just sat through a horrific and
tedious experience. I know this because I have sat through too many, and yes,
have been guilty of killing a few presentations myself. Regardless, the skill
set to create a top notch presentation is a must. (Also check out whiteboards
for easier presentations, such as Panaboards.)

            Websites for Learning:

Skill #3: Email Etiquette

Email for most has taken over as the preferred communication method. With
this in mind, please understand the following critical email etiquette.

Please Remember To:

  • Use a Signature / Use a meaningful subject
  • Include previous message when replying or answering
  • Number your points if the email is complex to make replying easier
  • Remove part of the thread as the email grows
  • Avoid sensitive information in email
  • Know emails can be forwarded without your knowledge or consent
  • Use care when replying in email to forums or discussion groups 
  • Keep in mind that we can all agree to disagree
  • Please not forward jokes with 200 email addresses at top
  • With mass emailing, use the BCC field

 Good to Know:

  • IF YOU ARE TYPING IN CAPS you are yelling!
  • Just because my email is a one liner does NOT mean I am mad at you!
  • Your emotions do not transfer in email (Smiley face’s help but use only
    when appropriate)
  • Don’t forward possible virus hoaxes or chain letters
  • Don’t reply to spam
  • No, Bill Gates does not want to give you money!
  • Don’t send file attachments that are too big to open easily

Skill #4: File Management

Ok, if you are wondering if this skill applies to you, quickly go to your My
Documents folder and see if you have a clutter of random files. If yes, you’re a
MyDJ; a My Documents Junker! You need some help.

Create a New Folder In My Docs Folder:

1. Double-click your My Documents Folder.

2. Click File on the Menu Bar and select New, then Folder.

3. A new, highlighted folder will appear with the name New Folder.  Type a
“Name” for the folder (“Reports”). 

Use Windows Explorer:

1. In "My Computer" or "Windows Explorer" open the folder in which you want
to create a new folder.

2. On the File menu, point to New, and then click Folder. The new folder
appears with a temporary name.

3. Type a “Name” for the new folder, and then press Enter.

To delete a file or folder:

1. In "My Computer" or "Windows Explorer" locate  the File or Folder you want
to delete.

2. Click the File or Folder.

3. On the File menu, click delete.

File Tips:

If you want to retrieve a file you have deleted, look in the Recycle Bin.
Your deleted file remains in the            Recycle Bin until you empty it.
Right click on file & hit restore, to restore the file to its original location.

You can also drag file or folder icons onto the Recycle Bin icon. If you
press SHIFT while dragging, the item will be deleted without being stored in

Websites for Learning:

Skill #5: Spreadsheet (Excel)

Most deals come down to numbers. Understanding the basic formulas of Excel
or other spreadsheets help to eliminate “losing out.”

Creating Formulas

1. Click the cell that you want to enter the formula in

2. Type = (an equal sign)

3. Click the Function Button 

4. Select the formula you want and follow wizard

             Websites for Learning:

Regardless of what area of business, you must acquire some basic computer
skills and technology savvy to stay productive, and yes, even employed! You can,
however, leave the really “tough stuff” for us IT Geeks.

Eric Stavola is an area sales manager and a former network solutions manager
for Kyocera Mita, as well as a network service director for a dealership.
Contact him at 619.823.5395 or

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