We sat down with Marcin Łowczyński, to ask him about his career as a Sales Director, lessons he learned, and how he is overcoming the biggest current sales challenges in IT industry.
Paulina: What made you get into sales?
Marcin: I have always been interested in financial markets and initially, my goal was to work in a bank. Years ago, I learned that the Bank Pekao SA runs a learning program for managers, so I applied. After qualifying I quickly realized, that this path always starts with sales. The work and training on this subject, drew me to the point where I decided to change my plans. This is how my career in sales began. I spent many years in sales in the area of banking, firstly individual and then corporate. After some time, I decided that I would like to work in the area of services, that bring tangible benefits to the client, not only lower costs (which is the main domain of the bank). One day, I was talking to a friend from the same industry, and we have identified areas in which we would like to develop further. Due to my interest in technology, I decided that IT could be a good direction.
Why did you chose IT industry?
I saw the need. In those days I’ve noticed a communication problem between IT environment and business. There was a shortage of people, who would use the language of both sides. A few years ago, I worked in a company that specialized in solutions for the banking industry. My task was to translate the business language into a technical language, and vice versa. At this point in my career, there has been a transition to the IT industry, where I have been working for 8 years.
What are current challenges for sales directors in this sector?
The right choice of the path to reach the customer and very high competition. Customers inform me about dozens of e-mails and messages received daily with the offer of IT services. If we want to break through - we need to stand out.
And how, in your opinion, Inspeerity stands out?
We are a small company, quite young and very flexible. We respond efficiently and effectively to the client’s needs. We are able to quickly implement a competent team into the project.
Do you have your recipe for success?
Each rule works depending on situation on the market, and there is no one long-term solution. However, regardless of the situation - consistency, systematics and proper preparation will always work. Let’s mix it with valuable factor, that makes us stand out from the competition and the success is guaranteed. It’s crucial, that you believe in the product or the service. If you cannot see yourself buying what you are selling, how can you convince anyone to do the same?
Do you have your favorite sales transaction?
Yes, I have two such a stories. For me, one of them is a textbook example of how this process should look like. An hour after the first meeting with the client, we received a phone call with information, that he canceled all the other meetings and would like to continue talks only with us. I remember him saying „You have understood my business better than I did”. It felt great! He appreciated our experience and preparation. The sales cycle in the IT industry is not short, but in this case we have completed a contract for a complex project in less than 3 months.
The second story is completely different and shows, how rewarding can be, being consistent and systematic. This time it was much longer sales cycle, where a potential client was coming from a public sector. Even though we were the preferred supplier, at the time of finalization, it turned out that we had to convince new decision makers. The same situation was repeated three times… In the end, I managed to sign one of the biggest contracts in my life, but it lasted four and a half years.
What personality characteristics help in sales?
I believe the basis are: inherent optimism and the serenity. The first one cause that we do not give up and I feel, that customers appreciate it. The second one will certainly help in building a good relationship. It is also necessary to be interested in technology and the ability to see customer’s needs. Let’s also add regularity and creativity.
Is there something, that people do not know about sales in IT industry? Surprise us!
Difficult question. I do not know if it will be a surprise, but despite many circulating stereotypes, for me it is an extremely interesting job. The opportunity to meet many different people and travel around the world is really an amazing benefit to my work. The people I meet show me a completely new perspective. For many sales are associated with inducement and manipulation (it never works). My job is about getting to know the client and his needs very well.
What are your plans for the next two years?
My goal is to despite of dynamic development of Inspeerity, maintain a startup atmosphere, where the quality is a key value. My intentions are far from creating a factory, whose managers try to churn out as many products as possible at as low a quality as they can get away with. I would like to deliver to our developers interesting projects, preferably those in the latest technologies.
Tell us something about yourself. What is your favorite way to rest?
With three children - you do not rest (laugh). Seriously speaking, I like to spend time actively - preferably in the open air. I enjoy going with my family somewhere, where the life goes slower - in small towns and close to the nature. I love music and the process of creating it (although I’m not capable of doing it). I’m passionate about technology, astronomy and sports, such as: windsurfing, wakeboarding or cycling.
Do you have someone who inspires you?
I do not have one person who inspires me, there are many of them. It may sound quite trivial, but most often the people around inspire me. I would say that customers have the most measurable influence on my workshop. Based on feedback from them (directly or not), I draw conclusions and make decision on what I could do differently. Another great example - Dariusz Górczyński, who often puts my thinking process to the test and thanks to it, I break down my thoughts into single factors.