Jan Bosch is a research center director, professor, consultant and angel investor in startups. You can contact him at jan@janbosch.com.

Opinion

Boost your digitalization: sales

Leestijd: 3 minuten

For most of my life, I’ve worked in engineering. I worked as a programmer during my university studies. Built my own compilers while conducting my PhD research as I looked into alternative object-oriented programming languages. Worked in industry as a vice president on the engineering side and, of course, I published hundreds of papers on technical topics ranging from software architecture to platforms and from data pipelines to federated learning.

Over the last decade, however, I’ve increasingly started to realize the importance of sales. For many people, this is a slightly dirty word. Images come to mind of sleazy used-car salesmen and annoying people ringing the doorbell or phone at the most inopportune times to try to sell you stuff you don’t need.

In practice, however, we’re all salespeople in the work we do. Whether you’re trying to convince your colleagues to change a process or ways of working or submitting a research proposal at a funding agency, you’re doing sales and it helps to think of it that way. Sales is about building empathy with customers, deeply understanding what drives and is important for them and then formulating an offering that meets that need.

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