How Did the Rookie Ascend to Rising Star Status in IC Sales in Just Half a Year?

February 15, 2024

In January of this year, unexpectedly, a member at Cytech Systems volunteered to switch from an assistant to a sales role. Her name is Ross, a brave warrior who dares to challenge herself. So, what exactly did she do?

*Note: Due to privacy protection, the customer name, salesperson and component number in the following content are pseudonyms.

Warriors also hesitate: How can someone with no experience enter the IC sales sector?

"I had no sales experience or skills before. While working as an assistant, I could see colleagues' development emails and the orders they were handling through the internal system, so I had some basic understanding of sales work." Ross said, the opportunity for a job transition arose when the company posted an announcement: Sales assistants could voluntarily apply for a transfer to sales.

Ross was eager to give it a try. Yet, given her lack of prior sales experience and a comparatively modest proficiency in English, she hesitated. Later, with various encouragements and support from the supervisor, Ross took the initiative to try out order processing. Through this experience, she learned more about the fundamental knowledge needed in sales. Four months later, with a bold recommendation from the supervisor, she transitioned to a full-time development sales role."

“To be a salesperson, I feel the biggest challenge lies in getting customer responses," Ross said. She needs to find ways to reach out to customers and elicit a response from them.

"Relying solely on inquiries allocated by the company is not enough; I need to take the initiative to explore customers," Ross decided to send a hundred emails every day to develop clients. These clients include resources allocated by the company and potential customers she discovered through online research.

After months of hardship, Ross finally secured her first client developed through outreach emails. This marked a breakthrough for Ross in entering the semiconductor sales field.

Breakthrough: Securing the First End Customer, Winning Annual Orders

This end customer(B) is from Germany. When Ross sent the first email to him, she observed that he had "read" it but didn't respond. Ross immediately sent a second email and quickly received a response from customer B along with an inquiry. 

Ross promptly sent a detailed quotation to the customer and inquired about the ideal price in the customer's mind. 

The customer cooperatively provided the "Top price" — unfortunately, the profit the company could gain at this price was reduced to single digits!

Although it was somewhat difficult to accept, Ross did not immediately reject the customer. Instead, she informed the company and sought support from the procurement team to explore alternative suppliers with lower costs.

After several days of effort, the procurement team identified similar products with lower cost prices. Ross quickly informed customer B that the products were available and soon reached a cooperative order agreement.

The story doesn't end here. A month later, the customer contacted Ross again, requesting a new quotation. After thorough discussions with the customer, Ross successfully secured a booking order for whole year.

Q: Why is customer B willing to entrust you with the entire year's orders?

A: In fact, early cooperation is crucial because we engage in mutual assessments. For instance, I take the initiative to offer credit term support to enhance the customer's trust in us. The customer also demonstrates high credibility by consistently making timely payments, which satisfies us. Moreover, prioritizing swift responses to customer inquiries and concerns has proven to be satisfying for our customers. 

The key to facilitating long-term cooperation with the customer is honest communication. Although not all our products have price advantages, we clearly inform the customer which products have price advantages and which do not. We work with the customer to find the best solutions. 

The customer realizes that we not only focus on our own interests but also emphasize win-win outcomes, they will trust us more.

Intermittent silence from a new customer, how did Ross cope with it?

There is another story.One day in May, a new end customer (C) inquired about the TI INA****. Ross promptly provided a quotation, and the customer showed interest, asking for some samples for testing.

Afterward, the sample was shipped by Ross and everything seemed to be going smoothly. However, some situations occurred.

Customer C informed that the testing engineer fell ill, and the testing work needed to be temporarily suspended. Following this, Ross's subsequent emails received no response from customer C.

Regardless of the customer's lack of response, Ross did not give up on the customer and continued to maintain email communication.

Two months later, customer A finally placed a order. Surprisingly, at this point, the product's cost had decreased four to five times due to a market price adjustment, unexpectedly resulting in a high-margin order—an outcome that was truly delightful!

Q: After quoting or sending samples, it's not uncommon for customers to go silent, a situation often encountered in the sales industry. If a salesperson gives up in such cases, they might miss opportunities. How did Ross deal with this situation?

A: The smartest thing I did was not to keep my focus solely on asking customer C for test feedback. Instead, I changed my approach, finding creative ways to send emails to elicit feedback.

Q: To capture the customer's attention and response, What content did you include in the email to the customer?

A: For instance, I provide customer C with graphic and textual presentations through email, highlighting the company's dedication to quality, including our AS9120 and ISO9001 certifications, as well as details about our established laboratories in Hong Kong and Shenzhen.

Moreover, I communicate a price reduction on the supply side and share an optimized price list for their consideration.

Subsequently, Ross received responses from the customer, including updates like "The engineer is still unwell," expressions of gratitude for the competitive pricing, and assurances of timely communication regarding new developments. This left Ross feeling much more reassured.

Ross spared no effort in writing emails to follow up for feedback. The ultimate goal was singular—to turn passivity into proactivity, ensuring a constant understanding of the customer's situation.

Relying on the platform and resources provided by the company and her own learning ability, Ross has made rapid progress. From being a rookie to transforming into a skilled salesperson, Ross breaks the stereotype that lacking experience doesn't mean you can't excel in IC sales, and individuals with limited proficiency in English can't engage well in international trade. 

Disclaimer: This article is provided for general information and reference purposes only. The opinions, beliefs, and viewpoints expressed by the author of this article do not necessarily reflect the opinions, beliefs, and viewpoints of Cytech Systems or official policies of Cytech Systems.

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