“Any technology-based company has to think globally from the start. Kiwis in some ways have an advantage because they know it,” says Ken Morse, the director of MIT’s Entrepreneurship Centre.
“What’s different is there are more serial entrepreneurs in New Zealand at the moment and that’s a great thing. This is a great time to be an entrepreneur in the IT side in New Zealand because people know it’s important.”
Morse visited New Zealand to give a seminar series titled “Global Sales Strategies for Ambitious Kiwi Entrepreneurs”, which attracted 75 participants including CEOs.
Himself a serial entrepreneur, Morse has played a key role in launching several tech start-ups, including 3Com and Aspen Technology.
Morse teaches attendees the art of elevator sales pitches to address the challenge they face in selling to busy but important potential customers.
“The founders of a company may have taken five or six years to develop a new concept, but people with power and influence only have a few minutes to hear the story,” he says. The sales pitch should outline the economic benefit of the solution a company is offering, he says.
Morse says a common mistake among technology entrepreneurs and companies is selling technology as a product rather than selling the benefits it brings the customer.
He says CEOs have to instil a customer-focused culture into their organisation, and that culture should extend from the receptionist to the CFO.