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52 SMT Magazine • December 2016 By Stephen Las Marias I-CONNECT007 National Instruments (NI) is one of the lead- ing providers of automated test equipment and virtual instrumentation software. For the past 40 years, NI has worked with engineers and sci- entists through its open, software-centric plat- form that takes advantage of modular hardware to provide solutions to the world's greatest en- gineering challenges. At the recent NIDays 2016 event in Singa- pore, I spoke with Matej Krajnc, Managing Di- rector ASEAN/ANZ of National Instruments, about the challenges for sales and marketing executives in the electronics manufacturing in- dustry, effective sales strategies, and key attri- butes of a sales person. He also shares his out- look on some of the key technology trends next year. Stephen Las Marias: Matej, what do you think are the greatest challenges of working with direct sales people and sales representatives or partners? Matej Krajnc: Both have pros and cons. When you deal with direct sales people, you are more in control about how you reach your custom- ers and how you sell your products. When you Successful Sales Strategies work through the partners and representatives, you use them as a channel to that. In most countries where we use our direct sales presence and our direct sales engineers the first thing that we really want to know is that the engi- neers are very proficient. We spent quite a sig- nificant amount of time developing the profi- ciency program. They need to be proficient in the products or at least have a very high under- standing of the industries that they are serving and potentially also application areas that they are targeting. The other part, as you know for our region, is that the geography is extremely challenging. You have the Philippines on one side made up of so many islands, and we cover many of them, and on the other side you have Australia as a continent and country where life is surrounded along the coast. You have to be very efficient in providing the coverage for both. One of the big- gest challenges covering such territories is un- derstanding their culture and being able to ad- dress their needs in the various languages. Las Marias: We recently did a survey to learn what technology suppliers and providers are saying and what their challenges are when it comes to sales and marketing. Having a good technical knowl- edge of the products that they're selling is one FEATURE INTERVIEW Matej Krajnc

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