If you have ever spent time in a frontline field sales position, you most certainly have encountered a sales opportunity that you were certain would close, and the opportunity stalls. Your decision maker(s) go silent and you are left scratching your head, pondering what went wrong. You go through your notes, emails, and proposals to see if you missed any follow-up items that may have contributed to the radio silence. You are left with confusion, second-guessing. You may also have to explain to Sales Leadership, why an opportunity projected as highly probable as closing, is now stalled or worse, lost. The above scenario is a perfect example of missing a very important and key component of selling value and being differentiated; access to Power.
Understanding buyer types:
In your typical selling motions of identifying and working with the key players and decision makers that your particular product or service is targeted toward, it is easy to assume that once you have taken the steps and worked through all of the key initiatives and objectives, you and your product will be helping to solve or attain, a signed contract and closed opportunity, will easily follow. In a lot of situations, this may be the case. It will all depend on the buying individual and their role or “type” within their respective organization. There are three targeted individuals or buyers within an organization that you should be working within each and every Sales opportunity; Coach, Influencer and Power.
A coach is an individual at your target organization that you have successfully sold and gained their buy-in to your sales solution. This type of individual may not have the ultimate decision-making authority, but they can help you to gain access and navigate the internal process of obtaining the ultimate signature or Purchase Order that is needed to close your sale.
An Influencer is a person within your target or customer organization that has a significant influence on the decisions, tools, and direction of their respective organization or specific role. Often times, this may be a technical user of a product or service that sees how they will directly benefit from your proposed solution or product.
Power is the individual in an organization that has the authority to green light or kill a particular product, service, decision or strategic direction. In most organizations; this will be a “C” level individual with contract signing authority. Power is generally the individual that will sign the contract, or provide permission to the contract managers to sign. If you have not included Power in your sales opportunity and obtained buy-in, you risk having your sales stall or worse, killed.
With each and every sales opportunity, you should ensure that you have included the three types of individuals outlined above in an effort to maximize the probability of a successful Sales completion. By identifying these three individuals, including them in the sales process and value proposition, you are triangulating within your customer or prospects organization. The concept of triangulation will provide you with additional breadth and reach within your client and prospect organizations and will help to build even more value around your opportunity or proposal. A prospect or customer organization will gain a wider view or the value you and your solution will be provided, increasing their confidence in their decision to move forward with your product or solution.
As you gain experience in working with concepts of selling value and being differentiated, each and every new opportunity will begin to flow in a rhythm and it will become second nature to include these methods and concepts at every opportunity. #GoodSelling