As your training efforts, homework and research pay-off, you have identified the key influencers and decision makers within your prospective client’s organization. Now all you need is a meeting, easy, right? Just call up and shoot a calendar invite and your all set. Not in today’s business climate. Business professionals are inundated with hundreds of requests and sales information. How do you go about breaking through the noise and getting access to the key players needed to advance or close a sell? You will have to earn credibility and trust before an over-worked, over-stressed and time lacking professional will provide you with precious and scarce time on their calendars.
Learn and Earn
A typical Salesperson should have in-depth knowledge of the products and services that they are selling. As a sales professional, you will gain an understanding of the features and benefits, personal to the products and services feature sets of their respective organizations. More than likely, you will have learned the detailed pricing structures, discounts, and promotions. This knowledge is useful for you and your internal organization, it is not the type of knowledge that your clients will find useful, especially at the prospecting stage of a sales opportunity. In today’s sales climate, clients are expecting that you know the key objectives and critical operational objectives, unique to their role and organization. With the difficulty in gaining access to the “power” players and decision makers, how do you go about learning prospective client’s objectives? It is going to take a focused effort of learning and observing, the key metrics for the roles you are targeting your sales effort towards.
Third party assistance:
Phone a friend; find someone in a similar role that you or someone on your internal team has a relationship established and ask to sit in on the next conference call to listen in and learn what projects are important and why the projects are being pursued internally. Ask, how they will be measured in their role relative to the projects they are involved with. You may have to drill down from the typical response of “on-time, on-budget”. Also, look internally at your organization and find the person in a similar role of the client you are targeting and reach out to your internal teammate. Your internal teammates can offer insight into what are the key objectives of the role and provide Industry knowledge. Ask if they have worked within other organizations and what the objectives and metrics were key in other organizations. Look at overall trends in the industry and identify how you will tailor a solution to assist in these trends and solutions.
Purchase assistance: You should seek out and implement services or products, tailored to the Sales Professional. There are companies you can purchase verified leads for specific roles, products, and services. CSO Insight’s an example of a Sales Research and Development service. Marketo would be an example of an organization available to assist in the alignment strategy of products, services or organizations. There are also pure research and development organizations available that offer customizable solutions, unique to each individual’s variables. Gartner, Forrester, and McKinsey are all examples of companies serving the R&D, consulting space.
In order to perform at the top levels expected of professional athletes. Schedule consistent and recurring blocks of time set aside strictly for prospecting, pipeline building, and maintenance.
Once you have successfully scheduled a meeting using the targeted products and services. The real work begins. We will address the pre-call planning and agenda building activities that are the next necessary steps needed to be adequately prepared for client meetings.