Frazzled. That is how your prospects are feeling. The end of the year is fast approaching and they are in the heat of it. Between trying to wrap up their end of year and planning for next year, there is little time to consider new solutions. And yet, you call. You call because you have a solution (and a quota) so you want to pitch it and guess what? Prospects don’t want to take your calls. To close deals this time of year, you need to go above and beyond.
You need an approach that shows them that you understand. That you really, really understand. More than ever, at this time of year prospects need an educated seller, with an approach that shows that you already understand their challenges and are able to provide a clear and simple solution. That is a pretty high bar, right? But you can do it, and here is how.
As you read this, you are probably thinking, “But I am crazy-busy too. How am I going to manage to get even more prepared than I am?” Well, there is a trick – outsource the research. Keeping the burden of prospect research in-house does not make sense in today’s high-paced, high-expectations sales environment. That is why sales intelligence is such a smart investment. Preparing the sales team with quality, current intelligence will put them leaps and bounds ahead of the game and sitting in front of prospects – at the right time and with the right message – not scouring the internet for data.
Prospects rarely consider solutions cold these days. When they start to identify issues within their organization, they already start the process of self-education. They look online at possibilities and reviews. Sales reps today must assume that their prospects know the industry and the competition. “Buyers now expect salespeople to provide knowledge and insights beyond what they can find on their own.”(SiriusDecisions, “The Knowledge Today’s B-to-B Rep Needs to Succeed”)
To reach a busy decision maker, you must achieve two things: Differentiate yourself and differentiate your solution. First, differentiate yourself. Be the kind of person you like to talk to – helpful, understanding and knowledgeable. This means that you have to do your homework. When you first call with your solution, you need to know about the organization, the team, their installed technology and the problem they are facing.
The second thing you have to do is to differentiate your solution. When the prospect began to recognize that they had an issue, their initial research probably gave them an understanding of kind of solutions were out there as well as a feeling for the direction they would go in when the time comes. In order to differentiate your solution, approach with an understanding of the issue they are facing, and provide the buyer with helpful decision making tools like buying criteria. Give your busy prospect the ability to evaluate your solution alongside competing options easily. When you are helping them, not selling to them, you can help them understand why solving the problem in a specific way will benefit the organization, now and in the future. The path to your solution becomes clearer.
As you work with your prospect, make sure to keep the project on track by looping in all of the possible decision makers at the right time. If you are looking to close the sale quickly, bringing the decision makers to the table early in the process will be vital. Keep in mind that not all of the decision makers sit in the IT department. You will want to include decision makers from Finance and Marketing as needed as well.
Make an informed approach, come with a plan, keep it simple, manage the sale – case closed. Everyone is working at full-speed. Making the best use of your time and the time of your very busy prospects shows that you not only respect them, but also understand their needs and pain points. No one has time to waste. Using the powerful tools of a sales intelligence solution you can get past frazzled to closed.
SiriusDecisions’s recent report discussed a similar topic: the benefit of being well informed about the industry, company, and prospect before entering the initial sales call.
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