According to a Forrester research, executive buyers today are frustrated by “product-focused” salespeople. In fact, only 7% of executives even feel that sales people are interested in helping their initiative succeed.
It’s no secret that the buyer’s journey has changed. Whether you’re looking at Google’s ZMOT theory or some other evaluation of the change in the process, it’s clear that customers are doing more research and talking to sales people later and later in the process. There have been countless articles written in attempts to coach organizations on how to get into the decision-making process earlier and earlier. There have probably been equally as many articles written on getting to the right buyer at the right time. But once you get to that buyer, are you presenting the right message and offering true solutions to their business problems, or are you pushing a set of product features trying to fit their needs into your product specs?
So how do you close that gap between what the buyer wants and your solution set?
1) Focus on the right market. There are tools now that will allow you to freely type the industry in which you are interested and pull back a list of companies involved in that industry. Further segment your results by selecting things that are most important to you and that best fit the problems your product solves (for instance, if you sell recruiting services, you may be interested in all companies who are currently hiring). This will ensure that you actually have a highly qualified person on the phone that would be a good fit for your solution in the first place.
2) Listen to the signals. In addition the looking at the basic company DNA, you should be relying on real-time changes that may indicate a readiness to buy. The changes are typically called “triggers” and may include things like executive changes, IPOs, rounds of funding, and more.
3) Give them insight that even they didn’t know about their own company. It is nearly impossible for executives of large, global companies to know everything that is going on in every branch or every office around the world. Imagine the power of your sales call if you could give executives insights into their companies of which they may not be aware. By understanding the topics or conversations in which this company is involved including news, blogs, social media, and other sources, you can paint a comprehensive picture for that executive about the company position in the market.
The common theme to all of these suggestions is that you need to rely on the plethora of data available to make insightful and informed sales calls and marketing campaigns. Selecting the right tool to aggregate, correlate, weight, and score this data is the first step.
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