Saturday, 4 July 2009

Sales Intelligence

Using Sales Intelligence to get the sale.

Have you noticed a shift from old to new sales methodology?

Actions that were acceptable in the past such as:

Time wasting meetings with the wrong person
Emphasis on sales pitch
Irritating salesey speak pitches and presentations
Insufficient competitor and client company knowledge
Expectation that prospects would have the time and inclination to tell you about their business
Leaving meetings with no follow up action
Not following up every sales lead
These and actions like them will no longer get you through to the end of the sales process or even to the first stage in some instances. Competitors with background knowledge, have done research, and gathered 'Sales Intelligence' will win the sale.

Here are some essentials for getting the sale in today's marketplace:
Know your client company before the meeting, names, line of report, responsibility, their suppliers. Budgets/review dates.
Get in front of the decision makers.
Prospects have competitors - find out who those competitors are, what they do, what is their offer and how does it compare?
What current trends are affecting their business - how your offering may solve/improve/change that.
Show understanding of the business and demonstrate the impact your offering can have.
Become a valuable resource for information.
Salesey talk is not popular, and be assured your prospect knows it all!
Listen to your prospect, I mean really listen, are there business issues that your offering can solve, how? What is it that you can change?
Make certain that the next stage after your meeting is clear and wanted.
Always acknowledge and deal with questions, enquiries and comments from prospects and existing customers straight away.

Before your meeting
Create a list of 10- 20 companies your offering would suit.
Research as much as you can for each of them.

Company research
Successes and failures?
Their competitors?
Mission Statement?
Methodologies i.e. sales processes, business intelligence systems, customer service?
What others think of them – reputation?
Budgets and reviews dates if possible.
How they buy i.e. tender, procurement, personal decision, team decision?

Current suppliers - who are they, how does your company compare, what is the same, what extra value does your company offer.

People research
Names, titles of all decision makers especially the boss and PA? (even if you are not meeting him/her)
Lines of reporting and decision making power?
New employees and those who have recently moved on?

Get a meeting with the right person – no point wasting time if you are not on the right track with the right product.
Be clear what advantage using your product/service would have for them.
If your prospect is thinking profit, can what you provide increase the profit margin or improve ROI.
If your prospect has problems does what you offer solve them in any way?

Your prospect:
is almost certainly short of time - don’t waste it!
may be under pressure – find out why and be understanding?
may be solving a current problem – what is it, can what you do/have help solve it?
wants to know as soon as possible from you what results to expect from working with you – what will be the outcome? make sure you know.

Behind the door
expect that you may need to start small, search for every opportunity.
your research and preparation for this meeting should have put you ahead of your competition if not why?
demonstrate your expertise and knowledge of the business and the value of your offer.
concentrate on how what you have can make a positive difference to your prospect.
show why you are a valuable resource to the company by demonstrating what improvements your product/service would create.
become a source of insights, information and ideas so that working with you will be a real benefit to the company.