I read an article today that was listed on a sales group I follow on LinkedIn about selling for pain/need vs. selling for objectives. You can read the article here to see how this triggered me to write this post.
It got me thinking about how I sell at HubSpot and how we as sales people are taught to sell. A lot of sales training starts with the idea of finding a pain point, finding challenges your prospect is facing. It seems like a natural thing to do. If you want to sell something you have to find some kind of pain or challenge and see if your product or service fits that pain. You work in sales because your job is to help people by selling your product or service to someone who has pain...or is it?
You don't always have to sell off of pain, need or challenges recognized at that moment by the prospect. I get inbound leads and also source my own leads that have triggers that I researched which tell me that what I do might be timely or helpful to the organization.
My inbound leads that I get I usually start the sales prospecting process by trying to assess for a need. Could what I do be timely, helpful or relevant to current things happening at the company? But, the trigger for me was that they came to us and downloaded content from us that tells me maybe marketing is something the company is focused on improving. So in those cases where I convert a lead into an opp and start the sales process I am doing that because I have diagnosed that there is a need to improve upon their marketing efforts and lead gen efforts. There is something that I can actively work on helping to fix for them by exploring HubSpot with them.
Let's take the second scenario where maybe a company has no clue marketing software exists and they don't even know there is a problem to solve. I hear this everyday on exploratory calls here. Your prospects and target market fall into 2 buckets usually:
1. They know they have a problem.
2. They don't know they have a problem.
As as sales rep you can pick to be the type of sales person who only works leads with need or challenges you can solve for. That typically means that the company has come to you and you exposed the need or challenge. Or you can chose to be a sales rep who wants to help companies who might not know they have a problem that can be solved for and help expose it for them.
I think the later works best. If you combine the inbound leads who know they have a problem who are doing research AND you source your own leads who might not know they have a problem you can solve for you will likely hit quota every month. You are setting yourself up for better chances at having more at bats and more opportunities to close more deals.
In this article the author says that 70 percent of the market does not know htey have a problem or what their objectives are. This is where a good sales rep comes in and exposes those problems and areas of opportunity to them. Go find opportunities where you can teach a company that they might need your help. They are out there because I convert them everyday.