- The influencer should be bought into your product you are selling them.
- The sooner the better. If you feel comfortable asking the questions about buying process early on then do it. I would say feel it out. The more you know up front about the buying decisions and process internally at the company the better you will be later on in the sales process.
- The influencer should completely understand the value of what you are selling to them before starting to explain this to the decision makers internally to get approval on buying it. If the influencer cannot tell you, as their sales rep why they want this then you need to back track and help them understand better how to explain the value.
- The influencer needs to know why this product would have value for the overall growth of the organization (Not just their role). Does the influencer understand how this product they want could impact other parts of the business or the business as a whole? Help them to formulate these ideas.
- The influencer needs to understand the reasons why the C-suite would sign off on something like this. This process of figuring out what the C-suite cares about will help you to help the influencer make a plan for presenting value internally.
Does the influencer understand what their decision makers and/or the C-Suite care about:
- You should help the influencer understand the types of things that go into making a buying decision as an organization. Those things can include figuring out how revenue can be tied back to purchasing your product. What type of growth do companies typically see when they buy your product? How will it impact the C-suite directly in hitting their goals for the year?
- Your C-Suite is all about data and return on investment. Help the influencer to understand the typical kind of return that your software product has on similar organizations. Empower the influencer with this type of data so they can easily make the case on why they should start using your product now and not later. Decision makers are always going to want to understand this one question...Why now? Why not later? Have we tested this software yet? Be ready to answer these kinds of questions when you approach the decison makers.
- Enable the influencer to speak the language the decision maker speaks. To help your influencer to understand the things that the DMs care about you as the sales rep need to ask them solid, exploratory questions about internal processes and what matters at the company in the short term and long term.
What types of questions should the sales rep ask when trying to expose how to help the influencer sell the value of the product internally:
- What is the buying process?
- Do you sign the check or does someone else?
- How long does that take?
- What do you need to do to make that happen?
- Who else needs to be involved?
- What haven't we done yet to prove this out? Do you feel like you have enough to make a case internally? What else would be helpful and why?
- What do you need from me to make this easy to get approval on?
- What challenges do you think will come up as you explain the value to your decision makers internally or the C-Suite?
- Do you personally believe and know that this is the best product for your needs? Do you feel like you can truly explain why?
- Do you know how buying and using our product will help your company to hit the goals that your decision makers care about?
- Can you explain to the decision makers how you will track the improvements that this software purchase will have?
- Will you be able to explain to the decision makers why your company needs to purchase this software now? Why not later? Why not do more research? The influencer needs to come prepared to answer these kinds of questions.
- The decision makers are going to want success stories and data on their potential return on investment...does the influencer have this kind of information for their conversation or meeting to seek approval on the software purchase?
If you want to help your influencers to be able to get a purchase of your software approved you need to always understand the internal process and constraints that they are dealing with. Influencers are not a waste of your time, if you help them and enable them with the right information to seek approval when the time comes. Spend your time wisely with influencers in the sales process and you should reap the benefits and rewards of a new sale. A good sales process is one where you help people throughout the process to see value. The influencer is usually part of that process along the way, so be ready to help them internally.