Sales to me is just a game. In a game you can set yourself up for a better chance at winning if you do certain things. In the sales game I feel like the number one thing you can do to set yourself up for better or more success than your colleagues is by finding ways to find companies where your product or service could be timely to the organization you are prospecting.
Sure, you might sometimes randomly reach out to someone and it will work out. But, personally I don't want to play my game that way. I want to stack the deck in my favor and the only way that I can do that every month is by finding companies where what I sell could be timely for their needs. If you just call anyone and everyone without a strategy your sales game will go something like this- Maybe they will take a meeting, maybe they will listen to your sales pitch, but really at the end of the day they are just doing it because they can. You are educating someone because they want to learn. They are taking your time because you are not recognizing that this is not a real prospect for you. You as a sales person are putting time into something that likely will not be worth it.
When I have sourced a lead or prospected someone where I thought what we do is timely, I am always aware of what I am doing. You need to approach these types of situations differently than when you are calling on an inbound lead where you know that they know who you are. I say things like:
- I know that I reached out to you so I am the one who has to explain why I think we can help you. But, it would be great if with what I explain about my company and why typically people use our product, you could tell me if those things are applicable to your situation RIGHT NOW. Then we can together see if what HubSpot does could help you at all.
- Make the conversation about them. About their potential needs. Your job is to diagnose if they are a good fit (right now) for what you do.
- Find out from them if what you do is even relevant to their organization. Get them to open up to you about whether or not your product or service is actually something that could work.
The easiest way to see success as a sales person is setup appointments for yourself where you know that what you sell is something that could be timely for the company you are prospecting.
The ways I teach this at HubSpot are by helping sales reps figure out why our product or service could be timely for a company.
1. You have to really understand why people buy your product. Do you know why people buy your product? Do you understand the role of the person you sell to and what it is like to their job without your product? What other types of products does that person use if they don't use yours.
2. Why does your target market need something like what you sell? What makes your product something that typically helps your prospect?
3. What are typical triggers happening internally in an organization when they buy your product or service? Does a company always need your product? Do they only sometimes need your product? Is your product only timely when something happens? Is your product something that is widely known or is it a new concept?
4. What makes someone successful when they buy your product and start using your product?
5. What things does your product or service do to make the prospect's life easier?
If you can start to really, truly understand the answers to these questions you can start to assess what trigger events you should look for when you are sourcing companies or researching your leads that you are calling on.
As a sales person you should know the following about your product or service:
- What is the value of what you sell for your target market?
- How does it help them to do their job better?
- What are the different ways that someone would use your product?
- Why would someone need a product like this?
- Even if they didn't know your product existed what information could you use to explain how this could work for them.
If you want to find timely opportunities then you need to do really good research on the types of typical triggers that would help you find companies where your product or service is likely a good fit but also (more importantly) GOOD TIMING!
If you want a shorter sales process find companies/prospects where you know that your service or product could be timely.