The key component of all sales strategies is opportunity management.
And the key element of opportunity management is evaluating risk—having as much information as possible to outweigh the possibility of the sale becoming a loss.
There are many components that make up a sales cycle, including the strengthening of interest and the evolution of that interest into need. A salesperson must be able to rapidly grasp all the factors of an opportunity in order to evaluate its worth and move it forward. A healthy (and sometimes overlooked) portion of that understanding lies in the knowledge of the prospect company.
Decision Makers, Decision Influencers
Once an opportunity has been basically qualified (with a method such as BANT—Budget, Authority, Needs, Timeline) the salesperson must know about everyone on the buyer’s side that will be influencing the purchasing decision.
Often the person interacting with the sales rep is not the final decision point—it will be a budget authority, or IT director, or another executive or a combination of these. A sales rep should be familiar with each of these and should directly interact with them as possible and necessary.
Additionally there will be individuals that will be impacted by the purchase in some way who might have a great or small influence on the decision to purchase. These additional influencers might be “behind the scenes” out of immediate view of the sales rep. Often the key to reaching them is an in-person demonstration, exhibition or live webinar that includes anyone and everyone involved. If you can get those people in front of you, it is much more likely you’ll get them on your side.
Not taking all potential influencers of a sale into account, a salesperson runs the risk of the sale unexpectedly being torpedoed from the side.
The salesperson must be well-versed in the buying pattern of the target company. What route does a purchasing decision take through the organization? Is there a seasonal aspect to their buying that could influence your sale for better or worse? How long does a purchase normally take?
This is basic information that if overlooked can be catastrophic. On the other hand it is the kind of information that if known can be taken great advantage of—when a company approves their budget and does the purchasing at a certain time of year, for example.
Disarming the Competition
Another very important element of sales strategies and knowing the buyer is understanding any possible relationships or potential relationships that company might have with your competition. Companies shopping for a product or service are often seeking competitive quotes. If this is the case you should know about it and be prepared to counter it. Someone in your prospect company might be prejudiced in favor of your competitor—you should know that, too, and have a sales strategies to deal with it. The more information you can gather along this line, the lower the likelihood a competitor will be able to snatch your sale away.
Of course a standard and successful anti-competition sales strategies should be part of a sales rep’s arsenal, at hand and ready for whenever a competitor might unexpectedly arrive on the scene.
CRM Solution and Sales Strategies
Tracking all of the above requires a flexible, intuitive CRM solution. Every possible bit of required data should be readily available in CRM for a salesperson to access and run with, so that he or she is well-armed for any unexpected events that may occur on any particular sale being worked.
There is a direct ratio between understanding of a prospect company and the likelihood of closing the sale. Make sure that understanding is part and parcel of your sales strategies and opportunity management—and start winning more than you lose.
What kind of CRM solution does it take to totally back up your opportunity management? Get your free trial of Pipeliner CRM now to find out.