If a salesperson has one goal with a prospect, it is creating within that buyer the conviction that the buyer’s company needs to buy that product or service.
Here are a series of basic steps through which you can bring about that conviction. It is a sequence you can blend into or add to your existing arsenal of sales tools and methods.
In this case, we don’t mean just touching bases and saying “Hello.” At this step you’re building up an initial rapport. You’re learning a bit about the person you’re talking to, about his or her company, about their job and the tasks they’re engaged in – you are learning more about your buyer. At the same time, you’re earning some trust from the prospect. Without this step being done well, the rest are impossible.
2. Isolate the Issues
In this step you want to accomplish two things: a) learn about the issues your product or service might address within the target company, and b) raise the awareness of your contact—and others at the target company—about those issues.
While you might think that all the ramifications of those issues would be obvious to your prospect company, this isn’t always the case. They might have encountered one major issue such as “Customer service reps just can’t use that database anymore—it’s full of errors and is way too slow” but haven’t really considered the impact on the rest of the company.
Help one or more key personnel walk through the full impact of the faulty database on their operations, and bring up their understanding that this is, indeed, a real set of problems that should be solved sooner than later.
3. Narrow Down Their True Needs and Wants
Now that you and your prospect company have a clear idea of the problem, you can then walk them through what life and business would be like if they were to solve it. How much easier would things be for employees having to interact with that database? How much more work could get done? How much time, effort and (most importantly) money could be saved? Note that you haven’t yet brought your product or service into the discussion.
4. Show the Difference Your Product or Service Will Make
Now you will bring your product or service into it. Going back through their ideal solution, you demonstrate that the solution you are bringing to the table matches up to their ideal in numerous ways. The more ways it does match up, the more convincing your argument will be.
5. Prove It
At this point you have their attention and have given them some hope that their problems could be solved—now you really have to make the case for your product or service. How have others benefited from it? Testimonials are good but on their own won’t do the trick. Case studies are far more convincing—the more detailed, the better. Case studies of enterprises similar to theirs brings an even further advantage.
If you can provide trialware or another demonstration that will actually show them benefit right in their own house, now is the time for that as well. This can of course be the best proof possible as it’s immediately applicable.
If every step of this list has been completely done, you are now well set up for the close.
6. Add CRM to your sales tools
The best possible way for a salesperson to move through each of these steps of sales process is through the use of a leading-edge, flexible, and intuitive CRM solution. With the right CRM application, each of these steps—along with each step of your sales process—can be fully but rapidly documented. Because the CRM solution is deployed logically, needed data for each sales cycle in progress is easily retrievable.
Add this list of steps to your sales tools—and bring about that vital buyer conviction that your solution is the one.