When you hear "audible-ready", the first thing you probably think of is football. Specifically, when a quarterback steps to the line and changes the play call to one that takes advantage of weak defense . In a matter of seconds, the quarterback analyzes the defense and changes the play. Being able to recognize the strengths and weaknesses of the defense is crucial to how successful the offense will be. In football, making the correct audible calls can be the difference in winning and losing a game.
In a similar way, being audible-ready in sales can be the difference between whether or not you progress or even close the opportunity. Like a quarterback understanding a defense, you have to understand the pain points that customers have and adjust your conversation accordingly. When buyers understand that you're trying to solve business issues, rather than pushing a product, the likelihood of you closing the deal skyrockets.
Here are four things that you must do to be audible-ready in your B2B sales conversations:
1. Put Yourself in the Shoes of the Buyer
Think like a potential buyer. While having a wealth of product knowledge is important, it’s probably not a buyer’s number one priority. Instead you should put yourself in the position of the buyer and look at the issues that the buyer will want your product to solve. While the product may not change from customer to customer, the issues customers face is always different. Having this frame of mind will set you up for success before the conversation even begins.
2. Ask Great Discovery Questions
You can’t demonstrate the true value of your solution, without understanding the issues your buyers face. The best way to uncover these key challenges is to ask open-ended discovery questions that provide more than a yes or no answer. Your questions should revolve around what companies are struggling with or looking to improve upon. Questions that begin with phrases such as “Explain to me X” or “Tell me about Y” will get buyers talking about the true issues within their company that your product can solve.
3. Focus the Conversation Around Solutions That Work for the Buyer
Use the information you’ve gathered in discovery as a way to guide the conversation. Align your conversation to the value and differentiation of your solution, in a way that has meaning to your buyer. Your points should coincide with the positive business outcomes and the required capabilities you uncovered in discovery. Every customer is different, so every sales conversation should fit the needs of your individual buyer.
4. Don’t Enter a Meeting Without A Plan
Quarterbacks aren’t born with the gift of calling audibles. They spend years learning playbooks and practicing so that they can make the right call in game situations. Similarly, just knowing these tips will not make you audible ready. Being audible ready does not mean wildly adjusting your conversation without a plan. Rather, successful sellers take the time to develop the skills to quickly and effectively respond to customer needs as they arise during sales conversations. Even the most veteran sales executives can benefit from pre-call planning. Don't leave your conversation to chance.
There is no silver bullet when it comes to sales conversations. Therefore, you need to be prepared to be audible ready and adjust to the needs of the customer. Use these tips as you prepare for your next sale and begin to see results you previously thought were unattainable.