Every sales team strives for the same essential goals: More deals, larger deals, faster closes. We all know that whom the sales person speaks to and how they move the customer through the sales process profoundly impact these goals. But in an ever-shifting B2B buying landscape, and more decision makers as part of the process, it can be even more difficult to engage the people who have the authority to allocate funds for a pricey purchase.
It boils down to a salesperson’s ability to attach to the customer’s largest business problem. Salespeople who speak to low-level problems will be delegated to low-level employees. If the salesperson talks like a network administrator, they will find themselves only selling technical solutions.
When you’re bogged down with conversing back and forth with those who have fixed budgets, you may close opportunities but you won’t gain any traction increasing your deal size. Remember:
- Funding is typically attached to the customer’s biggest problems
- The most influential people in the organization define and own the biggest problems
- Organizations want their biggest problems solved immediately
Listen and Dig Deep
Learn to listen and drill down on specifics. Don’t let the prospect describe the problem without asking pointed questions about the impact of that problem. If you’re speaking with someone at a lower level within the organization, there may be a lack of awareness of the bigger problems. To get to the problems with large business impact – ask questions focused on money, time, and risk:
Money: How much does the company stand to lose if they don’t fix a particular problem? The higher the dollar value, the more likely this is a biggest problem.
Time: How quickly does the problem have to be solved before it becomes a game-changer for the organization? The more urgent the problem, the more likely it is to be the customer’s biggest problem.
Risk: What are the potential risks associated with not addressing the problem? The greater the risk, the more likely you’ve found the customer’s biggest problem.
Once you’ve uncovered the problem, it’s important your buyer understands why it makes sense to purchase your solution over other alternatives. If you’ve effectively quantified the business impact, you likely can cross out “Do Nothing” from the list. If the problem is big enough, the prospect should have concluded that it can’t wait. Your next step is effectively demonstrate why your solution is the better one.
- Speak about your differentiators in a way that helps your customer form a link between your solution and the positive business outcomes your customer is looking to achieve.
- Be audible-ready to focus your conversations on comparative differentiation – how your solution is better and/or different than your competition in a way that shows value for your buyer.
- Use trap-setting questions to effectively build your differentiation into the solution requirements
One of the most effective ways salespeople can shorten sales cycles is to link their solution to an issue that is so critical to an organization, the prospect can’t go another day without fixing it. If the problem is big enough, it doesn’t matter what your product costs. Opportunities move forward a lot faster when they’re aligned with an issue that can’t go another day without correction.
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