In order to take your business to the next level, your sales professionals have to stop filling orders and start selling. The trouble is, sales professionals can only sell if they are getting to the right people, the decision makers. Too often sales professionals are satisfied speaking with the people who place the orders and don’t get to fully explain how their product or service can benefit a company. This complacency leads to loss of sales and diminishing opportunity.
Why do sales professionals not seek out the decision makers? Well, it’s often a combination of fear and lack of know-how. Your sales team should be trained to find the person in the company they are prospecting who would most benefit for your product or service. Contrary to popular belief, this isn’t always going to be at the C-level. Is your product designed to help a plant become more efficient through new technology? Then maybe you want to talk to the COO or even the plant manager. When seeking out decision makers, think about finding the highest person who has a day to day interest in the problem your company can solve.
Once you have identified the decision maker, now you need to find a way to get in contact with them. There are three methods you can use to get to the key decision makers.
- Use a Direct Approach – This is directly mailing or calling the decision maker. This is best suited if the approach is tailored to the decision maker and his/her specific needs.
- Use Your Other Contacts at the Company – If you have already met with representatives of the company, use those connections to get more information on your decision maker or to set up an introduction. The key here is finding someone on the inside who can get you in front of the decision maker.
- Find a Strategic Partner – If the other two methods haven’t worked, try building a relationship with another vendor who is already “in”. Look for a non-competitor who will easily see the value that you bring and will recommend you to his/her contacts.
Once you have done your homework and have a meeting scheduled with a decision maker, you can promote your business and explain how your solution is the best fit for their needs. It’s important to remember to keep developing your relationship with the decision maker. Be respectful of their time and don’t forget to ask for permission to remain in contact throughout the sales process. You’ll want to make sure to have a plan in place that secures your relationship with the decision maker through educating them on your solution, demonstrating value as an informed member of their field and working to maintain the relationship through consistent contact. Taking the time to find the right decision maker for your project and connecting with them on a professional level will lead to more sales conversions and better efficiency.
Duane Campbell is a Global Accounts Manager for Jaroop, a web application development company that develops business intelligence, social interaction and client services for businesses. Jaroop is also the creator of the cloud based sales proposal application ClientSky, an online platform for professional service firms to generate, send and track sales proposals online. Duane can be reached at 860-357-2060 ext 302 or firstname.lastname@example.org.