Congratulations! Your sales rep just had a great meeting. The prospect was highly engaged and has already agreed to another meeting. Just one problem: Your rep is stuck in a never-ending series of meetings with an influencer rather than a decision maker. Thus, the sales process grinds to a halt.
Sound familiar? It’s an easy trap to fall into, especially when prospecting is so challenging to begin with, and now the rep has finally found someone who will accept a meeting.
However, that influencer typically only has the authority to attend meetings, not make a purchase decision. In order to not waste valuable time, it is imperative that the sales rep meet with the decision maker as early as possible in the sales process.
This, of course, is easier said than done. One common mistake reps make is speaking the language of features instead of speaking the language of business. If your conversation is focused on your product and its features, you may get delegated to exactly who you sound like – the technical buyers and influencers.
The sooner a rep can elevate the conversation to solving a business problem, however, the faster he/she will have the opportunity to connect with a decision maker.
So how do you quickly elevate the conversation? After targeting and qualifying your prospect, sales reps should ask the following:
- What is the business need?
- What’s driving it?
- How is the company addressing that need?
- Who owns that initiative?
- What is their role in the decision making process?
These sales process tips force the influencer to identify the decision maker and give you natural “openings” to ask for access to those who make buying decisions. Additionally, you’ll earn credibility by attaching your offerings to the largest business problems that your customers are trying to solve. Moreover, you’ll be viewed as a problem solver, rather than a vendor who simply hawks products.
Upon reaching the decision maker, you’ll find that the sales process speeds up dramatically.
About David Jacoby
As a Managing Director at Sales Readiness Group, David helps large B2B sales organizations improve sales performance. Previously, David was a Principal at Linear Partners, a sales consulting firm providing sales strategy, sales operations, talent management, and interim management services to emerging growth companies. In the past, David has served as Vice President of Business Affairs of Xylo, Inc., where he was responsible for the Company's business development, sales operations, legal affairs, and financing activities.