Don’t Boil the Ocean: 5 Tips for Being an Effective Sales Rep
Don’t boil the ocean. This old sales tip has never been more important than it is today. As a sales rep, you know how fast information moves and how much of it is out there. Don’t let yourself burn out trying to understand it all. Here are five tips that I found will help you stay efficient and expend your energy where it really matters.
Know thy audience. For the first time in history, thanks to Big Data, sales reps can access petabytes of aggregated information to paint a cohesive picture of their prospects before even contacting them. We can understand a prospect’s marketplace, their industry, customer base, competition and even individual decision makers within their organization. If you take advantage of this information and really do your homework, you can be a lot more targeted in your sales approach, winning more sales as a result. GoodData’s Bashes provide all the insights you need in an intuitive interface.
Always be on the front of your seat. The most efficient and successful reps I’ve seen are mercenaries. They’re accountable, curious, hungry, passionate, always looking for the next opportunity, and are willing to run through water or fire to get there. They use all facts and figures available at their fingertips, from their own connections to analytics to digital body language in order to get in front of a prospect.
Make it personal. If your prospect is only willing to give you five minutes on the phone ask them one simple question: “What are you personally measured on?” This will gain their immediate attention, as it turns the discussion from an average business conversation to a personal one. Measurement is about success and implicitly, job security. At that point, you’ll intimately understand what your prospect’s challenges are — and now you can reverse-engineer your meeting based on that simple question.
It’s all about them. Once you’ve used all available tools to get in front of a prospect, now it’s time to research that individual. Know their preferences, where they’ve given presentations, and what they’ve written. During the meeting, share with them what you learned and how much you liked their presentation and/or written content. When they feel recognized and acknowledged, they’ll give you credibility and their attention. Your goal at this point is to match (or create) a mental map of the perfect solution for them. This is relevant so that when they look at a spreadsheet of all of your competitors, they’re rationalizing the ‘how’ you do it and the ‘what’ you do (feature, functionality) from what their subconscious tells them they need. This is what I call ‘the sales Jedi mind trick’.
Teach your prospect. During your meeting, earn your right to sell by teaching your prospect something they didn’t already know. For example, when selling GoodData, our sales force first demonstrates how people in their exact role use our solutions to report, analyze and measure their business data. It shows our prospects a new way to think about their business that maybe they didn’t think of before. It also gives you credibility, as it shows them you are qualified to help. We then ask them about their own roles and demonstrate real-life scenarios of how GoodData would be used in their business. As a result, the prospect has the ability to see themselves sitting in their own, customized GoodData cockpit. Once your prospect can visualize themselves using your product and understand what it can do for them, they will rationalize how to cover costs, installation and all the other logistics that might otherwise have been objections.
Of course, the key to all this is having a product that is naturally well designed and easy to understand. At GoodData, we like to say that our product rationalizes itself. Once prospects see how intuitive our Bashes and BizData Monetization platform are, they can easily see how GoodData could benefit them personally and professionally.