These days, you need any edge they can get to win more business. The good news: a recent CFO Insights survey reveals an underutilized selling tool that makes companies more likely to close sales.
Companies that provide reps with a wealth of “sales intelligence” prior to the initial sales call are 20% more likely to close deals than those that don’t, according to the survey.
“Sales intelligence” refers to any insider info about a prospect’s industry, company, or competitors that gives salespeople an edge.
More to the point, prospects want to do business with knowledgeable salespeople who understand the way their industry works. In fact, here are the five specific things every prospect expects salespeople to know before the initial handshake:
- How their industry works: This includes everything from the latest trends to what top companies in are doing to maintain their edge (and how your offer can help prospects do the same).
- Who their top competitors are: The more salespeople know about the top companies in any given market, the more prepared they are to help prospects gain a larger market share.
- Any past history the prospect has with the company: This refers to everything from past sales meetings to previous buying history. The more detailed your records, the less chance reps will be caught off guard by a prospect who has dealt with your company in the past.
- How to differentiate their offer from competitors: Why are you the best value for the prospect’s dollar? How can your company offer stronger ROI in the long run?
- What’s changing and how it impacts the prospect’s business: Buyers want solutions that put them on the cutting edge of their industry, and they want to do business with salespeople who understand what they’re up against.
Organizations that have a system for gathering sales intelligence:
- Save time by disqualifying low-probability prospects
- Impress prospects immediately by addressing their biggest needs
- Earn prospects’ respect by proving they’ve done their homework and are capable of helping the prospect’s business succeed.
Over time, it also causes prospects to view your salespeople as experts in the field, which not only boosts their credibility, but the company’s reputation as well.
For more visit: “Proactive Sales Intelligence,” a CSO Insights White Paper by Jim Dickie & Barry Trailer, http://snipurl.com/ix2nw