How often has a sales rep on your team told you: “I called this lead over and over, but he’s completely uninterested in our product.”
It may be true, but that doesn’t mean the rep should give up on the opportunity. Instead of accepting that this prospect isn’t a good fit, ask the rep to go back and work the whole account – not just one lead.
Reps shouldn’t keep calling the same person over and over, hoping to get a different result. They could be calling an indifferent Sales Manager, when they should really be calling the potentially interested SVP of Sales instead. It may seem like a small difference, but one more contact within an organization could lead to a closed deal instead of a dead end.
That’s why in sales, it’s not enough to just work leads. You have to work entire accounts, and learn how to navigate through your prospect’s buying process from start to finish.
Do Your Research
Reps should go into every call with a prospect fully prepared, after doing extensive research into the prospect’s company, role, and business needs. But research doesn’t just mean looking at the prospect’s LinkedIn page for a few minutes. Reps should look at the organizational structure of every account and try to understand the company’s buying process. This should help reps find out who within the company will be involved in the buying process, and who they should target for a call.
If, for example, you’re selling sales software, you know that the Sales VP will probably be the ultimate decision-maker. If your lead is a line-of-business sales rep, rather than wasting time with the lower-level lead, you can try to get introduced to their boss – the real decision-maker. Without that knowledge, you can’t approach the account from the right angle.
Target Specific Buyer Personas
The best sales teams also use buyer personas to help target specific leads correctly, and offer the right value proposition at the right time. Buyer personas help you better understand the needs and wants of your prospects, based on their role within the organization. For most accounts, you will have to handle at least 3 different personas in the process, including:
- A Sales Champion – Often a lower-level employee who has respect within the organization.
- A Decision-Maker – An executive who has the financial or organizational power to close the deal.
- A Blocker – Often an executive above the Decision-Maker who has the power to kill the deal.
The champion is usually your most enthusiastic supporter, but does not have the buying power within the organization. However, they can help push for the deal, to help you reach the decision maker and overcome the blocker. You should understand who each of these people are within the organization, what their goals are, and tailor your pitch to their needs.
Get Past the Blocker
The Blocker is the most dangerous persona, because they can so easily kill a deal. Often the Blocker is someone the sales rep hasn’t spoken with at all, but who has the ultimate say in whether or not the company buys your product. This person could be an executive who doesn’t see the need for your product, or a CFO who doesn’t see the value of your product. If you’ve only focused on one lead within the company and haven’t worked the whole account, this anonymous blocker can kill your deal with a word.
Instead of fearing the blocker, find out who they are and try to get on a call with them. Learn what their concerns are and what motivates their decisions. You may discover that they’re nervous about new technology, or have had a bad past experience implementing new tools. With this knowledge, you will be able to overcome the blocker and assuage their concerns, saving the deal.
It’s obvious that working an entire account is superior to just targeting one lead within a company. If that person leaves, or decides they’re not interested, your entire deal hinges upon that one person. Instead of leaving your sales to chance, help your team of sales reps work the whole account and start closing more deals.