“Our newest product is 4x faster than our previous version, and has X, Y, and Z new features,” you proudly tell a new sales prospect on a call. Unfortunately, his only response is to yawn with boredom and ask vaguely for you to call him another time. Sorry to say, but you’ve become a walking, talking product catalog – and that’s not a good thing for a B2B sales rep.
Prospects just aren’t interested in hearing you endlessly rattle off facts about your product. It’s time to offer a more personal, problem-solving experience on sales calls. Here’s how to start having two-way sales conversations with prospects to keep their attention and start closing more deals.
Forget Features and Benefits
Today’s B2B buyers complete 57% of the sales process before ever engaging with a sales rep.Sales reps have been “feature-and-benefits”-ing people to death for years. If prospects wanted to know your product specs, they could quickly and easily read your website. In fact, they probably have already have done significant research before speaking with you. Today’s B2B buyers complete 57% of the sales process before ever engaging with a sales rep, according to research from Google and CEB. So why are you repeating information that a prospect probably already knows? Instead of starting off a sales conversation with facts and figures, start by asking questions about them. Find out what they need, how much they already know about your company, and offer to answer their questions. This way, you only give prospects the information they want and need to know.
The crux of your conversation with prospects should never focus on your company or your product. Ideally, sales reps should “Always Be Helping.” When you talk to a new prospect, you should spend most of the first call asking questions about the prospect’s business and pain points, trying to diagnose whether they would be a good fit as a customer. You should be trying to find your ideal buyer – someone whose business would clearly benefit from your product. Prospects will appreciate it if you’re honest, and admit their company will not get much value out of your product when that is the case. By offering insightful and helpful information during the call, you will win the prospect’s respect and be seen as a helpful resource, rather than an annoying salesperson.
If you find out from the conversation that the prospect really would benefit from your product, it’s time to offer up a personalized solution. Why should this prospect decide to buy from your company over all the other options? You should be saying, “I want to make this relevant for you.” Take the information you’ve learned about their company, consider the pain points of their business, and offer them a specific solution to their most pressing business problems. Instead of just giving every person the same pitch, you should be able to say, “I think this specific feature will help your company do this specific business function better, faster, cheaper.” By offering a specific and personalized solution to their problems, it becomes easier and more reasonable for that prospect to say yes and buy.
Nobody wants to spend time talking to a product catalogue – it’s faster and easier to look things up online than speaking to a salesperson who focuses on features and benefits. If you want prospects to be excited to talk to you, start offering value and personalization instead. Only then will you start selling to the solution, rather than to your product.