Is Having More Sales Intelligence the Key to Beat Competition?
Jill Konrath, in her book, Selling to Big Companies, states: "The amount of time you invest researching and learning about a prospective client should be directly proportional to their value to your business. If landing a contract with this big firm puts megabucks into your pocket, has high prestige value, or huge opportunities for growth, it's worth spending lots of time on."
Let's face it - big software sales don't come easy in today's economy. So if your sales team has strategic accounts with large revenue quotas, how do you ensure they get into these accounts at senior management levels where priorities are set and the executives have authority to buy or approve large software purchases?
Some examples would be: President, COO, CFO, EVP, SVP, CMO, CSO, CIO, & President (LOB)
These are the people that are the hardest to reach and gain their attention. Their days are full with important meetings & events. They have no tolerance for anyone trying to sell them anything. In fact, they have gatekeepers whose job it is to make sure you don't gain access to them.
These are the same people who live with the burden of meeting the expectations of stockholders, analysts, and the Board of Directors. During the last year, that has been very hard to do.
These executives have to find solutions for whatever key business issues, problems or challenges they face - or they will face losing market share, declining revenues and in some cases, their jobs in today's competitive environment. So nothing should be more important to them.
It only stands to reason that the salesperson who puts in the time to really learn about the customers' key business issues, high priority initiatives, critical success factors, competitors, important metrics, and industry trends has the greatest chance of engaging an executive at this level and winning the account.
But is it a case of just having more sales intelligence than your competitor, or is there more to it? How do you turn all that information about your target company & corporate executive(s) into an actionable high quality lead and real opportunity that sets the stage for winning the business?
Btw, Jill's book has been ranked as one of the best for those who sell to large companies.
I would be interested in hearing your thoughts and experiences.