The sales world With so much information at their fingertips, prospects are more empowered. But your job as a sales rep is to influence the prospect’s buying decision. Today’s post offers a way to influence the buying decision without saying a word.
Buyers are 60% or further down the purchasing path before you get your shot. When you get your chance, what do they know already about your company? What do prospect consume before you interact with them? Make no mistake – some buyers are all but signing the PO before you say hello. They are becoming more knowledgeable about their problems and options without you.
A strategy to engage buyers before a sales rep is present is now essential. Your competitors are doing this now. Relevant, timely content with insight gets you on the buyer’s radar early. The best sales organizations are providing content that:
- Helps the prospect realize a problem exists
- Enables prospects to realize that solving the problem costs less than ignoring it.
- Differentiates their solutions by giving prospects insight, not just information. It shares a vision with the prospect that your approach, solution and/or benefits are unique.
- Causes the prospect to build a preference for them over all others.
So, the question becomes this: How can you help your company sell when you aren’t with a prospect?
Arm Yourself and Your Company
You are the linchpin. You know the customer better than anyone else. How to help them see a problem clearly. How to show that your solution solves their problem in a unique way. You can arm yourself and your company to win the content battle.
You thrive on looking across a table, eye-to-eye with a prospect. So, how do you sell when you’re not there? Here’s the answer: Turn to your best customers. Those that you walked with along their own purchase journey. The customers that trust you time and time again to solve their problems.
Here’s how you can make this happen:
- Identify your most loyal customers. Write down the names. If you’re considered by them as better than the competition, leave them on the list. If not, take them off.
- Which had the most compelling results using your product/service? You want real, proven Return on Investment. Real increased revenues or cost savings. Put these in a bucket called “ROI/Case Study”
- Which are most likely to speak up on your behalf? These are the customers that know your kids names. How long you’ve been with your company. They trust you and your company to always deliver on your word. Put these in a bucket called “Testimonial”
- Are there “thought leaders” on your list? They know their business so well they are seen as THE Authority. Do they work in an industry vertical that’s critical to your business? If so, mark these as “Expert/Educational”
- Is there a customer listed that really knows you and your competitors? One that keeps on top of all the product trends and offerings. They know the plus and minus of all that’s on the market as a user. Mark these as “Product Guru”
Make The Call
Bring these stories, experts and gurus to life for your prospects. Here’s how: Contact Marketing and tell them you’re beginning a new campaign. You’re going to provide them with killer content. You’re going to help them get:
- Case Studies to drive prospect awareness of the problems they may have.
- ROI Examples to help prospect along the full buyer journey from awareness to preference.
- Testimonials to support buyers while they consider if you’re the right fit.
- Educational content showing your firm is aligned with thought leaders in key sectors.
- Product Reviews and assessments to help the buyer move from consideration to preference.
Next, get commitment from Marketing that they want the content you’ll bring. That they will use it help you sell when you’re not there. Examples include publishing on your site, setting up a customer Webinar, etc.
Finally, reach out to the customers in each of your “buckets”. Tell them you’d like to feature their story or expertise with a broader audience. Ask if you can help get their experiences or knowledge out. Tell them exactly what it is you want to communicate. Their great example of success (ROI), product expertise, thought leadership, etc.
If Marketing doesn’t support you, find out why not. Are they not interested in this type of content? Do they not understand how buyers are shifting today? If they don’t back you up, bring this to your boss. Ask for his support.
If Marketing drops the ball on this, there is still a huge upside: You’ve just updated your list of referrals. You’ve told your best customers how important they are to you. And you know how best to use them to fit your prospect’s journey to purchase.