Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Have you done your homework Ms. Salesman?

I must be a horrible target for a sales person. I don't listen to cold call voicemails, I delete 99% of the spam emails I receive and, if a sales person is lucky enough to get me live, they have about 10 seconds to catch my attention before I tune out.

But I am not unusual. My short attention span and company-selfish interests are typical of the busy exec. And this is something too many sales people don't take into account. They talk about their products and their needs, not my company's needs.

In one study:

  • 82% of senior executives said they ”almost always” or ”frequently” experience sellers who are uninformed about the executive’s needs and the executive’s company

and there is simply no excuse for this any more!

In the recent report on Sales Intelligence the Aberdeen Group not surprisingly found that the types of intelligence that are most useful are the higher level ones -- company and competitor, not the basic contact data most sales teams get equipped with.



We see this need again and again. If you want to get through to an executive (like me) you need to understand my business. What drives my business, what I am trying to achieve, and what's impacting my customers decisions.

Having my social profile, while cute, can actually make a salesperson annoying. Just because you contact me on Twitter or send me an Inmail is not going to make me respond - in fact if it is a cheesy message without substance I am not going to pay any more attention just because your message is on social media. On the very rare occasions an email gets through my filter it's because it speaks to my business needs.

The solutions exist today to equip your sales team with smart customer and competitor intelligence right in their workflow. Within the CRM, tailored to the market the rep is in, configured to make it easy for the rep to review the customer intelligence and so be knowledgeable about how he/she can impact the customer's business - -and so talk about the customers need first!

So if you want to sell directly to executives, do your homework about their business first or you are wasting your time as well as theirs.

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