by Tracey Wik / March 19, 2019
When it comes to pitching, salespeople often make the mistake of focusing on who the pitch is for.
Of course, whenever we’re delivering a sales presentation that we poured countless hours, meetings, and lattes into, we’ll focus on who we’re presenting to. There’s a nuance to tailoring your message to your audience, so knowing your audience ahead of time is essential.
Where to focus your time and attention next: Sales stage and the corresponding activities.
Broken down in its simplest form, we know that all the activities that happen in a sales traction are the pretty much the same across the board.
While some of your salespeople might be clamoring to get the chance to pitch the C-Suite, their energy will be best spent refocusing on the particular sales activity.
Here are 4 reasons why focusing on sales activities is a smart move:
Clients are busy, and so are your salespeople. Pause and make sure your sales team is spending time focusing on fostering deeper relationships with their existing customers and prospects. Sending along an article with a brief note, “I thought about your recent business challenge when I saw this, hope you’re doing well!” Goes a long way to building trust and making a pitch down the road go even smoother. Pay attention and listen for opportunities to help them improve their business. Building better relationships isn’t about closing a deal, it’s about nurturing the relationship.
If a prospect or client has been well nourished, they feel seen and understood, so when it comes time to proposal time, you’re less focused on the titles of the people at the table, and the actual people.
If some of your team’s prospects have gotten cold, spending the time to warm up an old relationship could serve your team in the long run. If it’s been a while since they’ve been in touch, reaching out with a chance to connect with a compelling and value-added conversation may be appealing to them. And when it comes time for a sales conversation to happen again, a proposal will feel like a natural progression and likely with less pressure. Even if they don’t hop on the phone, this will still go a long way with helping your business stay top of mind.
Some salespeople think that just because they got a friendly introduction from CTO that the business is a given. And worse, they go into the meeting with little preparation, thinking it will be an easy deal. Salespeople need to qualify all leads, even if they were handed a lead from the CEO. The CEO isn’t as close to the day-to-day business problems and their needs when passing your name along.
Sure, referrals are awesome and coming from the top, they carry a lot of weight. Be sure not to skip the important step of making sure you’re talking to the right person.
When walking into a meeting after properly qualifying leads and having done a great job nurturing the relationship, the sales conversation can go much more smoothly. Regardless of the position or title that the decision makers hold, your sales team will have key insights on who will be there and can prepare accordingly.
When salespeople focus on executing the sales activities by the stage of selling, by the time they arrive at the pitch they can be more prepared with a good understanding of the problems, who will be at the table, and all the potential objections the prospect might bring along.
As much as possible, focus on the what of the sales stage and less on the who—until you know who that who is and can tailor your sales message to their needs.
And if you need help with sharpening your team’s skills on the sales activities that happen at varying stages of the sales process, get in touch! We understand what takes place at each stage regardless of who’s sitting across the desk from you.