Join Mike Gamson for an in-depth discussion in this video Identify your buyer, part of Selling to Executives.
- Every year around the world, something amazing happens, accounts are distributed to sales reps. Sales reps unwraps that package to find out if they're going to have a good year or a bad year and they begin to prioritize their pursuit. Once those accounts have been prioritized, then the real work begins. Who am I going to go after first? How am I going to get in? What am I'm going to say when I get there? Will they engage with me? And, how do I lock them down to next steps? That's what were going to explore right now, and let's get started with how to identify who the right executive is to begin.
The first step is to learn the internal landscape. You want to become an expert about who's who, what do they do? Where do they live and what do they care about? Use Sales Navigator to save the lead and to begin to get educated about your prospect. The next step, and this is something where people can often fall into a trap. Don't be deceived by hierarchy. Often times, a less experienced sales rep will just try to find the most senior person that she can find. What I would caution you on there though, if you go too high, the CEO for an example, you may find that she doesn't care about what you're trying to sell.
My advice here, is to find that efficient frontier, between a high powered person, who can make an autonomous decision on your behalf and someone who cares enough about what it is that you're there to do, to get into alignment with you. The next step, is to learn the 30,000 foot view. It's time for you to become an expert on what this company cares about, so that you can drill that into what your prospect is going to care about. So actually do the work. Read their earnings announcements.
Listen to those earnings calls. Read what's written at the highest level of the company. Learn the 30,000 foot view. The next step is to get much more intimate about what that executive in particular is up to. Follow them on social media. Make sure that you're engaging with their engagement on everything that's possible. Are there topics that they care about? Are there interests that they have that you can become more educated about? Next, find some junior employees who might be more interested in talking to you.
It's often really hard to do research on an executive because the people immediately around her are also pressed for time, they have no interest in talking to you whatsoever. But often times, you can learn a lot from people who aren't necessarily hierarchically empowered. Maybe it's an assistant, a chief of staff, maybe it's a junior person in the organization that has nothing to do with what your prospect executive does, but who just knows what's going on and who makes decisions. Now finally, it's time to make a call. You've done your research, you understand the landscape, you have a good idea of who's who, and now you got to make a decision, pick your ideal executive and then maybe pick a backup plan, encase your ideal executive doesn't want to engage with you or simply can't on a timeframe that works for you.