Sometimes, getting from point A to point B is as simple as following a straight, direct path. Sometimes, it’s more complicated than molecular biology or space science or politics. Getting that ice-breaking million-dollar sale doesn’t sound as complicated and grueling a task as getting somebody on the moon, but it’s not simple either.
At the very least, it’s much like acquiring your dream house: there’s a process on how to get it. But before you go about peddling your product, here’s a very important thing to remember about sales: people buy from those they trust. When I say trust, I also mean believe, like, look up to, admire, respect. There’s no shortcut or cheat sheet to this. That’s why, no matter how hard you try, there are some deals you will never close. That said, here’s your cheat code to landing that coveted sale.
Know How Decisions Are Made
In order to implement you own process, you have to know the “enemy’s” process. To close a deal, you need to understand how decisions are made. If you don’t understand the process, you’ll just be wasting precious time, effort, and resources. While every organization is different, there are generally three ways companies decide on a huge deal.
- Sole Decision Maker. This person makes the final decision, no questions asked. This person is usually the CEO or President, thus he has the veto power in every and all decisions.
- Main Decision Maker (who requires board approval). This person has the clout to decide on very important matters (such as million-dollar deals), but still has to get green light of the members of the board. You have to understand that getting the nod of this person isn’t enough until the next board meeting comes and the members approve of the decision.
- Multiple Decision Makers. Talk about more heads being better than one. Some companies are structured such that many trusted people are required to assess and review important deals. This leads us to the next item on the cheat code.
Find the Decision Maker(s)
Some organizations empower the end-users – those people in the company who directly use the product or software they will purchase – in such a way that they have a strong say in the technology the company gets and utilizes. It makes a ton of sense; after all, the ones in the grassroots are the ones who understand how things work at their level. Sometimes, it also pays to forge a solid connection with these people.
There are also organizations that institute a clear official procedure when it comes to acquiring technology. In this case, you really have to go with the flow. However, just as there are organizations that have the bureaucracy of the government, there are those who do not. This is good for you because more often than not, you can save time and effort by going straight to the decision makers instead of going through half a dozen gatekeepers who might tell you to wait for a month even when the main decision maker would have wanted to have an audience with you right that moment. Once you pinpoint the decision maker, you have to reach out to that person.
Here’s how to Identify the Key Decision Makers for Lead Generation and reach out to them effectively
Sell the Solution
As a rule, you never sell the product, but the solution to a problem. Obviously, your product itself is never the focal point of the deal but how you alleviate your prospect’s pain point. Making this your emphasis highlights the value your software actually provides. When you’re selling a document management system, you’re actually telling them to save time, effort, and resources. That’s after you have identified that your prospect has been wasting time, manpower, and money on document management. See, if you focus on your customers’ issues, you can help them solve their problems.
But of course, you’ll need to be an authority in your field in order to have the credibility to sell something that aims to alleviate a pain point. In other words, your goal is to become a valuable addition to the company, not just a vendor. You want to be the person they call when issues relating to your expertise unfold. When you become indispensable, that’s when you’ve found a gold mine.
Learn how to become a solution rather than just a product. Read this article for example: Marketing BI Software: Be The Heaven-Sent Solution to Customers
Find a Partner
Just like a tag-team wrestling match, sometimes you need a partner to win over your target. However, the partner you have to find should be a non-competitor for obvious reasons. How? Find a company that has already worked or partnered with your prospect. You don’t have to be a very good researcher to find a list of companies your prospect have worked or are working with. Seek out these relationships and share your solution with them. That’s how you get a warm welcome in the company you are eyeing to conquer.
Be Ready for the Waiting Game
Nothing big comes easy. Courting large companies is a lengthy process. Sometimes, it can take a month or two just to secure an appointment with an executive. Reaching a final decision may take even longer.
That’s why average sales cycles can range from six to 24 months. tweet!
If you want to get that huge sale, make sure you’re ready to wait and wait some more. Meanwhile, nurture your prospect through the sales funnel. The wait will be worth it. Read this: Top 5 Sales Blind Spots in the IT and Software Industry
Trust the Process
Everyone in sales dreams of that big sale, that game changer, that confidence builder. It may or may not take some time, but it doesn’t matter. What matters is it’s within the realm of possibility. So if you trust yourself, trust the process, and put in every bit of effort you can, you’ll get it eventually.
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