I’m gearing up to spend easter with my nieces and nephews this weekend, and it’s making me think back to the Sundays of frantically searching for eggs and trying to get more than my equally competitive brother. Then, true to form, I started thinking about how this relates to sales.
Short backstory: At my parent's house, there were 3 types of eggs: Dyed hardboiled eggs, plastic eggs with candy, and plastic eggs with coins or maybe a dollar. As a 5-year-old, I wanted the money; some things don't change.
But Chris, how are you going to bring this back to sales?
It’s a lesson in prospecting and lead qualification. Below are my hard-earned secrets to a successful egg hunt, and a successful personal prospecting strategy.
Don’t sprint after the first egg you see. Take a minute to think and scan the landscape.
This comes back to one of the core tenants Sri teaches – Equally competent people will obtain wildly different results based on if they THINK, or they DO. Think first, ask yourself these questions, or you risk spinning your wheels with minimal success.
- What is the best vertical or market, where my value will resonate strongly?
- If your competitor has a niche-focused product where your product doesn’t compete well, don’t compete, find a different vertical.
- What are the titles I need to approach?
- It may be multiple titles, but from the beginning of your prospecting efforts you should be asking about decision makers, influencers, buyers, and making sure you get introductions to these different groups.
- How do I get introduced to those titles in those industries?
- If you have to start cold, do it. Maybe you start with low-level calling to individuals that are more likely to pick up the phone, but don’t have much power. These individuals can give you the lay of the land, and may be able to introduce you to their boss, or another key player in the account.
You can tell the real eggs from the high-value eggs easily, so why chase the hard boiled eggs?
Makes sense, right? Unfortunately, many salespeople fall into the trap of chasing bad leads because they exist, wasting a lot of time and effort pursuing leads that will never convert. How do you hold yourself accountable for only spending time on uncovering and working the right leads? This is an area that blends science with art, but if you only go with your gut, you’re going to waste your valuable time.
- What characteristics will this prospect have that will make my product look valuable?
- This is specific to your company, product, and market, but it is important to think about and document what makes for a good prospect. It could be relationship, existing technology, size of company or budget, application for the product, or something else important to YOUR value proposition.
- Where is my competition having success? Where do I know I can beat them?
- Competitive intelligence is a whole-team effort mixed with forth-coming customers that will share with you what they hear in the market. Do they win at the higher price point, is their customer service and ease of use much better, do they have a specific widget that is a game changer? Understanding where your product stands in the market will help you find the right leads to nurture in your sales process.
When you grab a high-value egg, secure it first before chasing the next egg.
A quick way to fail is to only prospect, or only close. Make sure that you continue to nurture your leads all the way to the finish line. Just like you never leave your easter basket unattended in case your cousin has sticky fingers, never neglect a deal in contracts because it's "sure to close".
If you feel like your team is spending too much time chasing bad leads, or have a poor close rate, it may be time to call in the experts to build a structure and process that focuses your attention on the right deals. Schedule a complimentary sales consultation today!