One of the biggest challenges in the past for your sales professionals was to get past the gatekeeper to make contact with the decision-maker. Once you reached the decision-maker, you worked to develop a relationship with him and her, made your pitch for your product or service, and hoped that this single person would find it valuable enough to invest in it.
Research indicates that there are an average of 6.8 people who take part in B2B purchase decisions today. That complicates your sales strategy. On the plus side, you get the rest of the team on your side, and you’re more likely to get the go-ahead from the ultimate decision-maker. On the minus side, that’s a lot of people to win over.
What are some strategies that you can use today to be successful in this new paradigm?
1) Really examine the companies that you want to do business with, specifically, the people in the company.
2) Identify all of the customer contacts who will influence the decision to purchase your product or service.
3) Ascertain the progression of relationships that need to occur to get to that final decision.
4) Get out and build those relationships. Follow the influencers on social media avenues like Linkedin, join groups that these prospects are in, and be active in those groups. Leverage any existing relationships to get introductions to the next relationships you are looking to cultivate. Create personalized messages based on your research on what is important to the people you are communicating with. Look for social media activity by your prospect, important events, like job anniversaries, blog articles or mentions in the news. You can comment on a prospect’s professional life, company, industry, or personal life.
Research has also found that the average rep bookings at an account are 47% lower when sales reps don’t have relationships with six or more people. Establishing and nurturing account relationships will ensure that you capitalize on opportunities to grow your business.