Precision in Sales: Identifying Key Decision Makers
Navigating the labyrinth of modern sales requires more than just a sharp understanding of your product. It requires clarity about your audience – the pivotal decision-makers who shape the trajectory of business deals. Drawing an analogy, consider a seasoned archer. The archer’s prowess is not merely in the pull of the bow but in the precision with which he identifies and hits the target. For those vested in sales, this target comprises the key decision-makers within a prospective client’s organization.
To lay the foundation, it’s essential to grasp that today’s corporations are not simplistic entities with a lone decision-making authority. I spend time explaining this in my book Eliminate Your Competition and in the blog posts supporting that book. Picture modern corporations as sprawling metropolises. Yes, there’s a mayor, but a host of other influencers – the business tycoons, policy advisors, and community leaders – each plays a part. Translating this to a corporate setting, beyond the towering presence of the CEO are the department heads, procurement officers, and sometimes, external consultants who play a role in decision-making. A revealing statistic notes that in many large corporations, the buying decision isn’t just the purview of one but a collective of 7-8 individuals, each bringing their perspective to the table.
Dive deeper into the implications of this. Operating blindfolded, with a broad target group of 100 potential influencers in the prospective corporation, your chances of engaging the right decision-makers is a mere 7-8%. However, with precise identification, you amplify your engagement effectiveness to over 90%. The magnitude of this difference in approach isn’t just quantitative but profoundly qualitative, influencing the trajectory of the sales process.
But the path to this precision is laden with challenges. Today’s organizations are evolving, with flatter hierarchies and collaborative decision-making. Unlike earlier times, the decision-making power is not solely with the top-tier executives; influence has become democratized. Though not wearing any significant title, stealth influencers can sometimes significantly steer decisions.
So, how does one maneuver through this intricate maze? The key lies in a blend of practical action and analytical discernment:
- Industry-Specific Acumen: Every industry has its unique structural DNA. Understand this. The decision-making dynamics in a budding tech startup differ vastly from a century-old manufacturing giant.
- Relationship Building: Frontline managers and executives, often overlooked, are reservoirs of insights. Their vantage point provides a clearer picture of the organization’s internal decision-making landscape.
- Digital Platforms: Tools like LinkedIn are not just professional networking platforms but a goldmine for insights. Here, you can go beyond official titles and delve into an individual’s influence, judging by their professional endorsements, content shared, and network strength.
- Networking at Industry Events: Beyond product showcases, industry events serve as platforms to understand the industry’s influencers.
- Direct Queries: In your interactions, never hesitate to ask, “Who are the other decision stakeholders?” This showcases your earnestness and intention to cater to all relevant influencers. It is also worthwhile to ask, “The last time you bought a product like mine, can you describe how that decision-making process worked and who was involved?”
Using a tool like the Power Matrix, which I explain in great detail in my book, Eliminate Your Competiton, is worthwhile. The Power Matrix is an excellent tool for understanding the organization. I promise that if you can successfully fill out the Power Matrix in every account, you will be phenomenally successful.
Armed with this understanding, the sales strategy transforms. Recognizing that each decision-maker brings a unique perspective, sales pitches can be tailored. The concerns of a CFO would differ from those of a CTO. Precision targeting ensures your sales narrative addresses these nuances, elevating the pitch from a generic presentation to a tailored engagement.
For CEOs and sales professionals attuned to this discourse, the path to success in sales is akin to a symphony. Each note, each pause, and each crescendo is intentional. By understanding who pulls the strings in decision-making, you elevate your position. Your transition from being just another vendor to a strategic partner who doesn’t just aim to sell but aims to resonate. It’s about precision. It’s about forming lasting relationships. It’s about being in sync with the orchestra of decision-makers, ensuring your notes are pitch-perfect every single time.
You may purchase my book Eliminate Your Competition from your favorite book retailer. The ebook version is available at the most popular retailers, such as Apple, Amazon, Barnes & Noble. The paperback version is also widely available at retailers like Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Books A Million.
Get ready to unlock the secrets of mastering the sales game with Two Tall Guys Talking Sales! This episode delves into the nuances of key performance indicators (KPIs), their significance in measuring sales efficiency, and the art of mentorship among salespeople. Listen as our hosts Sean and Kevin uncover the analogy of KPIs and share insights about setting the right measures for salespeople at various career stages.
Key Topics Discussed:
- Understanding Leading vs. Lagging Indicators: Foreseeing future trends and not just measuring past achievements is important.
- KPIs and the Marriage Analogy: Setting the right measures to cultivate relationships, just as one nurtures a romantic relationship.
- Differentiating KPIs for New vs. Veteran Salespeople: Tailoring strategies for those new to the profession, the company, or the industry.
- The Power of Mentorship: Leveraging the experiences of veteran salespeople and fostering growth among younger salespeople.
- Sales Training and Coaching: How combining formal sales training with hands-on coaching can amplify results.
- Kevin: “KPIs are not about only the number of deals you sold. It’s about, ‘Am I doing the right behaviors over time?'”
- Sean: “Those KPIs can’t be a hundred percent looking backward. We need to look ahead and say, what are we doing to generate business?”
- Kevin: “Activity measures for new salespeople are different. I’m talking about doing the well-researched, planned prospecting call.”
- Sean: “The real advantage of The RAIN Group is its training combined with my coaching.”
- CEO workshop series: A detailed session on ‘dashboards for CEOs’, focusing more on current pipeline activities. https://www.linkedin.com/events/6917582648336875520/comments/ and also available at https://youtu.be/Oz9HTyQtz8o
- The RAIN Group: Renowned sales training organization that combines training with actionable coaching. Contact Sean at Sean@NewSales.Expert for more information about this, or contact Kevin at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
With a blend of engaging analogies, actionable insights, and personal experiences, Sean and Kevin illuminate the complex world of sales KPIs. Whether you’re a seasoned salesperson or just beginning your journey, this episode is packed with nuggets of wisdom that can transform your approach to sales. Dive deep into the essence of mentorship, discover the right measures for tracking success, and unearth the significance of forward-looking indicators. Don’t miss out on this chance to elevate your sales strategies and metrics. Listen now and redefine your sales mastery with Two Tall Guys Talking Sales!
Welcome to another exciting episode of Two Tall Guys Talking Sales with hosts Kevin Lawson and Sean O’Shaughnessey. This episode delves into the vital world of outbound sales in a post-COVID landscape. We discuss strategies for creating an effective outbound pipeline, reflecting on our experiences with trade shows, and how to nail your unique value proposition. Discover how to master omnichannel outreach and understand why persistence is key in today’s competitive market.
Key Topics Discussed:
- The Trade Show Experience: Kevin and Sean open up about the highs and lows of trade shows and how the pandemic has shifted the industry’s focus from this traditional method of sales and marketing.
- Creating an Effective Outbound Pipeline: Our hosts emphasize the importance of having a clear, unique value proposition and understanding how it can resonate with your potential customers.
- Omni Channel Outreach: Kevin and Sean highlight the significance of reaching out to prospects across various channels – emails, phone calls, social media, and even traditional mail. They discuss the need for persistence in reaching out and making numerous touches to get a prospect’s attention.
- Prospecting and Value Proposition: Sean shares insights on how a value proposition can differ based on the industry and target audience. They talk about understanding and tailoring your value proposition to your audience for better customer engagement.
- Leveraging Tools for Sales Outreach: The hosts discuss a range of tools that can assist in streamlining and tracking your outreach efforts, from LinkedIn prospecting tools to CRMs and even task management tools.
- Kevin: “Trade shows in a pre COVID environment were the lifeblood of many sales organizations… But here we are in a post-COVID world, and what we saw in the midst of COVID was pipeline evacuation.”
- Sean: “The first thing I tell everybody is, “What are you going to say, and what makes it unique and valuable to your prospects?”
- Sean: “Your unique value proposition may be targeted to a specific customer and you might have a different one targeted to a different customer… but then you need to make unique messaging for every one of those and unique tries for each one of those.”
- CRM Tools
- LinkedIn prospecting tools
- Task management tools (Asana, Trello, Monday.com)
In this episode of Two Tall Guys Talking Sales, Kevin Lawson and Sean O’Shaughnessey offer a practical, insightful guide to successfully navigating outbound sales in our new normal. They share their expertise in creating a compelling, unique value proposition, omnichannel outreach’s importance, and persistence’s role in sales. You’ll gain a wealth of advice, from understanding your value in a specific industry to leveraging various outreach tools to streamline and enhance your prospecting process. Listen to this episode for a deep dive into the tactics and strategies that can reshape your approach to outbound sales.
In this podcast, Kevin and Sean talk to Tim Warren, the founder, and CEO of Helium SEO. Tim talks about his background and how he got into sales. He discusses his experience building technical engineering-focused SEO and SEM campaigns for mid-size and enterprise clients. He also explains how his company has been able to drive higher ROI for its clients.
Tim shares his leadership journey as a sales leader and how he has learned that star salespeople don’t always make great coaches. He emphasizes the importance of having a sales process in place and training salespeople effectively to ensure consistency in performance. Tim also talks about the challenges of growing a sales team, such as hiring the right people and scaling the team without sacrificing quality. He reinforces why his LinkedIn profile says he is “Recruiting rockstars to build Helium to $100M. Are you ready to take your career to the next level?”
This podcast provides insights into Tim Warren’s sales journey and his approach to building and leading successful sales teams.
In today’s hyper-competitive business environment, standing out is more important than ever. For salespeople and sales managers looking to build their network and gain exposure within their industry, optimizing a LinkedIn profile is one of the most effective ways to establish credibility, grow your professional brand, and find new business opportunities.
With all the noise out there competing for attention, an engaging and well-optimized LinkedIn profile can make you stand out from the pack by helping potential customers understand who you are and your experience with relevant qualifications.
By following a few simple steps in this video post, you will be able to create a powerful presence that helps foster trust among other professionals – giving you an edge over your competition. Discover how optimizing your LinkedIn profile could help take your career to the next level!
In the video, I cover the following points:
- Choose the right profile picture for LinkedIn.
- Add a background photo.
- Make your headline more than just a job title.
- Turn your summary into your story.
- List your relevant skills.
- Spotlight the services you offer.
- Manage your endorsements more proactively.
- Take a skills assessment.
- Share relevant content from your LinkedIn feed.
- Add comments.
- Publish long-form content – and use it to start conversations.
You can check out all of the 12 tips as soon as they are published here.
A newsletter is one of the best tools you can use to maintain a relationship with your existing customers and qualified prospects that are uninterested in buying your product or service at this time. By sending out a newsletter quarterly, you can keep your brand top-of-mind so that when they are ready to make a purchase, they will think of your company first. You can reach an even wider audience by posting your newsletter on LinkedIn.
There are several benefits of sending a newsletter to your customers and qualified prospects, including:
- Keeping your brand top-of-mind: By sending out a quarterly newsletter, you can keep your brand top-of-mind so that when your customers or qualified prospects are ready to make a purchase, they will think of your company first.
- Developing a relationship with customers and qualified prospects: A newsletter is a great way to establish a relationship with your customers and qualified prospects. You can build trust and credibility with your readers by providing valuable information in each issue.
- Reaching a wider audience: Posting your newsletter to LinkedIn provides you with an opportunity to reach an even wider audience. When you post your newsletter on LinkedIn, include a call-to-action so that your readers know what you want them to do next.
- Generating leads: Including a call-to-action in each issue of your newsletter is a great way to generate leads.
- Increasing sales: By sending out a quarterly newsletter, you can increase sales by reminding your customers of the products or services they’ve purchased from you in the past and introducing them to new products or services that they may be interested in.
- Building customer loyalty: A newsletter is also a great way to build customer loyalty. By providing valuable information and helpful tips, you can show your customers that you value their business and are invested in helping them succeed.
- Enhancing customer service: In each issue of your newsletter, include contact information for customer service so that your readers know how to reach someone if they have questions or need assistance.
- Boosting morale: A well-written and informative quarterly newsletter can boost your employees’ morale by keeping them up-to-date on company news and developments.
Let’s explore these concepts even more.(more…)