Sales is an interesting line of work. Sales professionals are often measured by how they meet company goals and quotas, but ultimately, their job is to help the customer reach their goals.
Those incentives aren’t necessarily mutually exclusive.
Often, navigating this dynamic is what separates overperformers from the rest of the pack. Approaching a prospect like a consultant or trusted advisor helps you make a difference and make a sale along the way. This mode is useful for enterprise sales, specifically pitching C-level executives with P&L responsibility and visibility from soup to nuts. Below are some ways you can incorporate a more holistic strategy into your client outreach to forge longer-lasting relationships.
Focus on the long-term
One of the worst mistakes you can make in business is to prioritize short-term results over long-term growth. While there are orders to fill and quotas to reach, success isn’t defined by a quick sale. Long-term customers are the true difference makers.
In-depth executive research helps you identify those diamonds in the rough. Consider starting with industries with exciting new technology that has a bright future. Zero in on the executives leading the charge and look for ways to complement the work they’re doing. This may take you out of your comfort zone, but it can result in a deeper relationship with clients that is less transactional and more collaborative.
Provide industry-level context
As a sales professional, you can go places a customer can’t. You can leverage personal connections and gain knowledge they don’t necessarily have access to. So, it behooves you to share that knowledge with your prospects and regular client list.
Industry research allows you to provide some of that deeper context. For instance, imagine if one of your prospects is new to a role. If you can be a reliable source of institutional knowledge, that’s a surefire way to get in that prospect’s good graces. Research opens doors.
Help the customer - no matter what
Every so often, sales professionals will find themselves behind a rock and a hard place. Perhaps, the customer is better off with a competitor for the time being. That shouldn’t stop you from offering your guidance if they seek it.
True sales pros understand that products and services come and go, and the end goal is for the customer to come to you for the answer time and time again — or at least consider you. Over time, this association bears fruit in one way or another.
Research allows you to put yourself in the prospect’s shoes, so you can make recommendations with a comprehensive view. Find other ways to add value, and you’ll pick up some along the way.
Stay in the know
Nearly every customer has had the experience where a vendor was gung-ho early on and forgot about them as time went on. Executives are used to getting this treatment, and if you’ve managed to get their attention, chances are another provider has treated them this way. An awesome pitch is one thing, but they’ll be looking for the proof on the backend.
Sales isn’t just a one-time engagement. It pays to keep your eye on the ball, and a handy way to do that is to keep up with research. Proactively stay up to date on what is happening with the company. Don’t wait for your contact to update you because they’ll never have time.
Boardroom Insiders has just the platform to help you gather this intel with ease. Our database contains more than 28,000 individual profiles on C-suite executives. View personal background, accomplishments, social connections and company priorities. It’s a bold leap forward in becoming the consultant your customers are looking for.
Or better yet, see BI in action. Schedule a quick, custom demo today.