SEVEN key concepts every dealership should expect their sales executives to master and utilize during their prospecting efforts.
The goal of prospecting, is for the Sales Executive (SE) to deliver a unique proposition that creates enough perceived value so that the business technology prospect will want to meet with the SE.
Here are seven key concepts (and how to identify them) that Dealership’s should expect their SE’s to fully understand and utilize when pitching new prospects, to move the conversation from introduction to the discovery phase.
Prospecting SE’s should be familiar and use each of these seven concepts.
Identify your top 3 competitors and create an ‘apples to apple’s comparisons on topics such as:
Just to name a few. SE’s should know these answers and be able to articulate how your dealership compares to your competition.
Gather client references or "power numbers" for example, how many law firms your dealership has as clients. The statement, “we partner with over “225” law firms, is more impactful than the statement, “we work with many law firms”. This adds real power to a SE’s prospecting pitch. The SE may not be able to find this information on their own but your dealership should look at all your current clients and identify all the similar businesses and provide them those "power numbers" by industry.
A SE should understand all lines of business within their customer’s organization, for example how a law firm accomplishes their business goals and how they make money, is completely different from how a church uses technology to increase donations and communicate with the parishioners. SE’s should be able to recommend the right technology hardware and software from the suite of technology solutions your dealership proprietarily offers to assist in accomplishing each prospect’s goals. Understand the biggest challenges and priorities of your prospects, and most importantly learn to speak to them using their industry and executive language.
Today’s technology solutions must assist in keeping company’s base data secure and compliant. A SE should understand and know how these compliance regulations effect the day to day workflow of the prospect and be able to speak and recommend the right technology solutions that can help achieve compliancy for their clients. Dealerships can assist SE’s by driving conversations at weekly sales meetings to include a deep dive into an industry to touch on all aspects of that type of client.
Time management is critical for a SE and they must be able to carve out enough prospecting time during each and every week to identify new sales opportunities. KTG has surveyed over 1,000 SE’s and there is a general consensus that it is easiest to reach more decision makers by phone on Wednesday afternoons and all day Thursday than any other time during the week. Monday mornings should be avoided for prospecting calls but is a great time to call back customers that had a service issue the week before. Lunch hours are a good time, in some territories, to prospect in person by physically visiting their potential prospects locations. Using email resources like contactmoney.com or Yesware can provide an invisible read receipt allowing an SE to calculate the best times for emailing and a visual clue as to when their prospect opens their email.
Social Media prospecting can no longer be ignored. SE’s have to understand how to use this technology tool, not to just connect, which is really the ‘old school’ approach to LinkedIn, but to research, find contacts, and to ask for meetings. There are certain prospects that will be more open to a conversation over LinkedIn than any other venue.
*** Here is one of the best kept secrets inside the free version of LinkedIn. To find prospects by title even in the non-paid version of LinkedIn:
SE’s may not innately know how to use tools like this to succeed, but a dealership should expect them to be able to incorporate them when applicable.
The most important understanding a SE must be expected to live by, is that their quota is the bare minimum sales expectation to protect their territory and not what they are striving to achieve. The territory that a dealership entrusts to each SE has been determined to hold enough opportunity to yield a specific amount of net new sales each month. That quota has to be looked upon as the minimum amount needed for the SE and the dealership to be successful. The bounty comes from exceeding the quota not meeting it. A dealership should demand that a rep shall not only meet quota, but put repercussions in place for those that fall short.
Successful SE’s report that sometimes a forty-hour work week is not suffice to get the job done. SE’s should plan to spend 15 minutes at the end of the day planning what they will do tomorrow as well as be prepared to work outside the office if necessary, making time for training, mentorship, and practice. It is fair to insist that SE’s meet or exceed quota every month and by using the above concepts it should help keep them on the path to success.