How to Identify the Needs of Sales Prospects - and Provide the Solutions
Sales and marketing are notoriously difficult sectors to work in. You’re tasked with making a certain number of sales or generating a series of new leads each month, and reaching out to people who have never heard of your business can go one of two ways. Even when you have a list of sales leads to target you can never be sure that they’re ‘hot’ prospects on the verge of signing up or making a purchase, but it’s your job to convince them that they are using all of your experience and expertise. A great prospect is the kind of person who knows that they already need your service, or has a feeling that they need something in place that would enable them to work more efficiently and hit their personal targets. Unfortunately, not every prospect is aware of what is out there and, even if they are, they don’t necessarily have access to the company credit card in order to do something about it! So that brings us to what we’re going to talk about today: how you can identify not only the prospects themselves, but the needs of your sales leads - even if they’re not aware themselves that they have a need, or that you have the solution to offer them. The aim is to help you to promote your brand and range of services, and also increase your sales conversion rate by identifying and resolving their need with an effective solution within your brand’s armory.
Generating additional revenue
This is almost a given for any business. You’re always on the lookout for more new business opportunities, but you don’t quite know how to go about finding them without revamping your entire approach.
Some companies employ in-house new business teams tasked with sourcing new leads, while others opt for prospecting and lead generation platforms to identify relevant opportunities to approach those who are actively seeking businesses to pitch for work.
You may find that your current lead doesn’t use either of these methods, in which case it’s your role as a sales person to promote your platform or service with the aim of bringing in that all-important revenue for your prospect. If you offer something that can make that person money then you’re giving them the solution to their ongoing problem, and that enables them to weigh up the pros and cons of investing to make money. If it’s a cost-effective solution that offers an excellent chance of getting a positive return on their investment - which is what your prospect needs to see - then you’re increasing your chance of a sale and offering them the opportunity to generate the revenue they need to grow.
Saving them time and money
Another common business need is to cut costs. Having splashed the cash on all kinds of systems and software in the past, a business may look to strip back their subscriptions and look for a one-size-fits-all approach with software that can save time and money by bringing it all under one package.
So how do you pitch to a prospect who is looking to save money, rather than invest in another new product? One way to do this is by helping your contact to understand the overall benefits of your product over those of your competitors. By doing this they will learn that spending money on your service will enable them to reduce their outgoings on other subscriptions, and may even result in more revenue coming into the business.
An ROI calculator is a great way of visualising how much money they have the potential to make, while explaining how long it might take for them to make back the value of their average invoice will help them to understand how many sales they need to make in order to start making money from their latest investment. It may be that they only need to make one sale and they’re already in profit, which they may not have realised until using your ROI calculator or looking at the statistics in this respect.
Time is always at a premium and every business wants to spend more time doing what they do best, and less time on the monotonous, administrative tasks that they would prefer to automate if they could.
Quite often sales leads will tell you that the biggest issue with their current role is that they spend too much time doing admin and not enough time doing the jobs they are paid to do and are passionate about.
If you can focus your efforts on how your product or service will save them time, freeing up valuable hours to spend delivering for clients or completing tasks they often stay late to complete or work on at home; then you have the potential to convince them that this is the product or service they need to improve efficiencies across the business.
While these are just three examples of ways in which you can identify the potential needs of your sales leads before they do, there are all kinds of ways in which you could engage a prospect in conversation and encourage them to spill the beans over what troubles them in their daily duties so you can think about the ways in which your product or service can resolve them.
It’s easy to get blinded by the fact that you need to be great at selling to work in sales, but listening is right at the top of the list in terms of the key skills you need to be successful in the industry. If you can listen to what a prospect is saying (and also what they are NOT saying) then you might be able to identify a way to move them down your pipeline towards a close rather than simply losing them at the top of the funnel.
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