We live in an age where we are overwhelmed with information. However, changing buyer behavior requires sellers to bring tailored insight to the table to build awareness and credibility and begin to shape the buyer’s concept of what they need and why they need it sooner rather than later.
However, too often, we see a seller’s attempt at bringing insight to buyers fall flat. Insight is only insight if your buyer believes it is insightful. The internet is chock full of research studies, data, and white papers, but buyers won’t make the effort to hunt for the nuggets or make the connection between their challenges and your capabilities. To make an impact, the seller really needs to view the world from the buyer’s perspective and bring insight that is relevant, credible, digestible, and actionable.
The insight you bring must be tailored to your buyer to resonate with them as individuals. This means more than creating a custom field in your sales automation system to hit your client or prospect list with an e-mail blast. You need to get smart on their business fast because buyers want to work with partners who understand their business. The more you demonstrate that you understand their business and the challenges and opportunities they face, the more successful you will be in triggering an “aha moment” with them that gets them thinking differently about you and their needs.
Start with Google and LinkedIn
Google and LinkedIn should be your first stop. Type your target’s <Firstname Lastname, job title, company name> into Google. This will give you the opportunity to find them and try to discover what makes them tick. Their LinkedIn profile will likely be one of the first links on the search engine results page. Go to their LinkedIn page to see if and how you’re connected to him or her. Maybe you’re closer than you thought! The sooner you can link to your buyers or prospect on LinkedIn, the better. Also, see if they are active on Twitter. If so, follow them and the target company’s corporate account.
Once you’ve Googled the individual, Google their company name to learn about issues in their company. Next, find out what challenges your prospects are facing in their specific role by Googling the phrase “top issues facing <industry> <job title>”.
This research helps you identify the pain or opportunities facing your buyers. This then enables you to make an educated hypothesis of what you can provide and which of your capabilities and insight will be most relevant.
Listen and watch for trigger events
Once you’ve identified a prospect or a buyer you want to pursue, you should set up a Google Alert to track changes in their business and identify trigger events. Trigger events give you insight into major developments in a buyer’s organization, which gives you the opportunity to link your capabilities to these developments and priorities. This makes you relevant to what they face now and enables you to position your message more precisely.
Pay attention to your ecosystem
Your ecosystem consists of the other solution providers that work with your clients or customers in the areas related to what you do. For example, we network within the sales and marketing ecosystem. When we get wind that a company is launching a new product because they are working with one of the marketing firms we follow, that signals to us a need to ramp up and focus our prospecting efforts in that organization with a message targeting their new product launch. We know they have a budget, a need or opportunity, and a time frame. Once we find and engage the person within their organization who has authority, we’ll have our BANT sales criteria covered. (Remember, BANT stands for budget, authority, need, and time frame.) Possessing that information significantly increases our odds of success and shortens the sales cycle.
Provide a compelling “call to action”
You’ve researched the company, their issues, and situation; the target prospect or buyer; the challenges facing their role; matched their problems to your products and solutions; and gathered relevant content to support your claims. Your next challenge is to craft a call to action — something of value that you will offer in exchange for the time that your prospect will hopefully give you. This might simply be an offer to have a conversation to share best practices, trends, or the results of a benchmarking study. But in other cases, it might be something more substantial. Regardless of what you offer, it needs to be perceived by your prospect as high value and low effort, with no strings attached.
Bring it all together with a concise value statement
Tailoring insights culminates with the formulation of your value statement. You need to package a hypothesis that addresses their needs and situation, asserts your credibility, provokes them with substantiating content, and delivers a convincing call to action in a concise statement that will resonate with them. This message should be adapted and delivered across multiple channels.
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