Note from the Editors: Mike is not so much interested in tips, rather the opposite. This is deep insight into discovering what your ideal customer cares about, equipping yourself to create value and understanding how they buy.

Our_Cutomers_Rock

Cold calling is dead. No it’s not. Social selling rules. Unless your customers or influencers aren’t on social media. You only have 30 seconds on the phone. Unless you capture attention and take two minutes. Trigger events work. Unless you can’t find one. You need to use insights to prospect. Unless you challenge and upset your customer.

You know, it’s lucky WittyParrot is asking so many sales experts about prospecting, because nothing works, and everything does. Confused yet? So are most sales professionals today, and that’s the problem.

It’s our own fault. Tips? Really? (In my best Blazing Saddles, Sierra Madre parody voice…) “We don’ need no steenkin’ TIPS!”

An Effective, Inclusive, Customer-Focused Prospecting System

Cold calling is dead. No it’s not. Social selling rules. Unless your customers or influencers aren’t on social media. You only have 30 seconds on the phone. Unless you capture attention and take two minutes. Trigger events work. Unless you can’t find one. You need to use insights to prospect. Unless you challenge and upset your customer.

You know, it’s lucky WittyParrot is asking so many sales experts about prospecting, because nothing works, and everything does. Confused yet? So are most sales professionals today, and that’s the problem.

It’s our own fault. Tips? Really? (In my best Blazing Saddles, Sierra Madre parody voice…) “We don’ need no steenkin’ TIPS!”

An Effective, Inclusive, Customer-Focused Prospecting System

What we need is an effective, inclusive, customer-focused prospecting system. What we need is sound judgment about when to use which methodology. And what we need are the skills to execute effectively, and set appointments.

If you want to excel at lead gen and prospecting, in this day and age, and in this market, you need to put away your one-trick pony and start thinking like a real business professional. I don’t have a right answer for you, for your business, in your industry, with your customers, with your products and services. And if someone tells you they do, without analyzing your situation; run the other direction. I can’t tell you what will work for you. But I can tell you how to start thinking about it, to figure it out. This will be too vague, based on space limitations, but it will provide a framework and be a starting point.

I’ve been saying a lot lately that the path to sales growth is through customer focus. So is the path to effective prospecting. Let’s forget prospecting for a moment and step back. Let’s talk about customers and value creation instead.

There are four pillars to Sales Value Creation

  • Financial Acumen – the KPIs and metrics that matter to decision makers and the business outcomes that matter to the C-suite.
  • Operational Acumen – how you get things done, in your organization or your customers.
  • Customer Acumen – market conditions, business issues, negative implications of inaction, positive outcomes of resolution, and the resulting needs.
  • Solution Acumen – how your solutions address the needs, avoid the negative implications, provide the positive outcomes, and deliver the financial value desired by the decision-makers and C-suite execs.

There are five parts of a Customer Focus Framework

  • Modeling Buyer Personas – who are your buyers? What are their roles, goals, obstacles, opportunities? How, when and where do they research and buy?
  • Mapping the Buying Journey and Buying Process.
  • Aligning Your Sales Process and Methodology to your Buyer’s Journey.
  • Understanding Market Conditions and Buyer Issues.
  • Aligning Your Sales Solutions and Messaging (by persona, by issue, by process stage.

Customer-Focused Prospecting
With these foundations in place, you can look for the opening that allows you to deliver the right messaging to the right buyers, at the right time, in a way that will capture attention and interest.

  • You might source a trigger event through an alert service
  • You might magnetize buyers to you with content marketing, marketing automation, or you own content sharing.
  • You might have insights that you can approach some buyers with (but which aren’t a fit for others).
  • You might nurture buyers yourself through social media and orchestrate an organic opportunity to share relevant, compelling info.
  • You might benefit from an introduction or referral, based on your pay-it-forward networking and how you’ve helped others. 

If you figure this stuff out… if you truly focus on your customers and your various buyers… what you have to say and the ways you can approach them to say it, becomes clearer, and more compelling, because it’s less of a numbers game, and more of finding the people with the problems you can solve. And THAT’s a tip.

Best of success to you.


prospecting tips

About Mike Kunkle
Mike Kunkle is a training & organization effectiveness leader with special expertise in sales force transformation.

He spent the past 21 years as a corporate director or consultant, leading departments & projects with one purpose – improve sales results.

Mike achieves results through sales training & leadership development, implementing organization effectiveness practices & leading change efforts. Mike works for a Fortune 10 company in a sales excellence role, but freely shares his own sales transformation methodology, speaking at conferences & writing online mikekunkle.com

Topics: sales prospecting

Back

Comments are closed.