Ever since starting Point N Time Software, we’ve been selling mainly to sales executives and to the C-Level. These are the buyers of Strategy Mapper and in time become our Champions. So over the course of several years we have learned 6 lessons when selling to them.
1. They want to tell you about their business. Listen carefully.
Normally the conversations start with let me tell you about my company and what we do. Sales Executives and C-Level management love to talk about their company and their products because they want you to determine if your solution will benefit them, but I also think in the back of their minds they’re also selling their solution to you. It’s in their DNA. This introduction lays the ground work for how you can position and sell your solution.
2. They can clearly articulate their pain points. Listen carefully.
These folks lead extremely busy lives, so if you’ve gotten to the point where they’re giving you 30 minutes or more for your pitch, they’re typically going to be very clear about what they’re trying to solve. This provides more information and direction for your sales effort.
3. They want to know about your business and how you operate.
They are interested in your business and how you operate and want to know:
a. Who are your targeted customers?
b. Do you have customers similar to us?
c. What successes have your customers realized with your product?
d. How did you come up with Strategy Mapper?
During the course of this conversation, you’ll want to tailor your answers based on the careful listening you did earlier.
4. They want a demonstration on how your product or solution will address their pain points. They don’t want a presentation.
When we initially started Point N Time Software, we would always start with a presentation, but we learned very quickly a demo was much more effective. The first screen they see in a web conference is Salesforce.com. The main reasons we’ve found this effective are:
a. It provides a familiar starting point for the conversation.
b. They quickly see our solution.
c. It brings the meeting attendees into the conversation very quickly.
d. It helps to all the meeting attendees to drive the conversation and demo.
5. Pricing is always discussed in the initial meeting.
Price may not be an issue, but you’ll have no idea unless it’s discussed. If it is a potential issue, you can start working on it quickly or choose to move on. Either way, it needs to be discussed as early as possible in the opportunity.
6. They will let you know very quickly their timeline and if they intend to move forward.
I always hear, “We’re both in sales so I want to be up front on next steps”. Honestly, this is so refreshing and typically streamlines the opportunity.
Some may be uncomfortable selling to these roles, but I find it refreshing to sell to Sales Executives and C-Level management. They know what they need to accomplish and if you can show the value of your solution and how it will solve their problems, there will always be a next step. I hope the 6 lessons I have learned will help you close more business and give you a framework to prepare for your next meeting.