According to the Harvard Business Review, the average business spends three times more on their sales training and sales enablement than they do on their media spend or marketing efforts. This shows that companies are spending far more on enabling sales people to do their jobs effectively, and far less on creating demand for their product or service in the first place.
While no one can deny that sales training is crucial, it seems that not enough money is being spent on making sure sales reps have chemistry with their prospects. After all, no matter how good your sales technique is, people buy from people—and more importantly, they buy from people they like.
How can your business enable salespeople to make real connections with their prospects, and arm them with collateral that enhances that chemistry?
1. Start by using anthropology.
Find out what really makes your prospect tick. Say you’re trying to sell software to the CTO of a large corporation. If you start your sales conversation around how your technology can solve their problems, you’re not differentiating yourself. But if you use anthropology, you may discover that CTOs have a genuine fear of irrelevance; in fact, most of them are preoccupied with ensuring their company is still around in 10 years’ time. Armed with this insight, you can start the conversation in a way that directly addresses this underlying fear.
2. Make sure your sales collateral speaks effectively to your prospects.
In most sales scenarios, a salesperson will have something that he leaves behind after a meeting, such as a brochure, or an object like a pen or USB drive branded with his company’s logo. A brochure about your products doesn’t speak to the CTO’s underlying fear of irrelevance. But, a piece of content customized to speak to their concerns could be very effective, and create a personal connection.
3. Create alignment between marketing and sales.
Traditionally, sales and marketing departments operated in silos. If things went wrong, marketing blamed sales for wasting leads, or sales blamed marketing for not generating qualified prospects. To trulyu be effective, sales and marketing should be completely aligned and have a symbiotic relationship. After all, if marketing is generating the right kind of demand, and sales is able to turn that demand into business, sales commissions and budgets. That’s why today marketing plays a much bigger role in nurturing sales qualified leads before they are handed over to sales.
There’s no doubt that sales training is essential, but even the best sales people need support. When sales and marketing work together and dig into what a prospect really needs, marketing campaigns can create awareness that turns into chemistry with prospects. If that happens, the chances of a sale being closed is much higher.