She’s grappling with how to get from where the sales force is today, calling into headquarters for information and carting around trunks full of sales materials, to where they need to be to gain an edge on the competition.
John, a technology salesperson, dials the phone persistently, uses his most persuasive techniques and manages to reach Joanne. He’s ready to sell her his solution. But since Joanne doesn’t know what she needs to do to achieve her vision, he asks her to contact him when she has a concrete project. He’s not going to waste his time with a decision maker who hasn’t tasked someone in their organization to create a request for proposal (RFP). After all, he has a quarterly sales quota to reach.
Raul, a technology salesperson for a competitor’s technology company, however, has figured something out. Selling is not about him or his company; it’s about his prospect and customer. So when he reaches Joanne, he engages her in conversation and discovers how she would like her salesforce to operate. She shares her goal of having the new mobility program up and running this fiscal year; her frustration that she doesn’t know how to go about it and her fears that she just might steer everything in the wrong direction.
Raul is about to become Joanne’s hero. He tells her, “I can help you determine the most cost-effective way to reach your goals. I’ll also work with you, so you understand all the pros and cons of various alternatives and help you through decisions you need to make.” He answers her questions and provides her with a couple of white papers to read. Joanne realizes that Raul is someone she wants by her side, helping her through the tangle of decisions.
Who Gets the Sale?
Is it John, who calls Joanne a few months later to see if she’s ready to issue an RFP? Or, is it Raul, who has helped Joanne step by step through her decision-making process, built a relationship and trust? It’s your guess, but my money is on Raul.
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