Ask the Expert: Q&A with Jill Konrath
We've previously posted on this blog about the challenges facing sales professionals in today's turbulent business landscape. Faced with a shrinking sales pipeline and tighter competition, many organizations are looking at new and more efficient ways of uncovering sales opportunities.
This involves giving their sales team frequent access to critical information in order to achieve faster sales cycles and better results. We spoke with Jill Konrath, the bestselling author of Selling to Big Companies and Snap Selling to ask her how sales intelligence leads to successful selling.
Q1. What role do you think sales intelligence plays in a sales executive's ability to close a lucrative sales deal?
Sales intelligence is crucial. Without good sales intelligence, it’s virtually impossible to create new opportunities or compete effectively for existing ones.
Q2. What market data or information do you think sales professionals require before making that all important sales pitch?
First off, let me say that I don’t believe in a “pitch.” To me, it’s about have a conversation that’s focused on how you can help a prospect with their key business drivers. The information that helps you do this best includes:
• Industry trends: Emerging or escalating ones that impart their business.
• Corporate insights: Strategic initiatives, financial status, competitive position.
• Trigger events: Internal or external changes that impact an organization’s priorities.
• Individual insights: Background, priorities
Q3. Social media contains a treasure trove of data that sales professionals can leverage. Do you recommend that sales professionals use this data to keep on track of competitors, customers, new prospects etc?
Yes to all of the above! If a salesperson is not using LinkedIn and other social media resources, it will be harder and harder to be successful in the future.
Salespeople should also be sharing good information (articles, white papers, videos, studies, polls) that they find online with their customers and prospects too. It positions them as an invaluable resource and makes them stand out from their competitors.
Q4. In your book 'Selling to big Companies' you offer useful tips on how to sell successfully to large corporates. Can you share one simple technique with us?
Corporate decision makers have way too much to do, fewer resources than before and less time to get things done. To set up a meeting with them, you need a series of 10-12 short messages (20 second voicemails or 90 word emails) that showcase your personal expertise and pique their curiosity about the business impact you can have on their organization. And, you’re much better off if you plan your entire campaign in advance – to save your own time.
For more information and tips on how to increase sales opportunities get Digimind's free eBook .
About Jill Konrath:
Jill Konrath is the author of SNAP Selling and Selling to Big Companies. www.jillkonrath.com.
Written by Jerome Maisch
Marketing Manager @digimindci. Passionate about big data & social marketing. Photography, music and hiking lover