Wednesday, February 05, 2014

Research Proves the Early Bird Catch the Worm?

Your Sales Reps are being invited later and later into the decision making process, and at the same time, the stakes for engaging earlier have never been higher.

The empowered buyer of today is leveraging the Internet, social media and peer groups to investigate opportunities, investigate potential solutions and research your and your competitors products. More and more of the decision making process is conducted without the assistance of your Sales Reps.

SiriusDecisions reports that up to 67% of buyers already have a “clear picture” of the solution they want before Sales Reps are engaged. And this “do it themselves painting” may not match your solution at all!

With a late engagement and solution bias already in your prospects mind, your Sales reps often have few options other than resorting to giveaways or discounts in order to win the deal.

At the same time as Sales reps are being invited later, Forrester reports that engaging earlier provides more advantage than ever. The solution provider who engages earlier, helping the buyer “turn a vision into a clear path to value”, wins a whopping 74% of the deals. While those engaging late, during the bake-off phase where you and several vendors are responding to specific requests and RFPs and you win a mere 26% of the deals.   

So how do you go about gaining this huge advantage: engaging earlier and helping to “establish the clear path from vision to value”? We believe there are three key “conversations” your Sales reps can have with your prospects to engage earlier and shape the decision to go your way:

   >  Illuminate the Rain - Proactively help the buyer identify and diagnose issues, leveraging customized benchmark insights and diagnostic assessments to uncover and identify issues.

   >  Quantify the Pain – Calculating the cost of “Do Nothing”, tallying the prospect’s specific inefficient spending, lost productivity, high risks and lost revenue opportunities from maintaining the status quo.

   >  Justify the Gain – Consultatively “painting a picture” of the improvements, clearly communicating and quantifying the benefits between “before” vs. “after”.

The challenges as well as the rewards of engaging earlier and establishing a clear path to value have increased over the past three years.

What are you doing to reshape the trends; helping your Sales reps engage earlier and helping “establish the path from vision to value”?


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