Why Reps Need to Be Fully Prepared for Sales Meetings
by Adam Luckeroth, on Jul, 29, 2016
High performing sales reps go highly prepared into meetings with prospects and customers. On the flip side, there are a significant number of reps that walk into meetings without the right presentation, outdated information, or the inability to cover other topics when sales conversations take unexpected turns.
Recently, I was in a meeting where two guys told me the story of how they had gone on a very important sales call, opened up the laptop to start their presentation and, SURPRISE!, had loaded the wrong file. At that point, the only option for them was to close the laptop and promise to follow up later with the right presentation. Not good.
In fact, Inc. reports that over 70 percent of sales reps are not sufficiently prepared for sales calls and sales meetings. The lack of pre-call planning, research, mutually agreed upon agendas and prospect-tailored presentations translate to reasons for the prospect to look elsewhere.
Accurate and relevant information matters and the speed at which it is provided can continue or end a conversation. Simply put, the well-prepared rep wins more sales. Read on to learn how you can improve for your next sales meeting:
Aspire to Greatness
According to the Inc. article, 8 Traits of Great Salespeople, there are several characteristics that high-performing salespeople have in common. These defining characteristics serve as the foundation to their approach and can be improved upon as sales reps mature and understand what is needed to connect with a prospect and build a trusted relationship that seals the deal. So, what exactly are these traits?
1. They believe themselves equal to the customer and are capable problem solvers.
2. They have no problem talking about money.
3. They have accurate information to challenge inaccurate statements.
4. They can handle silence like a pro.
5. They come into any meeting prepared.
6. They control their time and confidently go through material at their own pace.
7. They ask deep, exploratory questions.
8. They follow-up quickly/immediately with necessary details.
Confident handling of a prospect or customer’s concerns requires the most recent and accurate real-time information possible. A high-performing salesperson with the right information uses such data to address inaccurate beliefs, talk confidently about money, handle unexpected developments and probe deeper, asking what the information means to their customer and the industry, rather than simply shooting out meaningless numbers.
In this way, sales reps stay in control of the conversation, address issues with confidence and steer the prospect to understanding the role that a product or service will play in their organization and the pain points that will be solved with purchase.
There is no denying that missing or wrong information can reduce confidence and cost a sale, but how can sales reps always have the information needed to deliver a killer presentation and address a prospect's concerns?
Tech Makes the Difference
Leveraging tech, like Modus, gives sales reps the ability to always have access to updated and relevant information. They never have to turn to a prospect saying, “I didn’t bring that, but I can send it to you later.” Timing and the attention of your prospect are important, they're EVERYTHING. Wait to deliver information tomorrow and they may find a more responsive and prepared rep from the competition. Keep the prospect with you and build their confidence in your organization by answering their questions and following up immediately, not when you get back to your office or hotel room or "back from the conference."
[Tweet "Deliver info too late and your prospects will find more responsive competitors"]
Did You Know?
High performing sales teams use close to 3 times the amount of sales technology when compared with underperformers and are close to 5 times more likely to have either a very good or outstanding grasp of mobile sales capabilities. How comfortable are you with your sales asset management?
It is significantly more expensive to attract new customers than retain existing customers. With Modus, sales can accomplish both. Reduce organizational costs and put your best foot forward in meaningful communications with prospects and customers to keep them believing in you.
Quick and accurate responses are crucial to a sale. Vendors that respond first get 30-50 percent of sales. A day late here translates to more than a dollar short in Mid-size and Enterprise sales.
Prospects need to know that you understand what they need. A surprisingly small fraction of customers, only 13 percent, believe that any given sales person understands their needs.
The decision-makers that meet with you do not have extra time at their disposal for you not to be prepared. They have a short window of attention. Capitalize on the face-time that you have with thorough preparation.
Show them that you're different and provide the support to prove it. Continue to invest in customers new and old, bringing relevant, useful data and communications to decision-makers that come to rely upon your expertise and resources.
Sales teams, aligned with marketing, need to sync up to improve information flow and exceed prospect expectations during communications.
Gather and tailor all of the resources necessary to make an impact on your audience. Add time into your schedule to master any tech and know where everything is when you need it.
Tech is an addendum to alignment between sales and marketing teams and the individual capabilities of the sales person. It facilitates communications and allows confident sales reps to actively listen and address prospect needs. The combination of preparation and resources enable conversations that allow salespeople to draw out and address the underlying needs within an organization.
Sales reps must invest in their own development but organizations have to fully support their efforts with materials and tools to enable necessary higher order conversations.
How can sales reps better prepare? How can technology enable the process? Share your thoughts below or tweet us @modusengagement.