Today’s salespeople understand that prospecting has moved away from impersonal pitches in a cold call or spammy outreach with copy-and-paste messages. While these techniques may have worked in the past, the internet age and the recent “new normal” of remote life have caused a significant shift in buyer expectations. With endless information easily available online and a greater aversion to stale selling techniques, buyers now demand a higher level of communication, personalization, understanding from salespeople.
Now more than ever in an age of virtual selling, salespeople don’t get a second chance at generating a sale if they fail to understand the buyers’ unique needs, desires, and hesitations. Prospects expect salespeople to have a clear understanding of their problem, how the solution will benefit their needs, and if it makes financial sense to implement this solution. And in order to succeed in winning over prospects, a salesperson must know specific details about their challenges and goals—a process that 40% of salespeople struggle with.
In this blog, we’re sharing the six things every salesperson must know about their prospect when selling and why this is critical for setting the right expectations and ultimately closing the deal.
The prospect’s name, title, and role
This may seem obvious, but a salesperson should never sell without first knowing this information. With knowledge at your fingertips (via Google search, LinkedIn profile, online forms, or CRM data), you should be able to discover your prospect’s name, title, and responsibilities at their company and start creating a personalized pitch for them.
Sales strategies have been trending toward more personalization recently to meet the changing expectations of consumers. These individuals expect companies to understand them—66% of consumers believe a business should know their needs while 80% expect a business to provide a customized experience for them. It’s clear that taking the time to personalize your sales calls to fit the needs and expectations of prospects goes a long way in their level of trust, interest, and eventual conversion to a paying customer.
The prospect’s company name
If you are in B2B, it’s necessary to also know a prospect’s company name, but you can also take this one step further with a little research. What industry is the company in and what does it do? Can you find information on revenue, employees, types of customers, or other data? Has the company shown interest in what you offer, and what pain points can you solve for them? This will help you prepare for the sales process with specific resources about your solution that relates directly to the company’s sector and customers.
Having this information at the ready also makes it clear to your prospect that you’re ready to help them find solutions to their business challenges. If you can’t find this information before the first call, be sure to gather it so you can continue to personalize conversations later on. By collecting this initial information through a Salesforce-connected form, essential data about your prospect will be automatically fed into your CRM for quick and easy future reference.
How and why the prospect reached out
The sales process should always involve understanding the journey your prospect has taken in order to get to the point where you and they are communicating. Be sure to keep data of all your interactions with prospects, or search for any records that may already be in your CRM. If a person reached out by email, use whatever information they disclose to your advantage. If there are notes from a previous call or data collected from a previous form fill, be sure you have an easy way to reference these notes as well.
On your sales call, you’re better equipped to ask the right questions, learn more specifics about them, and be genuinely curious and empathetic about their situation if you know how they got to you. Your goal is to understand their desired state of success so you can demonstrate how your product or service fits into this narrative.
What solutions the prospect currently uses
In cases where a prospect is currently using a competitor’s product or service, discovering which solution this is can have many advantages for your sales calls. Be sure to discover quickly what your prospect likes about their current solution as well as what they dislike or feel is missing. With this information, you can further personalize your talking points, know what additional materials to send their way, provide a specific demonstration that hits their pain points, and more.
Be sure you also have a comprehensive understanding of the products or services your company provides. The more you know about your own company, the more confident you will be to effectively sell to a prospect, regardless of if they like their current solution or process.
The timeframe the prospect is considering
Timing is everything. Understanding their motivation for changing their current solution or process is crucial to determining whether they reached out due to inspiration or desperation. On the sales calls, try to discover why they are contacting you now, who is behind the reason for reaching out, and whether a solution is needed sooner rather than later.
If a prospect feels desperation, you’ll know that they most likely have the motivation, budget, and need to act quickly and implement your company’s solution. If a prospect feels inspired, the sales cycle is generally longer, and you will need to sell them not only on the product or service but the benefits of transitioning to your company’s solution over a competitor’s or even the prospect’s current solution.
Leverage FormAssembly for sales prospecting
The average salesperson spends only 33% of their day selling, while the rest of their time is spent in meetings, answering emails, scheduling calls, and completing repetitive manual tasks. Using FormAssembly’s data collection platform solves many of these inefficient processes and allows sales teams to spend more time on the work that really matters.
Our all-in-one platform helps automate repetitive activities such as demo scheduling, questionnaires, and account setup using custom web forms that connect directly to Salesforce. Streamlining data collection during the sales cycle ensures that the entire sales team is on the same page and has the data they need to effectively communicate with prospects. Creating a centralized system also makes it easy to understand common pain points and discover trends, both of which can be used to sell more effectively.
To learn more about how FormAssembly can make life easier for your sales team, check out this blog post about how the FormAssembly sales team uses our own platform to streamline processes daily.