The journey from Leads to Deal – kiran kumar
Kiran is a Stanford graduate and currently holds the position of Director Sales Enablement for the APAC region at Salesforce. He comes with a diverse set of sales experiences acquired in the career span of close to two decades.
Here he shares:
- How he had an illustrious sales career?
- Why do people fail to convert leads to deals?
- What did he learn in sales in the past twenty years that you can implement in your business?
Most of the companies are focused on increasing the depth of a lead pipeline. However, the businesses have failed numerous times to do so because they missed connecting to the business needs of the lead most of the time.
How do you qualify needs?
Tap all your lead sources from marketing, lead generation team, partners, Customer references, and even from the prospects you are currently taking. Have enough sources of leads. Do not hesitate to ask for recommendations from the customer.
Have a CRM in place to nurture and prioritize the leads that need your attention. Focus on the highest priority lead that is likely to convert.
Connect with leads within 24-48 hours because 7 out of 10 times the leads choose the vendor who connects with them first. Making the first move becomes even more vital as you set the benchmark for other vendors who arrive later; you get the first-mover advantage.
It is not only essential to qualify the right leads but also to remove those whom you cannot satisfy or work with your current capabilities. It improves your lead conversion rate, and you spend fewer resources on the leads that won’t convert to deals.
How do you connect to the business needs of the customer?
Connect with people in high places in the organization. After that, go down to the next level below and follow the sequence until you reach the person who is responsible for acquiring your product or give you an in-depth understanding of their needs. Leverage social media to its fullest extent to do so.
Connect with all the stakeholders even try reaching out to the customer of your prospect to give you a better understanding of the problem lead is facing. It will not only help the lead but also the customer of the lead. Try to connect with everyone involved and will benefit from the resolution directly or indirectly to have a clear view of the bigger picture.
Sometimes when a lead approaches, you find out if the lead is an evaluator or a key decision-maker. Your pitch will change according to who is interacting with you. The same story won’t resonate with everyone. Each has to be treated uniquely. To differentiate between the two, ask your prospect about the process you need to follow in specific deal value. It will give you a clear idea of the people involved and who is likely to be the key decision-maker in the process.
“Do not lead with a solution; lead to a solution.”
Remember not to speak in terms of features and benefits. Even your competitors are having almost the same features. What differentiates you is the value you bring to the table and how well it connects to the actual problem the prospect is facing. Build relationships and credibility for the future.
How do you create an advantage for your product?
The most challenging part of any deal is putting your solution in the most advantageous position. Here are the few steps that can help you achieve it:
- Understand the evaluation parameters that you will be evaluated on. Find out what is critical to clients business, is it cost vs. benefit, revenue, or meet compliance requirements. Connect your solution to it and deliver your pitch. The better your understanding of the client’s needs higher is your chances of conveying a pitch that resonates with the prospect.
- Feature vs. Benefits: Never go into feature comparison; talk about business benefits. It will make the decision easier and faster for the clients.
- Know your competitors not only external parties competing with you but also internal systems are standing against you. Most deals fail because your solution is no better than the internal system the clients already have.
Try focusing on the cost to benefit ratio and try to deliver value in terms of revenue, opportunities created, opportunity cost, ease of use, or it may be as simple as post-installation service, or after-sale services can differentiate you from your competitors.
- Storytelling: Develop your storytelling capabilities. Communicate well. Understand your customers and design a scenario that aligns with your customer’s situation, and then fit your product as part of the puzzle. Deliver the value.
Use more straightforward terms; don’t be full of jargon to make them feel relevant to connect emotionally. Job, money, making great deals, achievements are all emotional aspects of any business. Being empathetic with the coincidence of a great story can win your contracts because you appeal to their emotional side.
These were the few ways your lead can move to deal faster.