Know your target
One of the costliest exercises for any sales person in terms of time used is prospecting. Not all of us have huge marketing departments and budgets to rely on for lead generation. The majority of us have to get off our backsides and do it ourselves.
Who to look for
It is very easy just to get a list and start plowing on through it calling every company until we hit gold, the person that will see us and might be interested in our software.
Maybe this works but it is a time consuming, mind numbing and to be honest usually a disheartening experience. Who wants to be told no 50 or 60 times a day. You need to focus on the prospects that are the best fit for you.
So how do you work out who to call? There are a number of criteria that are pretty universal in the software sales arena. I would summarise the key ones as:
- Target companies
- Target person in the company
When looking for companies that are likely to buy your solution consider the following:
- Are they in a sector that the software has been designed for?
- Are they similar to companies that you have sold to before?
- Are they the right size? No point prospecting SMEs? if you are selling enterprise class products.
- Are they financially capable of buying the solution?
If you apply these questions sensibly you should produce a target list that is worth your time calling. Next who to call?
Targeting the right person
This can be tricky. Remember at this stage you are trying to find out if there’s a need for your products and services. Unless you are doing outbound telesales you are not going to close them in the call. The aim of this call would be to qualify in a prospect and propose next steps.
Think carefully about who the key users of your software would be. If it is maybe in the warehouse then target the Warehouse Manager or Logistics Director. They will know what pains they have and should be happy to discuss these with you.
Avoid just calling the IT manager because they are in charge of IT. You may be calling them if it is their business pains that you are looking to cure, otherwise focus on the person who has the problem that you are looking to solve.
You are prospecting for people who might buy your products. You just want to qualify there suitability. It can take many months or years to get through the door. The more you do the more successful you will be. Focusing on relevant companies and prospects will always generate more interest than a scattergun approach.