I have worked with some talented salespeople over the years and learned a great deal about being a good steward of our company to our customers. As a sales and marketing leader at PROS, I often have the privilege of meeting 1-on-1 with each new person we hire into our department. When I meet new salespeople, they want to know the secret to being successful. The question gets asked in a number of ways but the core is always the same: What Do Winning Sales Reps Do?
As someone who has spent many hours with customers discussing their needs and aligning our solutions to help them address those needs, the formula for success seems simple. Outperforming salespeople do three things better than their peers:
- They know how to be judicious with their time: There will be dozens of opportunities they can spend their time and effort on; only a few will result in a win. They develop an understanding very early on for which companies want to buy and which are just “kicking tires.”
- They understand how our products and services help: Genuine empathy for a potential customer’s challenges can be spotted a mile away; but so can a used-car salesman. Great salespeople care about solving the problem, not just about getting the sale.
- They structure the deal that makes it easy for the customer to buy: For many of our customers, this will be the first and only time in their careers that they purchase pricing software. As salespeople who shepherd customers through the buying process many times a year, they know much better how to propose a winning deal.
If you could give salespeople a guidebook that aids them in addressing the three items above, everyone would read it the first day on the job. So it often surprises me, when discussing the PROS solution, people ask: Why would my salespeople ever use your tool?
- PROS identifies opportunities that close: When customers are getting ready to buy from you, there are certain actions they take. For example, they might visit your website multiple times, download a user guide even though they’re not yet a user, or they ask about your company in a social media forum. By using data science to review all the ways customers interact with you that result in a closed deal, salespeople can be alerted to those prospects most likely to do business with your company.
- PROS recommends products and services that customers want to buy: Everyone is familiar with Amazon’s “Frequently Bought Together” and “What Other Items Do Customers Buy …” offerings to entice shoppers to purchase more than they were initially planning. The same can be done in the B2B space where data science can help identify and address hidden customer needs based on historical analysis.
- PROS recommends the structure and pricing of deals that win: Using data science to mine transactions that have won and lost, salespeople can pinpoint the price range that gives them the highest likelihood of winning a deal.
PROS is the roadmap to success for salespeople who follow the success formula above. So why would they not want to use PROS?