Complex Sales Usually Include Multiple Contacts Who Contribute to a Decision to Buy

Multiple conversations with multiple decision-makers is a usual feature of complex sales campaigns. There are many reasons for this phenomenon. For one, simply consider that an individual who presents an opportunity for an initial conversation will not prove, finally, to be a participant in a decision to buy. This first point of contact can be referred to as a gatekeeper, literally an individual who has the power to open an organization for contact by an enterprise sales team. It makes perfect sense to speak with a gatekeeper in place of a more relevant contact as long as the objective of the discussion is to:

  1. Identify roles, or
  2. Confirm assumptions about the prospect

Sales teams should maintain low expectations of the productivity of these conversations if a gatekeeper has not solicited the contact. Often prospect organizations will prohibit employees from sharing the answers to either or both of the above questions. In our experience many of these telephone calls end up with a transfer to a designated contact in the purchasing department who usually knows nothing, whatsoever, about the problem that has been identified.

Earlier in this blog we presented an approach to unsolicited contact that we think is much more productive than the short sketch we have included above. An integrated approach that includes, for example, an email message in advance of a telephone call is usually much more productive. Unsolicited calls to gatekeepers should be placed within 1 – 3 days of an email message. Of course, the text of the email message must include a basis for an unsolicited telephone call or else the campaign will not produce attractive results. There is little point placing unsolicited telephone calls following a position statement, or press release that has been sent to a group of contacts.

Better to use the email message as an invitation to a public presentation of a position statement, or other announcement directly related to one’s software solution. It is usually entirely acceptable to place unsolicited telephone calls to recipients following an email invitation. These calls are expected as a means of simply determining whether or not recipients will choose to accept the invitation or as an opportunity to answer any questions that recipients may have about an offer.

If you are interested in how these unsolicited conversations should be structured to produce useful information, then please contact us. You may telephone Ira Michael “Mike” Blonder at +1 631-673-2929 to further a discussion. You may also email Mike at imblonder@imbenterprises.com.

© IMB Enterprises, Inc. & Ira Michael Blonder, 2012 All Rights Reserved

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