In 2012 it is essential that sales planning for IT products and services targeted to enterprise businesses and other large organizations in the public and not-for-profit sectors allocate as much time as required for the compilation of a comprehensive diagnostic report on any/all prospects. As we have written elsewhere in this blog, purchase decisions are now generally much more complicated than heretofore; therefore lots of information needs to be accumulated on each aspect of how a purchase decision might be framed by a typical customer for a specific product or service, or integrated solution. This diagnostic process (we credit Jeff Thull, author of “Mastering the Complex Sale” for coining this phrase) provides sales with an opportunity to facilitate prospect movement along a path towards identifying needs (now commonly referred to as “pain points”).
We characterize many of the prospects with whom we have engaged over the last 2-3 years as “dysfunctional” decision-makers. Dislodging dysfunction is far from an easy task; nevertheless, we have obtained very good results through a thorough analysis of prospects, requirements, etc. By walking prospects through this information fact finding mission we’ve managed to help them clarify what they really need to do about all of the factors that influence a purchase, from budgets, to targeted areas for cost savings, to business units, etc. In the best of cases this process has produced sales. In the worst of cases this process has helped us to manage our time and move along to better opportunities. Regardless of outcome, we can say that this diagnostic process is the optimum way to engage with the type of enterprise prospects for the products and solutions that we have represented.
The complement to this type of purchase decision-making is an entirely online process where prospects identify what they are after, research possible solutions and simply approach vendors for pricing and availability. Typically this type of engagement — simply shopping price and timing a purchase — is characteristic of a commodity purchase; but we have seen this type of purchase occur, this year, with regard to complex intangible solution. The best method of fostering this type of sale is to optimize web sites with Search Engines for the most helpful set of keywords possible. Social media certainly may play a role in prospect decisions for these products, but the subject of how to leverage social media, effectively, to nurture sales, is still in flux.
We are most interested in hearing from innovative tech companies looking to improve sales team performance.
IMB Enterprises, Inc. is most interested in opportunities to work with IT innovators who wish to approach market opportunities with an effective sales strategy. Please contact Ira Michael Blonder at +1 631-673-2929 to further a discussion. You may also email Mike at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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