You built out your sales plan, know the companies in your territory you are supposed to call on and convert, or simply have a list of targets and contacts to power your inside sales organization.
You know who is supposed to be your customer and, while important, this is not as critical as whether they are in need of what you sell when you want to sell it to them. Timing matters. Yes, all things can line up and a sales touch will lead to a quick decision process that was already in flight, and you win a deal because your target and timing were aligned. This is a rare exception, as in most cases your timeline is not the same as your prospect’s.
Traditional qualification models like BANT (budget, authority, need, timeline) maintain their validity even in an era of the buyer’s journey and significant education by a prospect ahead of a sales conversation. A prospect may have a need and the authority to do something about it, but if they are not interested in doing something about it now, then what?
Most sales processes end there or the prospect is kicked back to marketing for further nurturing and qualification. Marketing automation systems have made this possible with their behavioral email nurturing campaigns and lead scoring models so that prospects are handed over when sales ready.
But what about someone who is ready but just not at the moment you contact them? We all get busy, manage our email inboxes to varying degrees of efficiency, and have countless demands on our attention in any given day at work. So even something important and of interest may languish in the dreaded “starred” bucket in Gmail or marked for follow-up in Outlook.
Wouldn’t this all work better if sales engages with a prospect with an understanding that the timing may not be right or that it will take a few follow ups to get the conversation going versus punting back to marketing as “not interested” or “unqualified?” Of course it would.
High-performance sales organizations get this and great sales leaders know the power of the “sales trigger” — something that happens to signal the timing is right for engagement.
We do this here at Highspot with email alerts sent to a salesperson when someone opens or shares the content they received. These “triggering events” align salespeople with buyer’s interests, and meaningful conversations are sure to follow.
So, the next time you send a series of emails out or do a follow up to prospects, be sure to include a way to hear the signals your prospects are sending about the timing of your sales efforts.
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