Obsolete: the habit of regularly showing up to onsite customer meetings and sales engagements to influence the sales process. It is a time-consuming, expensive activity that is being usurped by a preference for virtual engagements for every-day business interactions.
Remedy: Change the game and modify your selling process. Instead, focus on the customer’s buying process and determine how and when to strategically insert a single milestone event that can give you an unbeatable edge in close, fierce, competitive scenarios.
Objective: Home Field Advantage. Once an account executive has secured affirmation from his internal team that she’s engaged in a qualified sales opportunity, she should preset expectations with the prospect that an invitation for a small group of their peers (technical influencer, business influencer, executive coach, economic buyer, technical decision-maker) is forthcoming for them to meet the teams who are responsible for leading the company, developing the product, successfully implementing the solution, and providing customer support.
Your pitch: “Would you buy a product or solution that can affect your career and your enterprise without knowing or meeting the people you may be consummating an agreement with? My company is willing to pay the fees for your travel accommodations for a half-day visit to help you mitigate the risk of your pending decision, if you’re willing to invest the time to show up to personally see how our technology AND our people will exceed your business requirements .”
Result: Competitive Immunity
- Accelerate Trust: 1:1 Face Offs = CEO with Decision-maker; CFO with Economic Buying Influencer; CTO with technical influencer & evaluator, etc…
- The Sales Account Manager runs the show – his internal pursuit team works for her thru this milestone event
- Affirming 3rd Party Reference: An existing customer can share their vendor experiences, selection criteria, use-case, and reason for selection with the Prospect Entourage via online Web-Meeting presentation/discussion while visiting.
- Huge Potential ROI: For four-thousand dollars (less than the cost of attending some conferences) a company can secure a car& driver, hotel, lunch/dinner, airline/train tickets for 4 to 5 people in order to initiate a long-term collaborative business relationship with hundreds of thousands of dollars in new sales revenues attached to it.
- Product Development & Futures Presentation: Prospects not only buy what you have… but what you’re going to have. Sharing a product development timeline or high-level details of pending releases implies future benefits will be realized for near-term decisions.
- Allows for the introduction of Value-Based selling: Today’s buyers are always seeking ways to commoditize the products they buy. Hosting prospects onsite can be advantageous in pricing negotiations and inhibit the need for significant discounting.
-Christopher Bell, III