I know there are two very different schools of thought when it comes to inside sales with one selling aggressively without taking no for an answer and trying to push towards sales and the other more passive who dig for insights to judge whether the prospect is open to buying and carefully wait for the right time to pitch an offer. I've seen both works so I can't advocate one over the other but there is one tactic which is very relevant to the current slow economic times which can help inside sales pitch to the right accounts in a more informed way. Sales account profiling or building detailed first-hand intelligence on target accounts can really give the inside sales team the kind of ammo they need to alter their message and sales pitch based on what they know about the account, the decision makers, their preferences and their inside agenda.
A set of key questions would normally help shed some light on who those decision makers are, what their challenges are and what their budget and timeline look like. However, a lot company plans have been upset by the economic conditions today and getting a clearer insight into where these companies stand in light of this will help identify which accounts are better to pursue so that inside sales can focus their efforts. A pre-sales call into key target accounts to ask a decision maker within your market area with open-ended questions can help pre-qualify and prioritize the accounts. For example:
- Has your company changed direction or announced a new strategy for the current times?
- How has it impacted your department?
- Has the company strategy to tackle these times hit your departments budget?
- What are the current challenges your organization is seeing?
- Have you curbed spending on new initiatives? When do you see things possibly turning around for the better?