Welcome to this second part of our series of posts on the application of SPIN Selling (check out part one here if you missed it)! Today we’re focusing on identifying prospect problems in sales development. Helping prospects to acknowledge their problems is the second stage of SPIN Selling. The full process begins with a mutual grasp of the prospect’s situation, as we covered last week. With that understanding, callers can call attention to problems and their implications. After that, it’s a simple matter to identify a prospect’s needs, and what the payoff would be for fulfilling them!
How Should Sales Development Reps Approach Problems?
The first thing to acknowledge is that the product you’re selling cannot solve every problem. This makes your job a lot easier in some ways. Everyone has problems. You can’t solve them all. But you can definitely solve some! What’s more, while you can’t solve every problem, there may be more than one way that your product can solve problems.
So, the very first step is to have a basic understanding of what your product can and cannot do. For the purposes of identifying problems in sales development, it doesn’t need to be comprehensive knowledge. In fact, knowing your product too well can even be a disadvantage. There’s always a temptation for sales development agents to get into selling the features and benefits, but that’s not their goal. The SDR’s role is to sell a meeting!
Account executives can close deals by discussing the specific applications of a product. SDRs must focus on helping the prospect see the value of that later meeting. That’s why it’s so important to do a great job in step one, where you understand the prospect’s situation. Not all prospects are going to be a good fit for your solution. Knowing where they’re at and what they’re dealing with is crucial to making that determination.
Keep in mind that if you’re not a good fit for each other now, you might be in the future. You also may know of another solution from a different company that could help them. Keep your relationship with each prospect alive and open to these possibilities! Referring a prospect to someone else can pay off in huge ways further down the road. Remember that business is not only about the bottom line right now. It’s about cooperating in making the world better!
Build Off of the First Step
Once you can see that a prospect does have a problem your solution can address, it’s important to maintain the focus of the conversation on them. Don’t suddenly talk their ear off! SPIN Selling is always about asking reflective questions, including when you apply it to prospect problems in sales development.
Selling in this way is much friendlier to the prospect than a speech about your product’s features. You invite the prospect to reflect on their situation. They see for themselves that they do, in fact, have problems that need addressing. As we explained in our original summary post, there’s an art to formulating these kinds of questions. Questions like, “How intuitive is the user interface in the context of training?” and “How satisfied are you with the responsiveness of their tech support?” tend to yield interesting and thought-provoking answers.
Once you have those answers, you can question further. Help prospects understand the long-term implications of leaving their problems unaddressed. We’ll cover the implication concept in more detail next week. The important thing is that it gets prospects in a mindset of wanting to know more about how you can help them. That’s your ticket to selling a meeting with an account executive.
Boom Demand Helps Reps Go Beyond Identifying Prospect Problems in Sales Development
This is one of the many powerful strategies that Boom Demand uses to drive sales growth for our clients. Identifying prospect problems in sales development saves resources for your top salespeople. They can focus on building better relationships with both new and existing customers.
If you’re looking for a better ROI on your sales efforts, reach out to us today!