Software Sales School Lesson #1

Targeting Your Buyer Personas And Their Pains

Software Sales Training Lesson OneGenerating qualified sales leads for your software sales cycle is more complex than ever before. Not only are factors of the sales process constantly changing, but so are the strategies and industry norms – all of which make targeted lead generation a more difficult task.

As part of our series on “Software Sales School,” we’ll be giving you the sales training lessons that help you stay ahead of the competition and generate more revenue for your firm.

In lesson one, we’ll cover targeting your ideal customer – or buyer persona – and how a pain-focused approach helps you qualify sales leads more accurately and close more sales.

Targeting Your Buyers And Their Pains

Especially in software sales, influencers, users and decision-makers are becoming more varied and more numerous with every single deal you close. You need to better target and identify each of these groups’ needs to better tailor your deals, increase your sales velocity and position yourself as a long-term partner.

The more accurate the buyer persona that you target, the more qualified your lead. In turn, more qualified leads produce better sales opportunities.

For example, if you are selling asset-tracking software to businesses with large equipment, you shouldn’t target an Operations Director. This person, though related to the software need, isn’t experiencing the greatest pain in terms of asset tracking. Instead, narrow your focus to the Director of Finance who feels the most pain – and subsequently the most relief – when your asset-tracking software is implemented.

Pains & Solutions: The Secret To More Accurate Targeting

So, how do you better identify the right prospects and their precise needs? Most beginning sales reps usually start their conversation by simply filling in blanks and asking polling questions about contact information or a company’s profile, but, to be successful, you should take a more prospecting approach. Prospecting helps your sales team work more effectively on leads that are likely to become opportunities by asking questions that focus on whether a contact is a “yes,” a “maybe” or a “no.”

Prospects respond to your sales team in a more positive manner when you conduct a needs analysis to identify their pains and challenges. Your sales representatives should only talk about 20-30% of the time while they listen and probe for a prospect’s ideal solution. You also build rapport with a prospect as you help them navigate and define their desired state or solution.

Just be careful not to assume the solution that a prospect needs: Beginning sales reps often presuppose that a solution that worked for one client works for all, but this practice only produces product dumps and does not result in long-term customer happiness.

In rare cases, prospects already know that they have a particular pain – these leads are much easier to close as signed customers because they already recognize their needs. However, most prospects are usually distracted with other business concerns and only have latent pains.

In this case, it’s your responsibility to ask questions that make the prospect realize there’s more pain than he or she initially thought. For example, in the software industry, loading time is a regular issue, but many prospects don’t prioritize this pain. By asking how long their current software takes to load – and by illustrating the opportunity cost of that lost time – you guide the prospect to a better software solution.

Once you’ve identified your prospects’ pains and challenges, helped them recognize those latent pains as more acute and then guided them to the perfect answer, you’re able to match up their ideal solution with one of the products or services you’re promoting. Further qualifying and closing the sale becomes much simpler from there.

Targeting Around Your Competition

Every sales call or pitch is always faced with competition, whether it’s a rival business or the competing priorities of small budgets and tight schedules. When your software product or service is facing competition, the most important step is to find a weakness in that competitor.

Then, target questions around that weakness while you probe for prospect pains and challenges. Once your questions uncover those weaknesses, your prospects are less likely to adopt (or maintain) business relations with those competitors. For example, if you were targeting companies that were manually tracking travel costs (instead of using your tracking software), it would be important to ask probing questions around the weakness of manual records and the associated opportunity costs.

Congratulations! You’ve completed your first sales training lesson in Software Sales School. Now, your targeted lead generation is not only more accurate, but your new focus on buyer personas and pains translates into more closed sales and revenue.

Need a more in-depth look into the ROI of your lead generation techniques? Click below to contact a Sales Scientist from Invenio Solutions and receive a free comprehensive analysis of your entire sales cycle.

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