Jonathan Swift once wrote that “vision is the art of seeing what’s invisible to others.” I love this quote because it so succinclty reveals how to succeed in sales. At each meeting you have to do more than just facilitate a buying decision. The best salespeople can identify opportunities that might not be initially perceived by clients. During meetings, great reps help establish a buying vision.
So what’s a buying vision? A buying vision reveals how a particular offering can solve pain points and offer value, not just in the short-term but over time. Essentially you have to help prospects envision how their lives can be made better by your offering, whether you’re improving productivity, enhancing collaboration or increasing revenue. You want to help them envision themselves a year or two later, looking back at the meeting and thinking that buying your offering was the best decision they ever made.
Why Vision Matters in Sales
Sure, you can wait for leads to find you. You can sell to leads that already know what they’re looking for. But if you can find hot leads before they find you, you can help them to define their buying vision. This is extremely powerful! According to research from Forrester, if you can get in early and help create the solution vision with the buyer you’ll win the deal 74% of the time. I don’t know about you, but I like those odds!
Here are four actionable ways to bring vision to meetings and, as a result, win deals 74% of the time.
Narrow Your Focus
Your product may be valuable to multiple industries or job roles. That’s great. But in order to truly create a viable buying vision you need to really understand a customer’s industry and industry specific pain points. You also need to understand role-specific pain points. Therefore, I like to start by targeting a single role in a single industry (e.g. CMOs at financial services companies). Try to really understand their goals, pain points and day-to-day duties. Know exactly how you can offer value. If you can sound like you know their industry as well (or better!) than they do, it will be a lot easier to close deals.
Discover Their Goals
Show me a great salesperson and I’ll show you a fantastic listener. In sales it’s not only important to have good ideas. You also have to listen to what your clients want. By asking the right questions you can help discover what your prospects goals are and whether there are potential obstacles that could stand in the way of actuating a solution vision (budget, timeline etc.)
Educate with Content
When you reach out to leads who aren’t familiar with your company and offerings, some education is probably going to be necessary. Have company resources on hand that can help clients learn about the value of your products. Think of yourself as a mini-marketer, hyper-targeting leads with relevant content. Some examples of valuable collateral that can help you establish a vision include:
- Company blog posts (even better if you authored them!)
- Case studies
- Educational one-sheets
- Product videos
Get Buy-In for Your Vision
In B2B sales, it’s usually necessary to gain buy-in from multiple stakeholders. You should discover who other stakeholders are in the deal and then bring them into your solution vision. You can even let them help shape the vision. As an example, say you sell marketing automation software and you’re working with a CMO. Say the CMO mentions that their VP of sales is also a deal stakeholder. You could talk to their VP of sales about ways that your solution could potentially be beneficial to sales reps (e.g. real-time insight into inbound lead activity). By bringing the VP of Sales into your vision, it will be that much easier to make the vision a reality.
For some more awesome tips about how to prospect for sales-ready leads, be sure to watch our on-demand webinar How to Close Bigger Deals.