A Sales Tool your Channel and Resellers Will Thank You for
Recently, the TechTarget sales organization had the privilege of hosting one of our clients, a Business Development Executive from a leading Technology Distributor, to discuss his experiences generating quality engagements for his sales teams and specifically the success he is seeing with one of TechTarget’s products, IT Deal Alert: Qualified Sales Opportunities.
Qualified Sales Opportunities is an in-depth data and intelligence service which provides weekly reports identifying accounts that are in the process of building the business case for a current tech initiative for which a company provides a solution. Each report provides key account information that can help companies get in, influence the process and help shape the deal for their solutions including: opportunity location and timeframe; buying criteria; current solutions set; current shortlist; pain points; and specific insiders to help your sales reps penetrate the account. For a brief overview of this service, please watch this short video.
The discussion resulted in 3 key takeaways, explained below. The resonating theme: these opportunities are extremely valuable, but only if you exercise patience and persistence and think through your sales approach.
Best practices based on real experience
The net result of our discussion was advice that we would like to pass along to customers on best use of this product based on real results – and also as a case study on what it takes to harness powerful data and set up technology sales reps to succeed. This lesson is especially relevant as purchase research is now typically done independent of input from sellers, making it harder and harder for technology vendors to get that crucial foot in the door that leads to winning deals – if reps are going to succeed, they need to make the most of the opportunities out of the gate as they may only get one chance with buyers.
3 paths to success with Qualified Sales Opportunities
Here is what we learned about our client’s success with Qualified Sales Opportunities:
#1 – Treat them differently than a lead
These Qualified Sales Opportunities can’t be treated the same way as a lead. The contacts listed on these reports didn’t download a white paper, they took the time to speak to us about a confirmed project letting us know what their pain points are, what they are looking for, their timeframe and what vendors they are considering. This is data and confirmation on the purchase intent of qualified organizations in your market. All valuable information to allow a sales rep to know so much more before they even pick up the phone – so it is imperative to use it to your advantage by tailoring your approach and pitch to match the information need of your buyer. This product is based on future buying plans, so your reps can be prepared to have truly meaningful conversations with prospects, even on a first phone call.
#2 – Invest in the path they take within your organization
When purchasing Qualified Sales Opportunities, the ultimate success is enhanced by the marketer’s ability to navigate internally. A marketer who is invested in this product will see strong results if they push them to the correct sales rep with the correct amount of information, training and follow up.
As the marketer, it’s important to understand your organization and its sales process. Qualified Sales Opportunities can require a different process than other lead generation programs. This particular client wound up taking a more active role in the Qualified Sales Opportunity process within his organization and has established a network of seasoned sales reps that he can deliver these opportunities to. Taking it even further, he utilizes TechTarget’s team to help train his sales reps on the product, how to initiate conversations etc.
He scans reports, looking for key details, matching them up to a solution and then provides to a sales rep who will be most effective in working the opportunity. They then all get on a call, including the Product Engineers, to prep the sales rep before they make that sales call. Opportunity creation conversations are the most important for sales reps looking to reach their quota; however, it’s the conversation they often feel the least prepared to have. The information in the reports helps them understand the need of the account, but strategizing with marketing and product counterparts helps to better shape the approach that will be most successful in converting opportunities to pipeline.
“TechTarget has a GREAT product. It’s just a matter of figuring out how to get it across. You may run into obstacles, but at the end of the day, know that the connection your (sales team) can make with these is gold.” – Business Development Executive, Leading Technology Distributor
#3 – The process takes time and patience
This particular client has purchased our Qualified Sales Opportunities for about 6 quarters and he now calls them “gold”. But it took him some time up front to understand how to get the most out of them and what the process should be once he receives them. After realizing these opportunities contain a great amount of intelligence about a confirmed project and that they can’t have the same process as a content syndication lead, the adjustments he has made internally have allowed him to see great success with this product.
In the current business world, where insights and intelligence are more important than ever, Qualified Sales Opportunities can be a valuable tool for your sales teams, resellers and distributors. Protecting your investment by navigating their path, providing them to the right people and collaborating with internal teams on their value – that’s how they become pure gold.