EP Huddle #28
Selling a complex service or product typically requires conversations with various levels of decision makers. In most sophisticated organizations, sales reps must engage people who control the money, end users who will ultimately implement a solution, and various other people such as IT professionals who will oversee the technology integrations.
Because there are so many layers of people who will have an influence in a decision, it's important to understand what makes each individual tick.
For instance, in an education sale, here are a few key decision makers and some of the things they're interested in:
Top district administration: These folks are interested in data and lots of it. They want to know what that what they're buying will improve student scores. And, they want to make sure the solution is within their key strategic goals for the next several years.
School administration: School level administrators want to know the same things as the district leaders. But, they also want to make sure the implementation won't negatively affect their teachers or on-ground technical team. Is it easy to implement? How will we train our staff to use this new product?
Department leaders: These folks are all about the product, the pedagogy behind the product, and specifically how the instructional tools will impact students while using proven methods of teaching.
IT/Technology: Anyone who helps the technical integration will need to know exactly how this solution will impact their bandwidth, systems and helpdesk. They need to see spec sheets and know how to work within a new product to make sure it's always working. Oh, and students (and teachers) typically don't have control over the machines. So, the tech team will need an implementation plan to quickly install and manage the program.
Teachers: Teachers are a catch-all of the above information, and they'll also require the "how does this affect me" information. They are the end-user, and therefore will need to be sold on the reasons why they should change what they're currently doing (or have done for years). Teachers, like all other end-users will really need to have buy-in or else you'll see the implementation fail, and as a result, any chance for a renewal sale in the future.
As a team:
Who are the key decision makers in your industry? How do you communicate with each group during the sales and on-boarding process? Do you involve them up-front? If not, consider it. If you do, how do you align your messaging to properly fit within the key information they're looking at to make a decision?
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