This article was originally posted to the InsideView Blog on March 4, 2013.
It followed a webinar that Jill and Ralph hosted on February 26, 2013.
Ninjas are experts in ninjutsu, which is a technique in espionage. Espionage is the practice of collecting information and gathering intelligence.
Today’s sales world requires superior, relevant, and timely information about prospective accounts and key contacts. To master this effort, salespeople should model the ninjas.
PROSPECTING NINJAS HAVE MAXIMUM IMPACT
- They slash time to the initial meeting
- They chop months off your sales cycle
- They eliminate competitors
- They catch the incumbent sleeping
- They prove themselves to be a worthy resource
PROSPECTING NINJAS ACCOMPLISH THESE FEATS BASED ON INSIGHTS
Salespeople that have insights on their prospects have an advantage. According to Craig Elias, the creator of Trigger Event Selling, insights from company and people alerts see a 24%-32% lift in response rates.
Insights and intelligence must come from thorough (but smart) research. InsideView harvests critical insights on companies, buyers, connections, and industries, to name a few.
Once you gain insights on… Make sure to also uncover…
The company How did it perform last year? The last 5 years?
The buyer(s) What recent purchases did the company make? How?
Your connections Do you or does a colleague already know the prospect?
The industry What challenges does it face? What trends does it experience?
Jill makes The Buyer’s Matrix available online and in her most recent book, SNAP Selling, to guide salespeople through the buying process. You can download The Buyer’s Matrix here: http://bit.ly/how-to-prospect.
PROSPECTING NINJAS USE TRIGGER EVENTS
Trigger events are internal or external changes that influence an organization’s priorities. When trigger events occur, and you’re aware of them, they can bring forth big opportunities for you. Jill unveiled some common trigger events, and highlighted what InsideView calls “smart agents:”
Trigger events…Uncover “tells”…Leadership changesNew decision maker might mean new strategy & new prioritiesEarnings resultsPoor earnings might create opportunity for your offeringCompetitive movesCompanies don’t like to be beat by their competitorsNew strategic initiativesInitiatives often come with urgency that could expedite buying cycles
NINJAS USE A FORMULA
When the rubber meets the road, prospectors must engage with relevance. This means that messaging must be right on point — whether done via email, voicemail, by phone, or in person. A study by UNC’s Kenan-Flagler School of Business uncovered that 92% of prospects do not answer their phones or emails.
PROSPECTING NINJAS SEND KILLER MESSAGES
Using newly-captured insights, and knowing the right person to contact, ninjas:
- Build credibility
- Pique curiosity
- Close graciously
And guess what? Prospecting ninjas get responses to their messages!
NINJAS DON’T QUIT
The business world constantly changes, often by the hour. Unless you keep your finger on the pulse – by monitoring insights, leveraging connections, and watching for trigger events – the prospecting ninjas will leave you behind.