One of the most challenging things with b2b sales is having a sales approach that deals with the fact that prospects are hard to find and hard to connect with. You first deal with the obstacle that organizations can be very murky as to who does what. And then when you do get the right contact, sometimes it seems like they never answer the phone.
When you find yourself in this scenario, the best thing to do is focus on organizational mapping. This can help you with both of those challenges and it basically involves calling up and down different levels (vertically) and across multiple departments and roles (horizontally). This will improve your ability to gather information that leads you to the right person and can also improve your ability to connect as well.
Horizontal Organizational Movement
It is very common for sales people to focus on calling into only one department when trying to sell. A great example of this sales approach is where a person that sells software focuses solely on calling IT.
The challenge here is that IT may be very difficult to reach and get into in a particular organization. If that is this case, the sales person may just find herself calling and calling and never reaching anybody.
When this is the case, it can be good to use horizontal organizational movement by moving to other functional areas of the business to try to get in. For example, switching to try to call into operations. It is likely that the software that is sold impacts operations and there could be someone on that side that can be reached and used as a way in.
The reality is that even if you are not having trouble getting into the department or functional area that you are trying to reach, horizontal organization movement is a very productive sales approach and can help with both lead generation and deal management.
Vertical Organizational Movement
The other sales approach is to try to move vertically in the organization. This is to shift from trying to call just one person and move to call above and below the target contact.
It can be very common for sales people to only focus on the calling at the top and primarily calling executives and into the c-suite. The challenge with this is that those individuals are very difficult to reach.
Yes, there are some key reasons to utilize a “top down selling” approach. But there are also benefits to calling levels above and below your target contact. If you call at the lower level, you could have an easier path to get in and you may be able to obtain some very valuable information prior to reaching your target contact. And sometimes going above the target contact can yield benefits as well by helping to get executive sponsorship and add more momentum to the sales cycle.
Launch Pad Solutions provides sales scripts to help sales pros to adopt a sales approach.