Monday September 19, 2016 3:55pm by Barry Stevens

I’ve just returned from a holiday in Alaska.

No, I’m not trying to brag – trust me, there is a valid point here re sales.

You won’t be surprised that we encountered many references to sled dogs while we were there – they are very much a feature of the region, as you would imagine.

It reminded me of a dog sled ride we took a few years ago in Canada.

And that reminded me of something taught to me early in my sales career. (See, I said there was a link).

What we were taught was that only the lead dog gets a change of view.

Actually, only the lead dog gets any kind of view you’d want – just think about what’s in front of all the other dogs all day – the imagery is quite strong, I think you’ll agree.

The point, of course, is that in sales (and a number of other scenarios), we need to lead; we need to drive the agenda – if we don’t, then someone else is in control and it’s much harder when you’re playing catch-up and trying to react to others’ initiatives.

That’s one of the key reasons we all want to be in at the start of a sales opportunity – coming late to the party can be tough.

The earlier we’re involved, the more we can influence the sales process and the decision criteria.

And, we have more time to build relationships with the buying influences, unhindered by our competition.

This last point is really important.

Most technology sales cycles are complex –they involve multiple buyers; they tend to be spread over lengthy periods; things change over time.

Despite the colossal advantages afforded us by sales & marketing automation, CRMs and a variety of communication media, such complex sales are still dependent in large measure upon personal relationships.

Cliché warning – people still buy from people!

This has been one of the major influences on our development of the Watch List alert function within i-4business.

By receiving alerts the instant that key people join, leave or change roles within your target organisations, you can exploit those changes to your advantage, rather than finding yourself wrong-footed by them.

When a new player joins or takes up a relevant role, you can make contact; add value; prove your worth; begin the relationship.

When someone important to you leaves, you’ll be alerted along with information on where they’ve moved to.

You can then jump in and renew/continue your relationship within the new prospect from day one – you’ll be in the driving seat before the journey even begins.

Plus, you’ll be alerted to the replacement and can build that new relationship from the outset.

A suggestion – why not combine both of these by getting a recommendation/introduction from the departing incumbent to the new one?

That’s just a couple of examples of how Watch List alerts position you for success.

Plus, if you know early on that a change is happening, you can devise your plan as to how to turn it to your advantage.

All of this can help you to lead the pack. Then, your competitors are left with an unsavoury view as they are forced to play catch-up.

Why not start the journey now with a free trial to i-4business, the Sales Edition? Free Trial Access
You’ll find there are other alerts available besides personnel changes and you’ll see the rich intelligence available to help you achieve the success you deserve.

As stated earlier in this blog series – Success is No Accident!

Being the lead dog makes that success all the more likely.