4 Questions You Must Answer Before Booking a Meeting


Insights for ProfessionalsThe latest thought leadership for Management pros

Wednesday, November 4, 2020

Connecting with enterprise buyers and business decision makers is the best way to accelerate your sales pipeline and close deals quickly. But getting in front of C-suite and executive figures is tough, and impressing them when you do is even tougher. To succeed you need to know your stuff, and arm your reps with the sales intelligence they need to get the deal done.

Article 5 Minutes
4 Questions You Must Answer Before Booking a Meeting

Senior business decision makers are notoriously time poor, spending most of their time focused on dealing with large-scale, organizational issues. You might see them become impatient with your proposition unless you can demonstrate that you understand their needs and how you’re going to add value to your organization.

If you’re going to do this, it’s important to gather information on some key points before you or your sales reps go into that meeting, so you can understand where your prospects are in their buying cycle.

To avoid wasting anyone’s time and stand the best possible chance of winning some new business, you need to know the answer to the following four questions:

1. What are their top 3 areas of focus?

This one’s pretty simple, but absolutely crucial. Research your prospect’s organization, the individual’s role within it and gather information on their top 3 areas of focus. Are they looking at breaking into a new market, or in the early stages of a digital transformation? This information will allow you to know how to position your solution, so it appeals directly to their needs.

You’ll know by now that the best way to connect with potential leads isn’t by talking about how great you or your product are, but by addressing the challenges they face and presenting them with the solution. Knowing their core focus areas is key to being able to do that.

2. What’s their available budget for this project?

You don’t want to go in selling at a price that doesn’t fit in with your prospect’s project budget, or you’re going to walk away empty-handed. Put in the work to know how much your prospect has to spend, so you can decide which of your solutions to present or how best to package the deal. This will give your sales team more confidence when negotiating in the final stages of a deal.

Just as you’d be unlikely to make a purchase based on an unrealistic price point, your prospects aren’t going to make a deal if you can’t demonstrate how your solution offers financial value.

3. What stage is the project at?

It’s no good going in gung-ho with a hard sell if your prospect is only in the initial planning stage. Similarly, if they’re in the end stages of vendor selection, you need to be ready to demonstrate just how valuable your proposition can be and why they need it now.

A ‘one size fits all’ approach isn’t going to wash with enterprise buyers and business decision makers, so you need to have the relevant information to hand to tailor your approach to different prospects and different meetings. 

4. What’s their project timeline?

Knowing the timeframe and intended development of their project is going to help you with lead nurturing. Your meeting is likely to be one step in a much longer buyer journey, and it’s crucial to know where they are in that process  if you’re going to stand a chance of accelerating it or making it shorter.

This knowledge can also help you prioritize leads chronologically based on who’s likely to close a deal soonest and put a strategy in place to nurture buyers that might be on a slightly longer timeframe.

Collecting key profile information to close a sale

These are all vital pieces of sales intelligence to arm your reps with so they can achieve a better conversion rate in their meetings. The actual task of gathering this information can be a bit daunting, especially if you don’t already have data collection processes in place.

But you don’t actually have to undergo this process alone. By partnering with the right demand generation provider, you can cut your effort in half and still capture this information (and more) in a natural way. For example, sponsoring a virtual event held by a specialist provider will allow you to profile business decision makers with a high level of authority within your target sector, so you can pass this intelligence on to your sales team prior to booking a meeting.

GDS Group is one such provider. Our Summits have a vital differentiator: the provision of project-based intelligence, simply presented, in advance of every one-to-one meeting. Our summits bring together purchaser and provider communities around common challenges, and by partnering to sponsor or co-host one of these virtual events, you can reap the benefits of increased brand awareness and sales intelligence.

We provide bespoke Executive Project Profiles to our sponsors, containing information about attendees’ top three projects, timelines, budgets and challenges, presented in their own words. We also make sure our attendees are perfectly prepared by understanding your solutions, so you can align your proposition with your ideal targets.

This kind of data is like the holy grail for sales. Thanks to technology and advanced expertise, it’s now possible to know exactly what your prospects want, when they want it and how they want to connect with it.

The current market conditions, with several industries and sectors battered by the COVID-19 pandemic, mean that knowing this information is absolutely crucial. It could be the difference between survival and failure, but it could also enable your organization to thrive through and beyond the pandemic.

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04/03/2021 Edwin de Jong
For me good to recognize the same or similar elements/topics in my own commercial training sessions which I started to build for Ceva.