Initiating opportunities at high levels offers several potential advantages to salespeople:
- They can take prospects from latent to active need by uncovering desired goals.
- They can enjoy the benefits of being “Column A” from the start.
- Key Players can fund can find funding for unbudgeted initiatives.
- Discussions about capabilities can be done at a conceptual level.
- Transactions can be larger because buyers are not budget-constrained.
- Buyers will self-qualify themselves.
- Shorter sales cycles.
- Higher win rates.
I’ve raised the issue of when “ugly” conversations take place. By “ugly” I mean very product-focused discussions that involve lower level staff asking esoteric questions about things Key Players would not be interested in.
The later in buying cycles ugly conversations take place the better for sellers. They are important and necessary conversations.
If and when delegated to lower levels it is important that sellers maintain connections to the Key Players they’ve called on.
After calling on mid and lower levels, sellers will be much more familiar with a prospect’s current way of doing business and the specific capabilities buyers need to achieve their goals. Being delegated by Key Players is a “get” for them and a “give” from sellers that have to commit time and potentially technical staff for ugly meetings.
PRO TIP: When delegated to become the “eyes and ears” for Key Players, my suggestion is that sellers should request that they be able to keep higher levels apprised of their findings as they work with lower levels to better understand the companies needs at far more granular levels. Without such access some opportunities fall under their own weight because executives are no longer involved.
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