Educating your prospects effectively in the sales process

Are you more of a direct seller or do you take the time to educate your sales prospect for them to say “yes”? According to Salesforce, it is proven that educating sales prospects can be far more effective than just going for it. Making sure that the prospect has the right information to say “yes” is important and can make your life easier. Find out how educating your sales prospects effectively in the sales process looks like.


Here are the ways: 


Educate based on your competitors and what differentiates you from them

It is not always needed to educate a sales prospect on the background of your product or service. The reason behind this is simply competition. If your potential customer is likely to encounter similar products or services like yours you do not need to tell them the background. Instead of that, you can tell them about your USP or what is so special about your product/service that other competitors lack. You can focus on things like:

  • Demonstration of higher quality compared to previous or competing products/services
  • The commitment to customer service and support of your business. This can be done through testimonials, case studies or references
  • Other benefits your product/service has such as stronger or longer service contracts that your competitors do not have

If your product is innovative and you have little to less competition, it makes sense to educate the sales prospect deeper. You can tell them about the features and the benefits. Give them every single detail about your product or service so they really understand what it is about.


Educate by listening and asking only the questions that are needed

Effectivity comes with listening carefully. Listen to your sales prospect to approach his problems properly and in the right manner. Take notes. This might sound old fashioned but it is important. Take notes of what is bothering your sales prospect the most. Limit your speaking time to ask questions that would help the prospect to educate himself or herself. Lead the prospect to answer his or her own questions. Here is an example phrase: “If this product or service could increase your line efficiency by Z, how much would that save your business per month or year”


Educate with information that supports decision making

Decision making is the priority for a sales prospect. Getting the information to support this process is even more important. A lot of time the features and/or benefits of a product or service are the main concerns for him or her but not always. You need to find out what the sales prospect needs to know. What information does he or she need to gain the support of his or her business? Educate with that information.


Educate Using the Right Content at the Right Time

Trust me, the right time and right content is a thing. Not just in relationships. The presence in the sales cycle of your business can of course not be replaced. However, you do not need to do all the educating yourself. Marketing materials and related collaterals can be effective ideas. If they contain information that the sales prospect needs and if it is introduced at the right time you are good to go.

Now if you are thinking I do not have those collaterals, you are never too late. Why don’t you encourage your marketing department to prepare materials? If needed for different audiences at different points of the sales cycle. That way you will have a more personalised approach. Here are some other ideas on what you could do:

  • The slideshow that you can use during presentations or even share via email. Obviously, send or show them the slideshow which includes the relevant information.
  • You can also use third-party content. This can be industry white papers.
  • Use old clients to help educate sales prospects. You can do this by developing a referral base.
  • Last but not least, links. You can send links to case studies showing the ROI (Return on Investment), efficiency gains and other benefits. Numbers work in a very convincing manner

Educate By Holding Nothing Back

How many times have you avoided talking about the price of your product or service? Think about it. Salespeople mostly avoid the topic of price until after the sales cycle has begun. In some cases, the sales prospect will not even ask for the price until the salesperson comes close. If the expectations do not meet you may lose a potential customer. Spending a lot of time on marketing and getting the client interested then losing him or her over the price is just peak. In that matter, it may be a better idea to educate the sales prospect on all aspects of the deal including the price. This should be done even before reaching the point of no return. Introduce price sheets and option lists earlier in the sales cycle to educate the sales prospect. A well-qualified sales prospect will appreciate that up-front way. The chances of securing a deal might be even higher.

Educate Your Prospects Through Their Buyer’s Journey according to Business2Community

B2B buyers follow a three-stage buyer’s journey as seen below:

Marketing departments play a big role in this. In the awareness stage, you are all about capturing information. Email addresses, company names, etc. The goal here is to make your sales prospect think that he or she has a problem or an opportunity. The objective is to educate them about those. You can do this through blogs, reports or social media posts.

In the consideration stage, the sales departments take over. Convincing prospects to evaluate your solution and how to solve their problems is the key in this stage. You can do this through testimonials, case studies or feedback from previous clients/customers.

The last stage is the decision stage where the prospect has gathered all the information he or she needs. In this stage, you need to keep your communication high. Follow up emails or calls, newsletters and showing off case studies are helpful in this one.


In a nutshell

Educating sales prospects simply is making them sell your product or service to themselves. Marketing and sales departments play a big role in this. You need to have a lot of information about your business and its products or services. That is the way you can convince others to say “yes” to you. Some industries are crowded with competitors. In that case, you need to find your Unique Selling Point. Differentiate yourself. Why are you better than them? What makes you special? Educating effectively your prospects in the sales process is not a difficult task. You just need the right information at the right time.


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