How to Sell – Fact Finding

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Sales Fact Finding

Sales Fact FindingAfter qualification, you now know that the prospect is worth time selling to. So now you have to find out their more detailed requirements.

Some people will know what they want and what the offerings in that market all do. Others may need educating. For example, a prospective CRM purchaser may have used CRM systems in previous companies, knows what they do and has a pretty good idea of what they want from such a system. Another may say something like “We’re looking for a CRM system that covers our whole business process including invoicing and delivery routing logistics.”

In the IT world, invoicing is usually done by accounting products and logistics by specialist systems. Therefore we need to educate the prospect and then help them with their CRM choice, as well as pointing them to products that do what the CRM doesn’t.

What if Qualification Fails?

If the prospect wants a feature that your offering doesn’t have, you can:

  • Try and persuade them its isn’t needed; or
  • Find a work around; or
  • Try and minimise its importance to their decision; or
  • Qualify out

There’s no point continuing the sales process if you know that the prospect has a requirement that is key to them and that you can’t meet. For example, every now and then we get people saying that they love our CRM, but they want to run it in-house. We’re a Cloud-based CRM system and we can’t do that. So unless we can persuade them that running their CRM on our servers is fine, there is no point continuing the conversation.

Looking for Opportunities

Looking For Opportunities By Sales Fact FindingAfter they have told you what they want, and assuming you haven’t qualified them out, you have the opportunity to introduce some new features to their list that the competition doesn’t have. If you can persuade them that a certain USP you’re offering is a mandatory requirement, then you’re going to do well against the competition! For example, we often ask potential CRM customers “Do you want mass emailing integrated into the CRM?” None of our main competitors offer this. If the customer decides to add that feature to their list then we’ll be well placed against them.

Finally, run through the requirements list and confirm with the prospect that this is what they want, and all they want. Then roll out your conditional close “If I can show you that our product does all of this, when will you place the order?”.

  • Next: Demonstration

If you would like to learn more about fact finding for sales, Survey Gizmo has a blog dedicated to offering tips and tricks to make your research more efficient, and Inside Sales Box offers a guide so you can research a prospect within five minutes!

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About the Author

John Paterson

John Paterson

John is the CEO and Founder of Really Simple Systems