Leverage: The ability to influence a system, or an environment, in a way that multiplies the outcome of one’s efforts without a corresponding increase in the consumption of resources. In other words, leverage is an advantageous-condition of having a relatively small amount of cost yield a relatively high level of return. Thus, “doing a lot with a little.”
As it goes for business, so it goes for sales.
Are you employing leverage to get the most from your sales organization or from your own individual sales activities? Sales tools are all about “leverage”. Yes, they take time to deploy and yes, some of them cost money. But the key element is that they produce a return that is greater than the costs.
Here’s a specific example of a sales tool that provides leverage.
DiscoverOrg is a company (and product) that essentially provides ready-made organization charts and buyer profiles of IT organizations in the 2,000 largest companies. If you sell to IT organizations, you’ll want to have this information.
Can you get it yourself? Certainly, if you hire and train a full-time staff of researchers, and have them contact every one of the companies until a complete org chart and profile are completed. Then have them go back and cross-check the data every 90 days to ensure quality.
That would not likely be a good investment on your part. However, paying a relatively small fee to have access to that information should be a good investment. But do you need this information to begin with?
If you sell to IT organizations, here are just a few of the things you’ll need to know or learn about your prospect in order to sell effectively.
- Who makes the decision?
- Who reports to who?
- How is their organization structured?
- Which part of the organization is responsible for buying the types of things you sell?
- Who are all the players involved in influencing a decision?
- What technology do they currently use (have purchased in the past)?
- What is their IT strategy?
- What are their key IT initiatives?
- What are the emails, phone numbers, and job titles of the IT contacts?
If your Reps are calling on IT organizations without this information, you have handicapped them unnecessarily and that will limit your sales.
If you’re asking Reps to get this information themselves, you are asking the impossible, and that too will limit sales.
If you give your Reps this critical data and pay a fraction of the actual costs… congratulations: You’re using leverage. As Suze Orman might say “And that, my dear friends” is the first rule of sales.