Stay with me here. According to emarketer, the number one area of improvement in sales is conducting a thorough needs analysis.
In the sales process, a needs analysis entails determining how you can truly be of service to your potential customers. And to conduct an effective needs analysis, you basically need to shut up and let the prospect talk at least 70% of the time, with you guiding them by asking intelligent questions.
I recently attended a meeting with the head of sales of a startup. In that first meeting, he spoke 90% of the time! We didn’t even know the prospect’s job function and responsibilities until I asked 15 minutes before the meeting ended.
If you can’t help, they’re not interested
If you don’t understand what they do, who they report to, what their challenges and key priorities are, you can’t possibly figure out how you can help them. And if you can’t help them, they’re not interested.
When you ask the right questions, you will uncover what is of value. And when you know what is of value to them, you can find ways to add value.
This survey also tells us that sales people are speaking to the wrong people, and basically not adding enough value to differentiate themselves from the competition.