When you are trying to sell to larger organizations, you quickly discover that the person you are in contact with is not the sole decision maker. And every new person introduced into the mix has a unique perspective on the situation. How can you best deal with these scenarios.
Where possible, I recommend mapping out as much as you know of the organization.
- Identify the line managers (product/brand/operations) with the pain, and the problems you hope to solve.
- Identify the party with financial responsibility for this piece of the company.
- Do some horizontal account mining to uncover key individuals in associated or similar divisions who may be impacted, or share the issue at hand.
The people with the pain, need to see that issue addressed foremost. Your messaging needs to cover problem solving, not cost benefits. You only need to let them know that you can address the financial side appropriately.
The people with the chequebook need to know first, that you have full support from their line manager. If you can get more than one behind you as a result of horizontal activity – you increase your chances greatly. Then, and only then, should you demonstrate how you can save money/time/customer issues, or address ROI, competitive pricing, etc. Have a well-considered financial pitch in your pocket, but don’t put it on display until needed. It muddies the waters for the line managers, and can insult senior management if you assume it’s their only concern.
So a dual pitch approach can cover you nicely, but it’s your ability to get secondary support in the organization which influences the decision more than anything else. Be eager to meet your contacts associates – and you can do this quite openly as a means of getting buy-in for the solution. What you need to avoid is trying to sell to multiple divisions at once. Sell to one, and get the others interested.