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In this series of articles, we’re exploring how to turn your CRM
data into a strategic advantage. And we’re defining data as both
the data you enter into CRM and external data, if you have a sales
intelligence add-on. In the
first article, we talked about turning news into sales. Today,
we’ll look at how to leverage industry insights to get the inside
edge over your competition.
In my opinion, if you can know only one thing when you meet with
a prospect, know about their industry. Hands down!
Why? Because it makes you sound intelligent and sets you apart
from 99% of the other salespeople out there. Understanding
something about your prospect’s industry, key drivers, and
potential risks, enables you to relate to their world and
demonstrates that you cared enough to do your homework.
I’m not talking about trying to be an expert. You’ll almost
certainly fall on your face if you act like you know as much as
they do about their industry. I’m talking about learning enough to
ask intelligent questions and use the right terminology. For
example, if you’re meeting with an insurance company and you talk
about salespeople, you’re demonstrating that you don’t know much
about their world. Their sellers are referred to as "producers".
You need to know that and speak their language.
Not knowing about their industry is like visiting a foreign
country and knowing nothing about its culture and traditions.
In addition to speaking their language, I use industry insights
as a priceless icebreaker. Imagine this scenario. You’re
about to call on Virkam Beri, the head of sales at Harley Davidson,
and you come across an article about the growing trend of women
riding motorcycles, while doing your industry research. After
you greet, you mentioned to Mr. Beri that you just read about this
trend and ask, “How is this affecting your business...or is it just
an urban legend? You can bet you’ll grab his attention and
get him to open up.
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