Whether you’re selling to a new prospect, or managing an existing customer, it’s so important to be connected with, and talking to, the right people. And over time, those people may change. Talking to the wrong people, or being unaware of the changes that could be happening under our nose, puts the sales person at a real disadvantage. And right now, things are changing in our customers more than ever.
To manage this, it’s helpful to step back from the day to day, to get out of the weeds and look at the bigger picture. Before you make that next call, check, are you talking to the right people? Are you getting complacent and only talking to the people you always talked to, or maybe just the people you get on with?
The Terrain Map is a great tool to help you with this. You probably won’t have time to do a Terrain Map for every situation, but for your most valuable accounts, or your most important deals, it’s 15 minutes well spent.
- Using a blank slide or piece of paper, put the names of the people you are (and should be) talking to onto the map. The size of the bubble around each denotes how significant they are to the deal.
- A bit of detail such as whether they are a supporter :+), a blocker X, a decision maker √ or C-level *, but not too much otherwise you might over-complicate it.
- The lines of influence between them may help you get to people currently out of your reach, or people you have not yet had the chance to get close to.
- Include in your map third parties, such as consultants or other professionals who may be involved. And if you really want to put your strategy to the test, add in your competition. Where are they connected?
How does the map look?
- Maybe show it to your most trusted contact in the account for their view. But be selective who you show it to. Most people don’t want to be seen as ‘less influential’!
- Bounce it off a colleague to get their view. There could be gaps in who you are talking to.
- The Terrain Map, like all of our tools is designed to quickly help you decide what to do next.
Finally, think about where each person is in the Decision Making Cycle, and what your next steps are to move them forward. Using it could be the best use of 15 minutes’ work this week!