Not long ago, all Hunters had to do was to FIND customers and persuade them that their solution was the best. In today’s market, a Hunter has to MAKE customers. The world is changing from a Demand Capture marketplace to that of Demand Creation. This major buying shift means for Hunters to be successful—they must LEAD.
“Create a compelling vision, one that takes people to a new place, and then translate that vision into a reality.” –Warren Bennis, Leadership Academics
To improve your success at Leading Demand Creation, consider using these 8 things:
- Consider How You Can Help Grow Your Client’s Revenue
Executives care most about top-line revenue growth. If you can identify ways to contribute to that—lead with it! Use financially compelling impact phrases like, “We believe we could help generate incremental revenues of up to $16 million in the first 12 months.”
- Align Your Project to Impact Corporate Strategic Goals
Strategic goals typically have budgets and resources that you could tap into if you align your project to them. If external market analysts have raised concerns in an area of their business, leaders will be looking to solve it. Show the direct connection between your project and the stated issues.
- Focus on Solving Your Client’s Business Problems
Today’s managers are busy day-in and day-out trying to solve problems and need help. Salespeople are now being viewed as free external consultants if they bring good thinking to the table. Help them size the business issue. Change your mindset. Put yourself in their shoes and consider what help they could use from you.
- Warn Them About the High Cost of Delay or Doing Nothing
If you want to get the attention of executives—dollarize the cost of the problem. Want even faster action? Show them the additional cost of delaying a decision or of missing an opportunity altogether.
Sometimes your strongest selling point is that both costs and the severity of the problem will escalate with a delay. Losing an opportunity to gain competitive advantage can be costly.
- Use a Data-driven and Metric-rich Approach
Today’s executives operate in a data-driven environment. It is essential to show that the major decisions of your project are data-driven. Take your analysis further to provide valuable information and insights. Identify what metrics you would recommend to track the results and how it will be monitored and measured.
- WOW Them
Your presentation or proposal needs to meet and exceed their expectations. Yet often decision makers only remember one or two key items from a proposal—things that WOW them. So, be sure to brainstorm what your WOW elements will be in every proposal.
- Provide Them Ideas for Gaining a Competitive Advantage
Executives are always concerned about beating the competition. Research their competitors and how they are responding to the same challenges. Show how this new initiative could differentiate them or, at a minimum, gives them parity against their competitors in this area. Use your competitive analysis to build up your credibility by showing that you know what others are doing.
- Provide Ways to Speed Up Their Business
In a world where being fast matters, executives now look for ways to speed business results. So carry that thought into your proposals and implementation plans. If you convinced them to move ahead, they will want it now. If your team has accelerated capabilities—speak up!
Hunters who can execute these 8 actions will be leading, and likely, creating demand. It takes an aggressive, fast-paced approach to get out in front, but leading your sales pursuit will improve your win rates.
Print out the article and reflect on your execution. Which two do you do the best and which two are you most challenged with executing? Continue to leverage your two strengths, but focus on how you can better execute the two lowest ones in your sales discussions over the next 4 weeks. Discuss it with a peer, so you can both hold each other accountable to try it and commit to sharing your results in a month’s time.
“Success in Leadership requires learning as fast as the world is changing.” –Warren Bennis