At this point you may be thinking, “What? Another step? Why am I not asking for the sale, moving to a demo, or sending a proposal?” The answer—because that's exactly what your prospects are expecting you to do.
Most sales professionals, myself included, have a little demon that they battle. That demon is called “happy ears.” The happy ears come out when the prospect is telling you everything you want to hear. The prospect is excited. They tell you they've bought in to working with you and your business. They tell you they absolutely need to implement your company's products or services now because it's the best thing invented since sliced bread. In fact, this was even proved to be a very real phenomenon by Gong.io in a blog post titled “Here's Why Your “Sure Thing” Deal Didn't Close (and What to Do Next Time),” by Chris Orlob.
But that's just the thing—they are only one person, and rarely are purchasing decisions made unilaterally. In fact, research shows that on average at least five people are involved in any B2B buying process across a wide variety of functions—from the C-Suite to Sales to Procurement to IT to Legal to Finance, and so on. And this number is only expected to rise by 2020, according to research from the Corporate Executive Board.1
Therefore, we need to “know thy prospect.” If you had multiple decision-makers or influencers on a previous call, that's great, but it's not ...