Sometimes the earliest stage in the buying process isn’t when a prospect realizes he or she has a problem. It’s a nagging feeling they have about the status quo. Even though things are going well, they still feel they could somehow be better.
This is an opportunity for sellers and marketers. Your job is to paint a vision of what “better” looks like (including, hopefully, the idea that your product or solution can help them get there).
One of my clients, Halogen Software, decided to help its target market of HR managers identify ways they could improve their succession-planning strategies. The challenge for Halogen’s typical prospect is: how can we identify, develop, and retain a talented workforce? Halogen’s succession planning software solves this problem by easily allowing users to:
- Understand their workforce’s potential
- Develop internal talent pools,
- Recruit successors from within.
We worked with Halogen to create a succession planning assessment tool that would give prospects an idea of their status quo, and show them areas for possible improvement.
The tool essentially asks prospects “How does your succession planning strategy stack up?” by taking users through a 20 question self-assessment. Each question elicits rankings, ranging from “Not at All” to “Very Well.” The tool then provides a score to show users how well their organization is doing in succession planning (scores appear in four areas: identification, assessment, development, and management). Users can download a report that features their scores, plus tailored recommendations for improvement based on best practices extrapolated from Rothwell & Associates research.
When prospects understand their shortcomings, they respond more urgently to invitations to try new solutions and find new ways to improve. Because Halogen offers this assessment tool on its web site, the company paves the way to have more effective conversations with prospects that now have an idea about how they can go from good to better.
What’s your biggest challenge in getting prospects to engage with you? Do you use assessment tools to paint a vision of success? Share your thoughts in the comments section.