New Sales Managers: Navigating the First Major Career Pivot
Using Questions to Connect with Buyers

Stop Being a Product-Focused Salesperson

James Rogers

Today’s guest blog post is by James Rogers, chief marketing officer at Avention. 


According to Forrester Research, executive buyers today are frustrated by “product-focused” salespeople. Executives don’t want to hear all about your product. They can learn about your offering (not to mention your competitor’s offering) online. Give executives a reason to talk with you – demonstrate that you understand how to help them solve their most pressing business challenges.

How can you, the salesperson, push beyond a product-focused conversation? There are a couple of challenges here: first, sellers and marketers might have access to lots of information online, but they don’t have hours to sort through it all to find the right information they need about a particular prospect’s business challenges.

Second, even if they do manage to learn about a prospect’s business challenges, decision makers want to talk about those challenges only when those issues are top of mind (or when they’re not thinking about the crisis of the moment). Sure, you can employ the persistence method, but you might succeed in annoying your prospect instead of coming across as a valuable advisor.

What salespeople really need is the power to get filtered data about their prospects’ business challenges from multiple sources and in real time. Not only will filtered data tell you what to talk about with your potential buyers, it can also help determine the best time to reach out. At Avention, we empower salespeople by alerting them whenever information appears online that might in some way be related to a customer or prospect’s business challenges. In this way, we help sales and marketing teams capitalize on a wealth of information that intelligently searches for leads, identifies market opportunities, and provides relevant business insight that can't be found anywhere else.

Based on feedback from our most successful users, here are three things you should look for in a business-information solution that will help you become the kind of salesperson your buyers want to talk to.

The database should allow you to perform highly specific searches. Identifying leads based on basic attributes is OK, but it’s more powerful if you can search the way you think – according to concepts, themes, trends, and business issues. This is the first step in identifying your organizational “sweet spot.”  At Avention, we sort through structured and unstructured data through our Conceptual SearchSM and Business SignalsSM.

Let business information reduce your research time. Data can help sales and marketing teams organize real-time information that triggers them when a relevant opportunity exists. The right business-information solution can work for you by mining for those opportunities 24/7 so that salespeople have nonstop knowledge of when and how they should be engaging prospects.

Streamline the research process by establishing your ideal prospect. Business-information solutions should save you time and money. After salespeople determine the type of prospect that aligns with their offering, real-time data can help them stay on top of this Ideal ProfileSM according to the characteristics they’ve selected. Since salespeople need to keep up with an ever-changing marketplace, these profiles should be stored, listed, and updated with new information so that the most relevant prospects are front and center.

The right business-information solution can transform the selling process for your sales force. See for yourself and sign up for a free trial of the Avention Advantage at


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