Telemarketing Software Featured Article

Bridging the Sales Gap

January 23, 2017
By Tracey E. Schelmetic - Telemarketing Software Contributor

Good sales professionals know that not every lead or prospect is ready to buy when they first make contact with them. The lead may be thinking about a future purchase. He or she may have just realized the need and is looking to see what your market is about. The prospect may be comparison shopping, or collecting figures to submit a budget. This doesn’t mean that these prospects aren’t ready for attention from a sales person, it just means that the sales efforts need to align with the “pre-purchase” process.

According to blogger Keenan writing for the website A Sales Guy, this is called “the sales gap,” and effective sales professionals need to learn how to bridge it.

“Selling to the gap is based on the concept that when people buy, there is a ‘gap’ between where they are today and where they want to go, and it’s this gap that drives the value and probability of closing the deal,” he wrote. “Selling to the gap is a simple process that adds tons of value to salespeople looking to increase their close rates, accelerate the sale and maintain greater control over the sales process.”

According to Keenan, selling to the gap successfully means understanding the stages prospects go through from the time they’ve first identified a need for your product or service to the moment they decide they are ready to buy.

“Based on the idea that all sales evolve around changing from a current state (where the prospect is today) to a future state (where the prospect wants to go), gap selling helps sales people get to the intrinsic motivations, and the desired outcomes, of their buyers,” he wrote.

Selling to the gap is not the moment for hard sales efforts. (You wouldn’t ask someone to marry you on a first date…would you?) It’s a time to help with the lead’s decision making process and help educate them on what’s available. It’s also a time to put the idea of your brand into their decision making process. The goal is to establish yourself as a thought leader.

For inside sales teams, the jump to trying to close the sale may be tempting to make. After all, it took a long time to get a warm lead on the other end of the phone. It’s critical, however, that you ensure that inside sales personnel follow a logical process to bridge the sales gap. Telemarketing software solutions can help set the pace and let the sales personnel know when the time is right to move from “soft selling” to hard selling. (Perhaps you want them to follow a script, or a sequence of events…a telemarketing solution can help you do that.)

While it’s tempting to jump right from first contact with a lead to a hard sell, it’s seldom effective. Automation can help your inside sales team understand when the time is right. 

Edited by Alicia Young