Differentiating when Competition is Fierce


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You’re in a highly competitive market space, yet your product isn’t all that different from your competitors. So how do you become the chosen vendor with your buyer?

A look behind the scenes at the most successful sales organizations reveals an obsession with being the first to respond and create real value for a potential buyer. They’re also adept at delivering value throughout the sales cycle by establishing authority, sharing expertise, and building trust.

Here are some of the more common attributes we found among companies that outperform the competition:

Be the First to Respond to Your Buyer
To stand out from competitors, top-tier sales teams focus on trying to edge out their competition by being the first to respond to prospective buyers.

This is especially important when leads are purchased from aggregators such as LendingTree (mortgages) or SoftwareAdvice (technology). In the mortgage industry for example, once a potential buyer submits a request for quote, leads are sent to multiple loan companies concurrently. For sales teams, this means that when you receive a sales lead, you are likely only one of multiple companies trying to initiate a conversation with a given prospect.

You can gain a significant edge by being the first to talk to the prospect. In fact, almost two-thirds of all buyers indicated the first company to call them had an advantage over the competition, according to a recent study on Online Buyer Expectations by Zogby Analytics.

“Once a person talks with one or two lenders, they don’t want to invest additional time with other companies, even if they could get better rates,” said Mike Eshelman, VP of Marketing at First Direct Lending, a Velocify client. “That’s why lenders must get there in the shortest time possible.” Currently, at First Direct Lending, speed-to-contact is just six seconds. If they’re not first to reach the prospect, conversion rates drop dramatically—meaning fewer transfers to loan officers.

Create Real Value to Overcome the Price-Driven Sale
A lot of our clients at Velocify are in the financial services industry. They sell things like mortgages, loans, and insurance – the very definition of a commoditized industry.

In these types of industries, to move away from the price-driven sale, you must create real value for your customer. And this doesn’t mean simply providing an insurance quote or mortgage rate since most consumers can go online and get this information in less time than you can do it for them. Unless you are creating value over and above what they can do for themselves online or through another company, why should they buy from you?

Sales reps in these industries create value by accumulating knowledge and becoming the very best in their niche. Across the board, top-performing sales organizations invest in professional development for their reps. They rigorously train and regularly coach new hires. Sales success is never left to chance.

For example, at Guaranteed Rate, newly hired loan officers start with a twelve-week training program to educate them on the market, get their license, and be ready to make calls to prospective borrowers. They start as customer service reps, calling leads directly and transferring them to loan officers. After three months, they’re ready to write loans themselves. They get coaching from a team captain and ongoing training. It takes a full year for these loan officers to be proficient in their positions.

For more insight on how high-growth companies are outperform their competitors, take a look at this new report from globally recognized sales expert and bestselling author Jill Konrath titled “5 Obsessions of Top-tier, High-Velocity Inside Sales Teams.” You can download a complimentary copy here.

Josh Evans
Josh Evans joined Velocify in 2007, and is senior vice president of sales. Josh is a seasoned professional with more than 10 years building and growing sales, customer support and customer engagement organizations in the technology industry. Josh oversees Velocify's sales organization, both the field and inside sales teams. Prior to his role in sales, Josh led Velocify's client services team and also contributed to customer-driven product development.


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