Leveraging the 4 Types of Insights in Your Business

Add urgency to your customers' problems

My last couple of blog posts have talked about how powerful insight-based selling can be to move your prospective customers to action. To help you and your team create a set of insights that shorten your sales cycle, I’ve divided the types of insights you can create into four categories:

Insight #1:  Internal
These are in-house, internal, best practices types of knowledge that you pick up from working with your customers and clients. They often focus more on the tactical day-to-day issues like best practices and lessons learned. When you present these kinds of insights to your clients, you’ll introduce it as something like, “We’ve been working with companies just like yours and here’s what we’ve learned from them. Because you look like them, I think you may be having these same issues as well.” Then you’ll share the information that offers your prospective clients a new look at their situation, offering your sales team the chance to build a stronger, deeper relationship that leads to more deals.

Insight #2: Third-Party Research
The second type of insight comes from third-party experts who can bring new information to the table for you and your prospective customers. To use this type of insight, you’ll incorporate the work of respected third parties like industry analysts or a trusted organization external to you and your company.

I’ll give you an example of a third-party research insight we shared with a client recently. This insight came from the American Marketing Association, whose research uncovered most sales teams are wasting almost half of their time.  According to the AMA’s research, up to 90% of the messages that marketing departments create aren’t used by sales people. As a result, the sales reps spend about 40-60% of their hours a month on non-selling activities, such as creating their own emails, email templates and even their own brochures.

We used this particular insight to show a potential client why it’s critical for their sales and marketing teams to work more closely together. Can you see how research like this would convince an executive that it’s time for a change?

Insight #3:  Research You Create Within Your Organization
The third type of insight comes from research that you create within your organization, such as a survey of your customers. This enables you to bring a unique perspective or distinct point of view forward in that research, one that will help your clients choose you. This type of insight is similar to the second type of insight offered above, but instead of relying on third-party data to create an insight, you’ll be relying on your own.

Insight #4: Future or Visionary
The fourth type of Insight is what I like to call future or visionary insight. To deliver this type of insight, you’ll offer your prospect a vision of the future and how their market will be fundamentally different as a result. This type of insight strongly leverages your expertise in looking to the future to define what’s next.

You’ll frame this type of insight with an opening such as, “I want to share some emerging trends that you need to be aware of.” In this particular example, we were talking with our customers about digital tabletop menus as the future of full-service casual dining. This future isn’t for a Chipotle or a McDonald’s, but it fits very well into a Chili’s, an Applebee’s or a Buffalo Wild Wings. In fact, you may have already seen it in airport dining and in casinos.

Once you establish the frame, then you’d share how digital tabletop menus can benefit your prospect’s restaurant. For example, digital tabletop menus can:

  • Improve revenue by faster table turns.
  • Upsell and cross sell more effectively.
  • Improve the overall dining experience by not forcing patrons to wait for a server to order an appetizer or even another drink.

It’s also possible to then combine types of insights, by sharing either third-party data on how these tabletop menus are performing (insight type #2) or how they’ve performed for your customers who have already installed them (insight type #3).

Whether you choose to use a single type of insight or you choose to combine these into an even more powerful presentation, using provocative insights that shift your prospect’s worldview will help your sales team establish themselves as the expert in their fields and position them to become a long-term, trusted advisor to your prospective clients.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *