I  am not sure if my sales team are talking to the right people within the customer

Before you first visit  a company, you need to try to find the right person to talk to.  Typically this will be a reasonably senior person who has responsibility for some of the issues that you have hopefully identified they may have.  As you have never met with them before, you may not necessarily be right first time but that's not a problem - you can use the person you are meeting to introduce you to the right people which, even though you may only just have met, is valuable as a referral.  The key is to finding the right problems to talk about as that establishes credibility and will keep the customer engaged.

Once you have identified the customer's issue and how you might go about solving it, there will be a number of different people within the organisation that you need to talk to.  There may be anything from 4 to 8 people involved in the decision making process.  It is important the you identify which people to talk to and meet with them all to establish their needs and drivers.  Work with your team to ensure that they have identified all of the stake holders in the process.

If all of this is difficult, then it may be that you are not meeting with the best customers.  If the customer organisation is opaque and getting to meet the right people is difficult, then spending time with them may not be the best way to spend your time.  It may be that there are better customers to go to meet with.  Identifying a good customer is not a one off exercise, it needs to be repeated as you know more about them.  This is something that the team should be appraising on a regular basis.

With these sorts of issues, involving the whole team can be a useful way of proceeding.  Having the insights and input of peers can be very helpful and is less invasive than just the input of a manager.  Using peer reviews is beneficial to all participants as a learning exercise as well as the input into opportunity management that it provides.

If you are wanting to closely track the meetings that your team are having so that you can quickly determine their value, then i-Snapshot provides a tool for doing this in a simple, quick and effective way.  

Two of our training modules may help:

What does a good customer look like?

Different Buyers

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