P&C Insurers have recognized the need for sophisticated, highly integrated technology to meet consumer demands and grow revenue. According to Accenture research, 80% of insurance executives surveyed acknowledge their business and technology strategies are becoming inseparable. When targeting this market to expand IT infrastructure deals, build your land and expand sales strategy on existing credibility and insider intelligence. Demonstrate how your solution can help the company achieve its business objectives.
Find the Pain Points Buyers’ Truly Care About
Focus your land and expand sales strategy on the pivotal issues for the account. Consider the pain points that drove prospects to your solution initially and look for other business units with the same problem.
Once you identify some targets, look for non-technical needs in addition to technical ones. In the P&C insurance industry, firms are building long-term technology strategies tightly coupled with business objectives. Help secure your place in their future by learning which qualities your prospects want from a trusted partner, such as flexibility, support, or thought leadership.
Lean on inside allies to help you fill in the picture of pain points and requirements for each target. If possible, find out why some enterprise-wide partnerships have worked well in the account and why some haven’t so you can emphasize your team’s cultural fit and avoid missteps. You’ll have more success expanding the deal if you’re positioned as a partner who identifies with the corporate goals, challenges, and culture.
Go Beyond the LinkedIn Profile to Understand Buying Committees
As with your initial deal, you have to identify all members of the buying committees in other business units you target. With luck you’ll have an executive ally or an industry insider to guide you. For example, someone who had personal experience with your earlier success may have moved into a target business unit and can introduce you to new contacts.
If relationships from the last deal have gone a bit stale, you might also need to rebuild connections with the original buyers or new members of that team. Inside connections will tell you how best to approach new contacts and how targeted business units differ from the ones you’re most familiar with.
When researching buying committees, don’t rely solely on LinkedIn profiles and org charts. And don’t assume that buying committees across the company all work the same. Get a good layout of the political landscape and the level of influence each buyer yields. It’s also important to understand if there are any competitors who already have the attention of these groups.
Finally, determine how the different parts of the company interact with each other so you have a good sense of how much a successful project in one part of the account will influence another. Are they well-integrated or completely siloed? Do business units prefer to standardize their technology with each other, or do they act independently?
Support the Land and Expand Sales Strategy with Value-Based Messaging
When you understand the political and cultural landscape of target business units, build a messaging strategy that highlights your existing successful deployment in terms of the technical and non-technical benefits the buying committees value most. Craft marketing that illustrates your ability to support the account over the long run, including webinars and informative long-form content. Leverage the positive social proof from your current deployment by including your influencer allies in the effort.
It’s most important to ensure your customer service and support teams working on existing deployments are sharing the same key messages as the sales and marketing teams so your company communicates a consistent value proposition across the board. Have your inside champions review presentations, meeting agendas, and marketing materials to ensure you’ve included the language and data most meaningful to buyers across the company.
Advance to Close With Added Value
As you learn more about what the prospect needs, you can find ways to add value during the sales process that will position your team as an enterprise partner. For example, if other business units deal with the same pain point you’ve already solved, help them define and assess the problem as a trusted advisor would. Demonstrate your understanding of the pain from their point of view.
You can also help the business flesh out their IT strategies in relation to corporate goals, so their interrelated business and IT plans will move the company forward as one. For example, identify dependencies required to successfully launch digital or online services. Educate buyers about crucial capabilities, such as security and analytics. Or help them quantify performance so they can measure the fiscal benefits of technical achievements.
Knowing how to add value that will drive a deal depends on the accuracy of your understanding of the account’s culture and power dynamics. Work closely with champions or someone who knows the account very well to help you refine sales efforts from the buyers’ point of view. With their guidance, you not only demonstrate the ability to partner but also remove obstacles to implementation, allay concerns, quantify the risk of delay, and increase the urgency of deploying your technology.
Leverage the Human Intelligence Network for a Successful Land and Expand Strategy
You won’t find what you need for a land and expand strategy in online data sources or social media profiles. That will get you started, but the key is understanding the personalities and interpersonal relationships that drive business decisions across the account.
As former executives at P&C insurance companies, Emissary Advisors know the people at your key prospects. They’ve worked as colleagues and leaders with the buyers you’re trying to reach and can guide you through the contacts, meetings, presentations, and processes to successfully expand. Advisors’ insight will also save weeks of research and help you avoid pitfalls that could derail or delay a sale.
Most importantly, as you’re positioning your firm as a long-term trusted advisor, Emissary’s human intelligence network helps you understand the qualities the account is looking for in a company they want to work with for years. When you can demonstrate a strong fit as a partner, you’ll launch your initial success into a long-term, productive relationship.