Here are 10 techniques which will help skyrocket your sales team’s effectiveness :
1. Know your Prospects
One of the most important rules of sales is to your prospects like the back of your hand. Here is a quick 3-step guide on how to get to know your customer:
Step 1: Buyer Persona
A buyer persona is a generalized and fictional representation of your ideal customer. When creating a buyer persona, you should include the gender, age, ethnicity, occupation, goals, motivations, frustrations and anything else you might find relevant to your business. Having a detailed buyer persona in my mind, sales reps will be able to understand the customer on a detailed level and will be able to adjust their sales pitch accordingly.
Step 2: Identify the Prospect’s Buyer Journey
With a clear understanding of your buyer persona, focus on specific customers and try to identify in which stage of the Buyer’s Journey they are in.
Awareness – When in this stage, customers are typically unaware of your company or product and they may not even understand the solution that your offering provides them with. During this stage, you should not be pitching your product or service directly but instead, educate them on the problem they are facing, while bringing awareness towards your company and product.
Consideration – Once your prospect is aware of the problem and is actively seeking a solution, they move into the consideration stage of the Buyer’s Journey. They will then begin to compare different product and services which will aid their problem in the long run.
Decision – When in the decision stage, prospects have narrowed down their options to a shortlist. This is when customers will begin to look into how they will use the tool and what this implementation might cost them.
Step 3: Get to know your future client’s company
Before your sales representatives reach out to potential clients, they should always be familiar with the prospect’s company and product. Of course, this is common knowledge and most sales reps with a glance over the company’s website anyways, but they should go a step further. They should subscribe to their newsletter and begin following them on social media in order to acquire vital information.
2. Follow Up With Leads Right Away
One thing that most companies do not realize, is that one of the major points that prospects consider in their decision is how long it takes for the companies to respond to them. According to the statistics, 35% to 50% of the deals go to the companies that follow up first. Also, the chance of getting in touch and closing a high potential lead drops by 400% if they are not followed up within 10 minutes compared to 5.
3. What Differentiates Your Company From Competitors?
Sales reps should be very familiar with your competitors, as to be able to pitch your unique selling proposition to your prospect accordingly. Instead of saying something along the lines of, “Our product is better than that of brand A”, they should explain exactly how your product is better than the one of competitors with concrete examples.
4. Adjust Your Outreach Method Based on Your Prospects
There is a constant debate on whether it is better to speak to your prospects over the phone, or if you should try to schedule a face-to-face meeting. We believe this should depend entirely on your prospect’s preference, though it is common knowledge that is significantly easier to sell during in-person meetings. During such meeting, you are able to pick up the body language and verbal cues more effectively and therefore, allows you to adjust your pitch.
5. Persistence Is Everything
As a good B2B sales rep, one should understand the value of persistence. Here is something to consider. It takes approximately 8 attempts for a sales representative to reach a potential client. Even once the prospect is reached, there is much more work to be done. It takes up to five follow-up calls to make a sale after a meeting in approximately 80% of the time, whereas 4% of reps will give up after just one follow-up call.
6. Follow Up With Old Leads
Similarly to the previous point, it is important to follow up with old leads (ones which you have contacted last even a year ago). Though it may seem like a long time, the B2B sales cycle is very long and a single purchase may involve up to 6 people. Make sure that your sales reps are not writing off their potential clients too quickly and that they are continuously following up. It is helpful to set a reminder in the CRM to get in touch with their leads every 6 months to a year after initially reaching out to them.
7. Making the Best Out of an Email Request
It isn’t uncommon, when sales reps are making cold calls to hear the “Can you send me an email and I will get back to you” request. Typically this is a very polite way of saying that they are uninterested and they don’t want to hear the rest of your pitch. In this case, many reps with take down the email and hang up, but this typically means that a deal will never be made. Instead, a sales rep should say something along the lines of, “I would like to make sure that I am sending you something that is relevant to you, so could you tell me if you are interested in X or Y.” Of course, it’s possible to switch up the question with a similar one, as the most important thing is, that the question is a no-brainer and something that is easy to answer. By doing this, you ensure that your prospect answers you and unconsciously lower their guard.
8. Social Media is Your Friend
As we discussed previously, building a rapport with a prospect will help in making a sale tremendously. It will also increase the chances that your a prospect will return your calls or answer to emails. Why? Because by humanizing yourself to your prospect, they begin to trust you a bit more. So, go ahead and reach out through social media. Retweet one of their tweens, send them a LinkedIn request so that once you send an email they will be able to recognize your name. Even if they are unable to pinpoint exactly where they know your name from, that’s alright, you’re still somehow standing out from all of the other sales emails in their inbox.
9. Ask To Be Connected
What do you do if your prospect isn’t responding to your emails and you do not have his phone number? Simply, call the company and ask to be connected. Many people assume that they will not be transferred, but this isn’t always the case. Make sure to be polite and unassuming and you shouldn’t have a problem. Say something along the lines of, “I am not sure who is the right person to speak to about this matter, but I am looking for someone who can do X. Could you please connect me to this person?”
Since you are not pitching anything, the receptionist should have no problem with transferring you to the right person.
10. Don’t Be Too Available
When following up with potential clients, some sales reps make the mistake of sounding too available and in other words desperate. If sales reps make this mistake, prospects will know that they hold all the power in this situation and regardless of when they get back to you (may it be a day, week, month or year), the sales rep will still be there. Make sure to give prospects a cut of day and make it clear that the offer and your time is limited.