7 Ways to Improve Your B2B Sales Process and Wow Prospects
It’s safe to say that sales prospecting is more challenging than ever before. With the rise of aggressive sales development departments, automated marketing platforms and artificial intelligence (“bots”) it can be difficult to stand out among the crowd.
That’s why outlining and following a sales process is so important for sales teams. Doing the appropriate prep work and knowing the steps to take at each stage allows them to impress and wow their prospects at every turn.
Here are seven things your sales team should be including in their process to impress your prospects.
1. Do your research. We’ll start with some of the basics – do your research. Whether it’s during an initial cold email, a discovery call or via a customized sales presentation, the more research you are armed with, the better. You’ll want to understand and call out key statements and facts regarding your prospect’s target market. The more you can show you understand your prospect’s market, the more they’ll see you as a trusted confidant, rather than someone trying to sell them something.
2. Get personal. There’s been a huge rise in social selling the past few years with studies showing social sellers close more business than non-social selling reps. Yet, many sales reps are still not using social selling when they should as it’s a great way to gain personal information that can be used in the sales prospecting process. A prospecting message or discovery call becomes so much more valuable when you reach out with an extremely personal message. The addition of a statement such as “I noticed last week you posted an article on X topic…” or “We both recently attended X event…” is sure to catch your prospect’s eye.
3. Use multimedia. Speaking of catching your prospect’s eye, nothing does this better than the use of multimedia such as photos, GIFs and videos. Whether it’s a link to a video added to a cold discovery email or a complete multimedia sales presentation, try to incorporate different types of engaging media in your sales prospecting whenever you can. Visuals make a big impact with 67% of prospects saying the use of visuals impacted their decision to buy.
4. Act fast. We’ve all heard the stat “50% of sales go to the rep who responds first” and it couldn’t be truer in today’s world. When a prospect asks for more information about your product, the faster you can respond, the better. Make sure your marketing team has systems in place like instant chat on your website and automation systems to deliver leads straight to your sales inbox. Or even better, send a text message notifying reps. It’s amazing how many companies still use outdated methods for responding to leads; taking hours (and sometimes days) to respond.
5. Use self-guided presentations. Today’s buyer is more-savvy than ever before, and they are inundated with the same sales prospecting messages, over and over again, day after day. Let’s face it, these constant email and voicemail messages get old. A great way to impress your prospects is to send a simple link to a self-guided sales presentation. By doing this you put your prospect in the driver’s seat and they don’t have to have a conversation with a sales rep. As much as all sales reps love talking to a real person, the reality is most prospects don’t want to talk to a rep until they are ready to have a serious conversation. By sending a presentation where your prospect can explore what you have to offer you are allowing them to “anonymously” check out your product to determine if it’s something that might meet their needs. Just be sure to have an amazing presentation to send them (no PowerPoints)!
6. Send them something. Although we’re huge fans of using technology to your advantage, the reality is direct marketing does work – if it’s well thought out and personal. Think of the last time someone sent you a gift to you at your office. Something tangible you could feel and touch. Whether it’s a box of cookies or a coffee mug, these gestures do stand out. It’s a more expensive way to impress your prospects, but if you have a short-list of accounts you are trying hard to impress, it’s a great way to get their attention. Pro tip – stick with consumables that can be shared in the office. A yummy goody your prospects can share with their team makes everyone happy and causes most people to ask “who is this from?” It’s a fantastic way to stand out.
7. Go to your customer’s events. We all know referrals are one of the best ways to find great new prospects, so attending your customer’s events is a no-brainer. Yet with all the focus on cold sales prospecting it’s sometimes overlooked. Look at your customer list and identify who has events. Then create a strategy to ensure someone from your sales team is always on the invite list. Not only does it get your reps out of the office using their networking skills, but it’s a natural environment for them to talk about what your company does “Have you met Ted? His company provides us X product.”
Sales prospecting is never going to go away, so it’s critical you and your team are constantly thinking about new ways to wow and dazzle your prospects. Be sure to use the tips above to stand out from the competition. And remember sales prospecting is only ONE step of the customer journey. Many of the tips above can be applied to each stage of the customer sales process.